Rutlish School

Rutlish School

name = Rutlish School

motto = Modeste Strenue Sancte
established = 1895
type = Boys comprehensive school
affiliation =
district =
grades = Years 7 to 11
president =
principal =
head of school = Alex Williamson
dean =
faculty =
staff =
students = 1050
enrollment = 240 (entering)
athletics =
conference =
colors =
mascot =
free_label =
free_text = Urban campus
free_label2 =
free_text2 =
location = London, England
information =
website =

Rutlish School is a comprehensive school for boys. It is in Watery Lane, Merton Park, south-west London. It was formerly a grammar school.

It is noted for caning its most famous alumnus politician, British Prime Minister Sir John Major in its former grammar school period.

chool faculty

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 [ 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 II the 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 Centre in 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 plaque records 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 croquet lawn for the use of the headmaster and the prefects. The school also operated an exchange programme with Eton College for a number of years.

In the 1970s the education system in Merton was 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).

chool motto

*The school motto is: "Modeste Strenue Sancte"; meaning: "Be modest, be thorough and pursue righteousness" [ Times Online, 28 June 2007] ] .

chool houses

Additional to division into classes and years, the pupils of the school were allocated to one of eight school houses:

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.

Old Rutlishians

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 cricket teams 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 [ Reunion of the 1957 Entry Year] .

Notable former pupils

*Raymond Briggs, Author
*Sir Frank E Figgures, 1st Secretary General of EFTA
*John Dennis, Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich 1986-96
*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 Council and others)
*Steve Finnan, Footballer


External links

* [ Official School Website]
* [ Old Rutlishians Association]
* [ Reunion of the 1957 Entry Year]
* [ Rutlish Foundation]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Ricards Lodge High School — is a single sex comprehensive secondary school, for girls aged 11 to 16, located on Lake Road in Wimbledon, London. The school s headteacher has been Ms Alison Jerrard since 2005. The school s motto is Educating Successful Women of the Future .… …   Wikipedia

  • John Innes (philanthropist) — John Innes JP (1829 ndash; 8 August 1904) was born in Hampstead, Middlesex (now London) [] ] . His family owned sugar plantations in Jamaica and imported rum into England. The family… …   Wikipedia

  • Old Boys — The terms Old Boys and Old Girls are the usual expressions in use in the United Kingdom for former pupils or alumni of primary and secondary schools.[1] While these are traditionally associated with independent schools, they are also used for… …   Wikipedia

  • Wimbledon College of Art — Infobox University name = Wimbledon College of Art established = 1890 type = faculty = head label = head = undergrad = postgrad = city = London country = United Kingdom campus = affiliations = University of the Arts London website =… …   Wikipedia

  • Wimbledon, London — infobox UK place country = England map type = Greater London region= London population= official name= Wimbledon london borough= Merton constituency westminster= Wimbledon post town= LONDON postcode district= SW19, SW20 postcode area=SW dial code …   Wikipedia

  • Bernarr Rainbow — Bernarr Joseph George Rainbow (October 2 1914 March 17 1998), historian of music education, organist, and choir master from the United Kingdom. BiographyBorn on the 2 October 1914 in Battersea, London, United Kingdom, he was the son of James… …   Wikipedia

  • Raymond Briggs — Infobox comics creator name = Raymond Briggs imagesize = 150 caption = birthname = Raymond Redvers Briggs birthdate = birth date and age|1934|01|18 location = Wimbledon, London deathdate = deathplace = nationality = English area = Artist, writer …   Wikipedia

  • Morien Morgan — Sir Morien Bedford Morgan CB FRS[1](20 December 1912 4 April 1978), was a noted Welsh aeronautical engineer, sometimes known as the Father Of Concorde . He spent most of his career at the Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE), before moving to… …   Wikipedia

  • Merton Park — Coordinates: 51°24′38″N 0°12′06″W / 51.4106°N 0.2017°W / 51.4106; 0.2017 …   Wikipedia

  • John Dennis (bishop) — John Dennis was Bishop of Knaresborough from 1979 to 1986 and St Edmundsbury and Ipswich from 1986 to 1996. He is now the Bishop of the church in Winchester. He is also the father of comedian Hugh Dennis. Born on 19 June 1931 [Crockford’s On… …   Wikipedia