- Rutlish School
name = Rutlish School
motto = Modeste Strenue Sancte
established = 1895
type = Boys
grades = Years 7 to 11
head of school = Alex Williamson
students = 1050
enrollment = 240 (entering)
free_text = Urban campus
website = http://www.rutlish.merton.sch.uk/
Rutlish School is a
comprehensive schoolfor boys. It is in Watery Lane, Merton Park, south-west London. It was formerly a grammar school.
It is noted for
caningits most famous alumnus politician, British Prime Minister Sir John Majorin its former grammar school period.
The school has five year groups (years 7 to 11) and an intake of approximately 240 pupils in the first year. The school roll totals approximately 1050 pupils. The school specialises in mathematics and ICT. The local education authority is the
London Borough of Merton. The current Headteacher of Rutlish School is Alex Williamson.
The school is named after William Rutlish, embroiderer to Charles II. Rutlish was a resident of the parish of Merton and is buried in the churchyard of the parish church of St. Mary. Rutlish died in 1687 and left a bequest of £400 (about £Formatprice|Inflation|UK|400|1687|r=-3 today)Inflation-fn|UK for the education of poor children of the parish [http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.asp?compid=43032&strquery=rutlish#p45 British History Online, A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 4 (1912), 'Parishes: Merton', pages 64-8] ] .
By the 1890s the charity had accumulated a considerable excess of funds and John Innes, local landowner and chairman of the board of
trustees, used some of the excess to establish a school.
The first school building, established as a
grammar school, was located in what is now Rutlish Road off Kingston Road. After World War IIthe school was overflowing its building (and the recently-built science block had been destroyed as a result of enemy action) so in the early 1950s a new school was built on the present site south of Watery Lane on land that had belonged to John Innes and which had been occupied until 1945 by the John Innes Horticultural Institution (now the John Innes Centrein Norwich).
The 1950s school buildings are arranged around three sides of a quadrangle. To the north are a four storey main entrance block (which contained the school library on the top floor) and a three storey central block of general purpose classrooms facing Watery Lane. To the west is a two storey science block and to the east a two storey block containing the canteen on the ground floor and the school hall on the first floor. Attached to the rear of the east block is the school gym.
Among the existing school buildings is one which has ties to Innes. The "Manor House" adjacent to the school entrance on Watery Lane was Innes's home (a
blue plaquerecords his association). Now demolished school buildings next to the playing field were once the library and offices of the Institution and had ranges of greenhouses attached. In the early 1960s these old buildings were used by the second and third year classes (classes 2A, 2B, 2C, 3A, 3B and 3c) and the long greenhouse was used as a lunchtime canteen. Later, in the 1980s, they were art and music rooms. A little known feature of the old building was a warren of hidden crawlspace passages, accessible from the second floor music room, form where clandestine spying operations on other classes could be undertaken. A number of additional buildings have been constructed over the years to supplement the facilities of the 1950s buildings.
Following the education reforms of the late 1960s, the school became a comprehensive although it retained many of its grammar school traditions long after the conversion - school houses (named after ancient warrior nations or groups), uniforms with house and school "colours", a
Combined Cadet Force, and prefects. For many years the school maintained a croquetlawn for the use of the headmaster and the prefects. The school also operated an exchange programme with Eton Collegefor a number of years.
In the 1970s the education system in
Mertonwas altered to use a three tier structure (primary, middle and high school) in place of the former two tier structure and Rutlish lost the first three of its years. The school still retained the old year names; however, so that pupils starting at the school began as "fourth" years. The following years were named "remove", "fifth", "transitus" and "sixth" (actually a pupil's fifth year at the school if he remained that long).
*The school motto is: "Modeste Strenue Sancte"; meaning: "Be modest, be thorough and pursue righteousness" [http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article1996704.ece Times Online, 28 June 2007] ] .
Unusually, Rutlish pupils did not, as a matter of course, wear the school badge on their uniforms, instead house membership was identified by a multi-coloured "house braid" which was affixed to the top edges of blazer pockets. In the transitus or sixth form it was common for pupils to be awarded "house colours" as an indication of achievement (often sporting). "School colours" were additionally awarded to those who had shown outstanding achievement. Recipients of house or school colours were entitled to wear the school badge on their blazers. School colours took precedence over house colours and the two were not worn together. Some houses, but not all, also had house ties which could be worn as an alternative to the school tie and, for a while, a school scarf was also available.
Throughout the school year, various inter-house competitions were held, often of a sporting nature, at which pupils competed individually or in teams as representatives of their houses. Towards the end of the school year, the winning house would be announced.
End of sixth form
Following the conversion of Merton's education system back to a two tier structure in the 1990s, the school closed its sixth form as it was uneconomic. Students wishing to take A-levels now go to the Sixth form college or go on to vocational courses.
Since 1906 the "Old Rutlishians Association" ("Old Ruts") has existed as an Old Boys sports and social club linked to the school which former pupils of the school were eligible to join. With the loss of the sixth forms the number of former pupils joining the association fell and membership has been opened to all comers.
The club fields a large number of football, rugby and
cricketteams and has a ground and clubhouse in Poplar Road, Merton Park.
Entry Year Reunions
There is now a tradition of particular entry years holding reunions, especially on the 50th anniversary of their entry. These have been held by the 1953, 1954 and 1957 entry years and are being planned for the 1958 and 1959 entry years. Remarkably the 1957 entry year managed to track down all 118 pupils (7 of whom had died) in their year. 65 of the survivors attended the main reunion event on 1 September 2007 which is recorded in a website dedicated to the [http://www.cphicks.org.uk/rutlish1957/ Reunion of the 1957 Entry Year] .
Notable former pupils
Raymond Briggs, Author
*Sir Frank E Figgures, 1st Secretary General of EFTA
Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich1986-96
Tubby Hayes, British Jazz musician
Tariq Knight, TV magician
Jerry Lodge, Statistician
Sir John Major, British Prime Minister
Bernarr Rainbow, historian of music education.
Mick Talbot, Musician ( The Style Counciland others)
Steve Finnan, Footballer
* [http://www.rutlish.merton.sch.uk Official School Website]
* [http://www.theora.co.uk/ Old Rutlishians Association]
* [http://www.cphicks.org.uk/rutlish1957/ Reunion of the 1957 Entry Year]
* [http://www.merton.gov.uk/learning/grantsandfunding/rutlish_foundation.htm Rutlish Foundation]
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