Guide to Independent Schools

School details


Stamford School, Southfields House, St Paul's Street, Stamford, Lincolnshire PE9 2BQ

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The Head

T:  01780 750300

Boys, 11-18, Day and Boarding (full and weekly)
Pupils: 694, Upper sixth 81
Fees: £4482 (Day), £8303 (Boarding), £7239 (Weekly) per term
Affiliation: HMC, BSA


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School details


What it's like

Founded in 1532 by William Radcliffe and endowed in the 19th century by the Trustees of Browne's Hospital, as was the High School for girls. It has a joint Principal with Stamford High School but each school has its own Head; they share many cultural, social and educational activities, including mixed sixth-form teaching, and a common junior school. Over the centuries both have played a major part in the life of the town and neighbourhood. The school's buildings lie to the north-east of the town in some 34 acres of agreeable grounds and playing fields. The chapel was originally part of the 12th century St Paul's Church. Since 1875 there has been a continuous programme of building and modernisation, resulting in excellent facilities. An Anglican foundation, it follows the liturgy of the Church of England but welcomes boys of other faiths. Academic standards are high and examination results good. Music is very strong indeed, as is drama. A standard range of sports and games is provided and there are many successful teams. The CCF contingent has RN, Army and RAF sections and local community services are a popular alternative. Many clubs and societies cater for most needs. A successful Young Enterprise group and a traditional commitment to the Duke of Edinburgh's Award, in which the school has an outstanding record of success. A large number of overseas trips are organised, including sporting tours all over the country and beyond.

Pupils & entrance

Pupils: Age range 11-18; 694 boys (536 day, 158 boarding). Entrance: Main entry ages 11, 13 and 16. Common Entrance and own exam used. For sixth form entry, 5 GCSEs at least grade C (preferably B in sixth-form subjects). No special skills or religious requirements. 50% of intake from state schools, 50% from own junior school.

Scholarships & bursaries

Governors' scholarships, value £250–£1000 pa; most academic, sports or music, some art and all-rounder. Also some means-tested bursaries (up to full fees). Service family discounts.

Head & staff

Principal (of The Stamford Endowed Schools): Stephen Roberts, appointed 2008. Educated at Mill Hill and Oxford University (physics). Previously Headmaster of Felsted School, Housemaster at Oundle and physics/electronics teacher at Christ’s Hospital. Head: Will Phelan, appointed 2011. Educated at the Queen Elizabeth’s Hospital and Royal Holloway College London (history). Previously Deputy Head at Warwick School. Teaching staff: 70 full time, 12 part time.

Exam results

GCSE: 94 pupils Year 11, 96% gained at least grade C in 8+ subjects (94% including English, maths, a science, a humanity and a modern language). A-levels: 81 in Year 13, 98% passing in 3+ subjects with an average final points score of 234.

Pupils' destinations

90% of sixth form leavers go on to a degree course, 9% to Oxbridge. 5% take courses in medicine, dentistry and veterinary science, 30% in science and engineering, 5% in law, 50% in humanities and social sciences, 5% in art and design, 5% in drama and music. Others typically go on to non-degree courses or directly into careers (banking, armed forces, retailing).


GCSE, AS and A-levels. 17 GCSE subjects offered, 28 at AS/A-level.; also Extended Project Qualification. Sixth form: Most sixth formers take 4 subjects at AS-level, 3 at A-level; general studies taught but not examined. Mixed teaching with Stamford High School allows wide range of subjects. Vocational: Well-established links with business and industry include a sixth form industrial conference, industry day for 14-year olds, careers conferences and practice interview arrangements. Work experience in Year 10 (1 week). Special provision: Individual lessons (3 teachers) for those requiring learning support. Languages: French, German, Russian and Spanish offered at GCSE and A-level (French compulsory from age 11 to GCSE). Italian at A-level. Regular exchanges to France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Poland, Norway and Russia. ICT: Taught across the curriculum. Computers for pupil use, all networked and with email and internet access.

The arts

Music: Up to 50% of pupils learn a musical instrument; instrumental exams can be taken. Some 8 musical groups including symphony orchestra, wind band, choral society, chapel choir, chamber groups, jazz band etc. Pupils have achieved Oxbridge choral scholarships, pop group reached finals in national competition. Drama: Much extra-curricular drama. Many pupils are involved in school productions and some in house/other productions. Art and design: On average, 50 take GCSE, 20 A-level. Design, pottery and sculpture also offered.

Sports & activities

Choice from some 12+ sports including tennis, athletics, golf, table tennis, shooting, skiing. Strong county representation in rugby, hockey, cricket; frequent county athletics champions; national cross-country finalists; national youth canoeing champions in recent years; shooting at Bisley annually. Also bronze, silver and gold Duke of Edinburgh's Award (some 40 pa gold); CCF (optional; over 200 boys and girls); Millennium Volunteers. Up to 30 clubs, including science, history, chess, air rifle, quizzes, computing, art, Young Enterprise.

School life

Uniform: School uniform worn throughout. Houses and prefects: Competitive houses. Prefects, head boy, head of house and house prefects. School prefects appointed by Headmaster. Religion: Church of England. Christian worship compulsory. Social: Plays, musical events, choir. Trips abroad for eg fieldwork, skiing etc; rugby tours (eg New Zealand), cricket (eg West Indies); exchange with St Albans School, Washington DC. Pupils allowed to bring own car or bike to school. Meals self-service. School shop. No alcohol allowed.


Pupils failing to produce homework once might expect to be admonished and kept in if persistent; those caught smoking cannabis on the premises would be suspended while all factors considered - expulsion likely.


25% have own study bedroom, 35% share; others in dormitories up to 5. Houses of 40, divided by age group. Pupils can make own coffee, tea and toast. Seniors allowed to local town daily with permission; juniors, rationed.

Association of former pupils

is run by Membership Secretary, Alan Maddox, c/o the school,

Former pupils

M J K Smith (England cricket captain/England rugby too); John Terraine (historian); Sir Malcolm Sargent (conductor); Sir Michael Tippett (composer); Robert Clift (hockey Olympic medallist); Simon Hodgkinson (England rugby); Mark James (golfer); Philip Goodrich (Bishop of Worcester); Colin Dexter (Insp Morse creator); Iwan Thomas (400m Europe and Commonwealth Gold); General Sir Michael Jackson (former Chief of Defence Staff); Nick Anstee (Lord Mayor of London, 2009).