Radley College

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.


Radley 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 Terms

There are three academic terms in the year,
Houses at Radley are called Socials. There are 10 Socials at Radley; all 10 Socials are all boarding houses. Each Social has around 70 boys. L social is being built and is becoming a house in September 2020. They are distinguished by the colours of the pupils' ties and gowns.
ABlue and Brown
BPurple and Black
CPale Blue and Dark Blue
DBlue and White
EPink and Black
FScarlet and Gold
GRed and Dark Blue
HDark Green and Light Yellow
JLight Blue and Coral
KGreen and White
LGold and Navy Blue

Academic aspects

The 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.


Sports 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.


Rugby is the major sport of the Michaelmas Term. The school fields 21 rugby teams on most Saturdays of the Michaelmas term and some Thursdays.


Radley 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.


Cricket 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.


18 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.


12 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 Sports

Sports 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 Class

The 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