Thomas Adams School is a coeducational secondary school, boarding school and sixth form in Wem, Shropshire, England. The school takes pupils from ages 11–18 and currently has just over 1,300 on roll. The school has the Schools for Health Award and in 2002 obtained Media Arts College status.The school is located on a 30 acre site split across 2 campuses which are connected. The Lowe Hill site is the location of the secondary school (11-16) whilst the Noble Street site is the location for the sixth form and adjacent boarding houses. The boarding house can accommodate up to 65 students and is one of only 32 state boarding schools in England. [1][failed verification]

The Thomas Adams School
Thomas Adams School Crest
Lowe Hill

, ,

Coordinates52°51′32″N 2°43′48″W / 52.8589°N 2.7301°W / 52.8589; -2.7301
Former namesThe Free School of Wem, Adams Grammar School Wem, Adams School Wem,
Religious affiliation(s)None
Established1650; 374 years ago (1650)
FounderSir Thomas Adams
Department for Education URN147508 Tables
Chair of GovernorsDavid Watts
HeadteacherMark Cooper
Age11 to 18
HousesClee, Lawley, Haughmond, Caradoc, Corndon, Hawkstone & Grinshill
Colour(s)Blue, White   
AffiliationsKeele University
Drapers' Company of London



The school was founded in 1650 by Sir Thomas Adams, the Lord Mayor of London in 1645, who was described by the diarist Samuel Pepys as a "comely old alderman". He was a Sheriff of London, Master of the Company of Drapers and an MP. He was a staunch royalist, who was imprisoned in the Tower of London for his royalist sympathies but was later sent by Parliament to the Hague in 1660 to wait upon King Charles II who was about to be restored to the throne. He also paid for the Bible to translated into Persian.

Adams Grammar School merged with Wem Secondary Modern School in 1976 to form Adams School, later named Thomas Adams School.

In March 2020 the school joined The Priory Trust.[2] The Priory Trust was renamed to the 3-18 Trust. [3]

The school is rated (in 2014, 2017 and 2023) by Ofsted to be good.[4] The boarding house was rated as good in 2023 by OFSTED [5] The school has a strong connection with the Drapers Company, an ancient London guild who nominate two governors to sit on the school's governing body. The Drapers Company is well known for its educational connections and charitable contributions, it helps support a number of schools and universities which have historical links with the company.

Notable staff

  • Samuel Garbet, topographer and local historian of Wem, was second master at Wem Grammar School 1712-42, retiring after declining the school headship.[6]

Notable alumni


Although there is no active alumni association, over 1,600 ex-pupils of Wem Modern School, Adams School and Thomas Adams School are members of the Facebook group Adams School Wem Nostalgia Group.[7]

Notable past-pupils of the Thomas Adams School include:

Adams Grammar School and Wem Modern School


Thomas Adams School



  1. ^ 4Learning – Breaking the News – Story gallery – Schools – Thomas Adams School
  2. ^ "Wem's Thomas Adams confirms it is part of the Priory Schools Trust in Shrewsbury". Whitchurch Herald. Whitchurch Herald. 4 March 2020. Retrieved 10 June 2020.
  3. ^ 3-18 Trust
  4. ^ Ofsted Report 2023
  5. ^ Ofsted boarding report 2023
  6. ^   This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainWroth, Warwick William (1889). "Garbet, Samuel". In Stephen, Leslie (ed.). Dictionary of National Biography. Vol. 20. London: Smith, Elder & Co. pp. 403–404.
  7. ^ Link to Adams School Wem Nostalgia Group on Facebook