City of London School for Girls

City of London School for Girls
City of London School for Girls
Coat of Arms of The City of London.svg
Established 1894
Type Independent
Religion non-denominational
Headmistress Miss Diana Vernon BA Hons
Deputy Head Mr W A Douglas, BA Hons
Location St. Giles' Terrace
Students 707
Gender All Female
Ages 7–18
Houses Fleet, Tudor, St. Bride & Ward
School Years Prep-Sixth Form
Contact No 020 7847 5500
Website City of London School for Girls

City of London School for Girls (CLSG) is a girls' independent school located in the City of London, United Kingdom. It is sister school of the City of London School (a boys day school) and the City of London Freemen's School (a co-educational day and boarding school in Surrey).



The school was founded by William Ward in 1894.[1] It was his conviction that girls should be given a broad and liberal education with an emphasis on scholarship; he left a third of his fortune to the City of London to fund the foundation of a girls' school, a £20,000 legacy for the City of London Corporation. The school now receives financial support from the City Livery Companies as well as banks and other City firms. Links with the City of London remain strong - the City administers the school and the Board of Governors is appointed by the Court of Common Council. The school has strong links with its brother school - the City of London School is just a 15-minute walk away.

The school celebrated its 110th Anniversary in 2004-2005, under the title of 'Women in Leadership'. It celebrated its 111th Anniversary in 2005-2006, under the same title. It celebrated its 112th Anniversary in 2006-2007 under the title of 'International Women in Leadership'.


The Good Schools Guide called the school an "Academic and hard-working day school that currently produces good results and unspoilt articulate girls but remaining low profile."[2]

The school is for girls aged 7 to 18. Most pupils enter aged 7 ("7+" for the Prep School), 11 ("11+"), or 16 ("16+", for Sixth Form), although casual vacancies arise occasionally. The school's capacity is roughly 680 pupils. As its success rises, applications to the school continue to climb with new classrooms being continually created to meet this growing demand. They have a well known "Women in Leadership" interest, which continued in 2007 with an excellent conference concerning the global leadership of women.

Fees are currently £4,125 a term for the senior school exclusive of school lunches, and entrance is by examination. For 7+ and 11+ entry, the entrance exam consists of exams in English and Maths. At sixth form level, the entry process is more competitive, with exams being set in each of the subjects they propose to study at AS as well as a comprehension paper and logic test. The school remains relatively ethnically and socially diverse, although not as diverse as other leading London schools in both the state and independent sectors. There is a very active Jewish Society.

The new headmistress, Diana Vernon, is the 10th headmistress of the school.


The school has an outstanding academic reputation and leading league table results. In 2005, the school came first in The Sunday Times table of Prep Schools, and 2nd and 3rd respectively in many published tables of England's GCSE and A-level results. In 2008, the school topped The Times A-level league table of England's independent schools. The Good Schools Guide credited the school with a "Very strong work ethic," noting that it "Continues to get good results."[2]


The school's success gives it the reputation of a hot house, however, the school also encourages extracurricular activities. The arts are popular, appropriately enough for a school located across a lake from the Barbican Arts Centre. Furthermore, teachers are encouraged to go 'beyond the syllabus', exploring wider issues to nurture girls in areas that are not examined.

Music lessons are available to individuals or groups, and the school has successful Junior and Senior Orchestras, Junior and Senior Choirs, a gospel choir, a barbershop group and a swing band.

In 2005, City held its first ever drama festival; a fortnight of productions and workshops. Sports are another strength at City, with clubs, teams and squads in abundance. City encourages girls to take up sports they have never done before and push them when necessary. The Gym and Dance display which is held every other year shows parents, relatives and friends the girls' talents and gives the girls a chance to "shine". The school has a swimming pool, a lecture theatre, two netball/tennis courts, a drama studio, an all weather playing field and an indoor gym with climbing wall, as well as a gym complete with exercise equipment such as treadmills and weights. Debating is another popular activity, with a weekly club and participation in public speaking events such as Model United Nations and European Youth Parliament.

Trips and visits are common, and City girls are offered language exchanges to France, Spain, Germany and China, as well as other travelling opportunities through schemes such as World Challenge, which has seen girls go recently to Venezuela. Duke of Edinburgh Award expeditions have been confined to the UK since 2001, when student Amelia Ward was killed whilst abseiling on a Duke of Edinburgh trip in South Africa.

The school team won the Kids' Lit Quiz in 2010 at the world final in Edinburgh.[3]


The school is secular, yet has mildly Christian traditions, with twice weekly hymns and an annual Carol Service in the neighbouring St Giles' Church. There is a weekly Jewish assembly, as well as a Jewish Society, an Asian Society, an Oriental Society and an African-Caribbean Society.

The House System

City has a relatively new house system which consists of four houses. Each girl is allocated a house when they enter the school. There is a variety of inter-House competition, including drama, music, quiz and at Sports Day. The School encourages good natured competition.

The four houses are:

  • Fleet - after Fleet Street
  • Tudor - after Tudor Street
  • St. Bride - after St. Bride church on Fleet Street,
  • Ward - after William Ward, the founder of the school.


There is now a Sixth Form Block, intended to cater for the ever growing number of girls - the 2000 intake swelled from the usual 60-70 girls per year to 90+. An all-weather playing field was added to the school's outdoor facilities after the winter term of 2008.


The current headmistress is Miss Diana Vernon, who joined the school in September 2007.

Helen Goddard controversy

On 21 September 2009, 26-year-old Helen Goddard, who taught music at the school, was jailed for 15 months for having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old female pupil.[4][5]

Notable former pupils


  1. ^ "City Of London School For Girls (CLSG History)". Archived from the original on 2008-05-17. Retrieved 2008-07-01. 
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ KLQ 2010
  4. ^ Bloxham, Andy; Aislinn Simpson (19 Aug 2009). "Music teacher admits secret lesbian affair with pupil". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2009-09-23. 
  5. ^ "Teacher jailed for sex with pupil". BBC News. 21 September 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-23. 

External links

Coordinates: 51°31′09″N 0°05′40″W / 51.51916°N 0.09449°W / 51.51916; -0.09449

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