Radley College is a boys' public school near Radley, Oxfordshire, England, which was founded in 1847. The school covers including playing fields, a golf course, a lake, and farmland.
Radley is one of four boys-only, boarding-only independent secondary schools in the United Kingdom, the others being Winchester, Harrow and Eton. The five other public schools listed in the Public Schools Act 1868 have since become co-educational: Rugby, Charterhouse, Westminster, Wellington, and Shrewsbury. For the academic year 2015/16, Radley charged boarders up to £11,475 per term, making it the 19th most expensive HMC boarding school.
HistoryRadley was founded in 1847 by William Sewell and Robert Corbet Singleton. The first pupil was Samuel Reynolds, who in 1897 wrote his reminiscences of school life.
The school was originally housed in Radley Hall, now known as "Mansion". Radley Hall was built in the 1720s for the Stonehouse family. Later in the 18th century the estate passed to the Bowyer family, who commissioned Capability Brown to re-design the grounds. After the school was founded, extensive building work took place, beginning with Chapel, F Social and Octagon, Clock Tower, and in 1910 the dining hall. Building work has continued throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, with two new Socials, a weights-room/gym, a rowing tank, a theatre, and a real tennis court being completed since 2006. The Science Block was also expanded and refurbished in 2019. The grounds include a lake, a golf course and woodland.
On 31 August 2017, The Daily Telegraph reported that a whistleblower had suggested that teachers had helped their students in an art GCSE exam. Investigations by the exam board found no fault beyond a minor technical breach of exam regulations. Radley College issued a statement expressing full support for staff and procedures both within the art department and across the school.
On 6 July 2018, a plane trailing a banner reading "Make Radley Great Again" was flown over the school, in protest against Warden John Moule's campaign of modernisation. The £750 cost of the plane hire was raised by pupils at the school.
Price-fixing cartel case (2005)In 2005 Radley College was one of fifty of the country's leading independent schools which were found guilty by the Office of Fair Trading of running an illegal price-fixing cartel which had allowed them to drive up fees. Each school was required to pay a nominal penalty of £21,360 and all agreed to make ex-gratia payments totalling three million pounds into a Trust designed to benefit pupils who attended the schools during the period in respect of which fee information was shared. In their defence, Jean Scott, the head of the Independent Schools Council, said that independent schools had previously been exempt from the anti-cartel rules applied to business; they were following a long-established procedure in sharing the information with one another and they were unaware of the current law.
School TermsThere are three academic terms in the year,
- The Michaelmas Term, from early September to mid December.
- The Lent Term, from early January to late March.
- The Summer Term, from mid April to late June or early July.
|A||Blue and Brown|
|B||Purple and Black|
|C||Pale Blue and Dark Blue|
|D||Blue and White|
|E||Pink and Black|
|F||Scarlet and Gold|
|G||Red and Dark Blue|
|H||Dark Green and Light Yellow|
|J||Light Blue and Coral|
|K||Green and White|
|L||Gold and Navy Blue|
Academic aspectsThe school was inspected by the independent schools' Inspectorate in February 2008. The inspection report rated the school's standard of education as "outstanding", the highest rating. There was a subsequent inspection by ISI in 2013.
In 2012, the Independent review of A level results, based on government issued statistics, ranked Radley 31st in the UK, ahead of Malvern, Harrow, Winchester, Tonbridge, Eton and Wellington By 2019 they were still in the top 100 but had dropped to 75th place.
SportsSports played at the College are rugby football in the Michaelmas Term, hockey, rowing and football in the Lent Term and cricket, rowing, lawn tennis, and athletics in the Summer Term.
Other sports played include: badminton, basketball, beagling, fencing, fives, lacrosse, rackets, real tennis, rugby sevens, squash and waterpolo.
RugbyRugby is the major sport of the Michaelmas Term. The school fields 21 rugby teams on most Saturdays of the Michaelmas term and some Thursdays.
RowingRadley is recognised for its rowing, having won events at Henley Royal Regatta on 6 occasions. Only Eton, Shrewsbury and St Edward's have won more events at the Regatta.
CricketCricket is played in the summer term. Some Old Radleians have progressed to play cricket for England or captain county level cricket teams. The cricket grounds have been described as 'arguably one of the best in the country' while the sporting facilities have been described as world class.
Hockey18 hockey teams are fielded during the lent term. Teams train on three astroturf pitches and a full sized indoor hockey pitch. Radley takes part in the Independent Schools Hockey League.
Football12 football teams are fielded in the lent term. Radley competes in ISFA Southern Independent Schools Lent Term League. There is a yearly pre-season training camp before term starts.
Other SportsSports such as fives, rackets, sailing, badminton and polo are represented, as well as scuba diving. A real tennis court opened in July 2008, which made Radley College the only school in the world to have fives, squash, badminton, tennis, racquets, and real tennis courts all on campus.
Southern Railway Schools ClassThe school lent its name to the thirty-first steam locomotive in the Southern Railway's Class V of which there were 40. This Class was also known as the Schools Class because all 40 of the class were named after prominent English public schools. 'Radley', as it was called, was built in 1934 and was withdrawn in 1962. A nameplate from 930, Radley, is now displayed in the stationery department of Shop.
List of Wardens
- The Rev R C Singleton
- The Rev W B Heathcote
- The Rev W M Sewell
- R W Norman
- William Wood
- C Martin
- R J Wilson
- Henry Lewis Thompson
- T Field
- Gordon Selwyn
- Adam Fox
- W H Ferguson
- J C Vaughan Wilkes
- W M M Milligan
- D R W Silk
- Richard Morgan
- Angus McPhail
- John Moule
- Boyd Alexander, the African traveller and ornithologist.
- James Bachman, comic writer and actor.
- Merton Barker, cricketer and field hockey player
- Harry Bicket, conductor.
- C. E. Bowden, pilot and pioneer of IC engined model flight and radio control.
- Gerald Brenan, writer.
- William Burdett-Coutts, producer Assembly Festival
- James Burton, conductor and composer.
- Richard Toby Coke, UKIP politician.
- Collingwood Tinling, builder of first jet engine.
- William Collins, author and cricketer
- Peter Cook, comedian.
- Tim Crooks, Olympic rower,
- Jamie Dalrymple, cricketer.
- Ted Dexter, cricketer.
- Alexander Downer, former Australian Foreign Minister and former Australian High Commissioner to the Court of St James.
- Mark Durden-Smith, television presenter.
- Marc Edwards, sports correspondent with BBC World News.
- Ivan Ewart, British naval officer and charity worker.
- Jeremy Flint, bridge player.
- George Freeman, Conservative Member of Parliament for Mid Norfolk.
- Andrew Gant, choirmaster and composer.
- Richard Gibson, actor, best known as Herr Flick in the BBC series 'Allo 'Allo!.
- Nicholas Hannen actor
- Robert Hall, BBC Special Correspondent.
- Noel Harrison English actor & member of the British Olympic skiing team in the 1950s.
- Simon Hart, Conservative Member of Parliament for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire
- Christopher Hibbert, historian.
- Cyril Holland, son of Oscar Wilde.
- George Hollingbery, Conservative Member of Parliament for Thirsk and Malton
- Charles Howard, 20th Earl of Suffolk, pioneering bomb disposal expert in the Second World War
- Alan Huggins, Hong Kong judge
- Ben Hutton, cricketer.
- Jamie Laing, Reality TV star of Made in Chelsea.
- Thomas Langford-Sainsbury, air vice marshal
- Desmond Llewelyn, actor best known for playing Q in many James Bond films.
- James Lovegrove, SF novelist.
- Dick Lucas, evangelical Anglican preacher
- Sir Edgar Ludlow-Hewitt, air chief marshal
- James Charles Macnab of Macnab, soldier and chief of Clan Macnab.
- Sir George Mallaby, public servant, High Commissioner to New Zealand.
- Robert Marshall, cricketer
- Sir Charlie Mayfield MBA, CEO of Waitrose and John Lewis Partnership
- J.X. Merriman, South African statesman.
- Harold Monro, founder of the Poetry Bookshop.
- Andrew Motion, poet and former Poet Laureate.
- Andrew Nairne, director of Kettle's Yard.
- Sandy Nairne, director of the National Portrait Gallery.
- Owen Paterson, MP and former cabinet minister
- James Pearce, journalist and presenter for BBC Sport.
- Edgar Prestage, historian and Portuguese scholar.
- Dennis Price, actor.
- Michael Reeves, film director.
- S.H. Reynolds, clergyman.
- Professor Sir Mike Richards, UK National Cancer Director.
- Lord Scarman, judge.
- Brough Scott, horse racing journalist, radio and television presenter, and former jockey.
- Tom Shakespeare, sociologist and broadcaster.
- Clive Stafford Smith, campaigning lawyer.
- Andrew Strauss, cricketer.
- Will Stuart, rugby player.
- Jeremy Stuart-Smith, High Court judge.
- Sir Reginald Stubbs, colonial governor.
- Lieutenant Colonel Rupert Thorneloe, killed in action in Afghanistan on 1 July 2009
- Nigel Twiston-Davies, Cheltenham Gold Cup winning horse trainer.
- Peter Wildeblood, journalist and playwright and celebrated gay rights campaigner.
- Richard Wilson, Baron Wilson of Dinton, former UK Cabinet Secretary.
- Simon Wolfson, Baron Wolfson of Aspley Guise, CEO of Next plc
- Major General Sir Edward Woodgate, who died of wounds sustained during the Battle of Spion Kop.
- Charles Worsley, cricketer.
- Ivor Vincent, British diplomat