The History Of Reed's School

Reed’s is a successful independent day and boarding school, providing an education for just under 800 pupils between 11 and 18, with girls in the Sixth Form.  The charitable Foundation remains an integral part of our ethos today, instilling in our pupils – past and present – many important values including respect, integrity, kindness and compassion.

The Reed’s Foundation was established in 1813 by the Rev Dr Andrew Reed.  With financial support from the City of London and other dignitaries, Rev Reed founded the London Orphan Asylum in Shoreditch.  Its raison d’être was to care and provide an education for destitute children, boys and girls, who had lost both parents or their father, with the mother unable to provide for them.

Based in Clapton from 1825, in 1871 the school moved to Watford. Just prior to the start of World War II it was renamed Reed’s School and the boys were evacuated to Totnes in Devon - girls to Towcester in Northamptonshire. After the War in 1946, the girls moved to a separate school, Dogmersfield in Hampshire, and the boys took up residency at our current site in Cobham, Surrey.

All through this time, Reed’s was a boarding Foundation School where all of the pupils were funded on bursaries with support mainly provided by companies within the City of London. However, after 1958, for financial reasons and to enable the work of the Foundation to continue, the School expanded to take fee-paying boarders and, in the mid 1960s, day pupils.

Read more about the Foundation

Royal Patronage

In 1815 HM King George IV ‘accorded his blessing’ by becoming the first Royal Patron of the School, a tradition which has continued to date.


1815    Edward, Duke of Kent
1817    Augustus, Duke of Sussex
1819    Victoria, Duchess of Kent
1819    King Leopold I of Belgium
1821    The King of Hanover
1822    Frederick, Duke of York
1823    King George IV
1826    Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge
1826    King William IV
1837    Queen Victoria
1843    The Prince Consort
1856    King Edward VII
1870    Queen Alexandra
1910    King George V
1936    King George VI
1951    Queen Elizabeth II

Reed's In The News

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