Christ's Hospital

Christ's Hospital
Motto Honour All Men, Love the Brotherhood, Fear God, Honour the King.
Established 1552
Type Independent boarding school
Religion Church of England
President Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester
Headmaster John Franklin
Deputy Head Marlene Fleming and Jon Perriss
Chairman of the Council of Almoners Garry Johnson
Founder Edward VI
Location Horsham
West Sussex
RH13 0YP
United Kingdom
Coordinates: 51°02′39″N 0°21′47″W / 51.044167°N 0.363056°W / 51.044167; -0.363056
DfE URN 126107 Tables
Students 870: 435 girls & 435 boys (2015)[1]
Gender Coeducational
Ages 11–18
Houses 18 Boarding Houses

Blue & Yellow

Publications Housey!
The Blue
The Broadie
Patron Elizabeth II
Former pupils Old Blues
School Song Votum
The Foundation Hymn

Christ's Hospital, also called the Bluecoat School, Housey and CH, is an English coeducational independent day and boarding school with Royal Charter located in the Sussex countryside just south of Horsham in Horsham District, West Sussex, UK, that follows much of public schools tradition. It is a charity school, giving children from poorer backgrounds the chance to have a better education. The school was founded in the 16th century in Greyfriars, London and Ware, with the school moving in 1902 to its present location in West Sussex. A girls school was founded in Hertford which then merged with the boys school in the 1980s.

Charitable foundation

View of the Christ's Hospital quad towards dining hall. Picture taken from Big School
Westward photo of Quad and Front Avenue. (View from Art School)

In 2006 19% of children accepting places were assessed as being in "very high" need, 64% in "medium to high" need and 17% in "low" need.[2]

The trustees of the foundation are the Council of Almoners, chaired by the Treasurer of Christ's Hospital, who govern the foundation according to a Scheme of Administration granted by the Charity Commission. The historic Court of Governors survives as a formal institution consisting of over 650 benefactors but its powers have since the 19th century been largely transferred to the smaller Council of Almoners.

In 2007 Christ's Hospital was separated into two related registered charities: Christ's Hospital Foundation[3] and Christ's Hospital School.[4]


Admission of pupils is either by open competitive examination or by "show of skills" — in either case the suitability of candidates is judged according to criteria of need and parental income. Some of the means of entry are denoted on the uniform by a round metal plate (varying in design according to type of presentation) sewn on the breast of the housey coat.


Christ's Hospital's buildings in London in 1770
This early 19th-century picture shows the Great Hall on St. Matthew's Day, 21 September. On this day, two Grecians destined for scholarships to Oxford and Cambridge Universities gave orations in praise of the school, one in Latin and the other in English. The Verrio painting can be seen along the wall on the right.
The composer Constant Lambert as a pupil, wearing the traditional uniform


The school's Tudor uniform consists of belted, long blue coats with knee-breeches, yellow socks, and bands at the neck. The uniform has been in place since 1552.[5] The nickname "Blue-coat School" comes from the blue coats worn by the students – however, the nickname used within the school community itself is "Housey" and the long coat is called a "housey coat".[6]

By 2011 students and alumni stated that they see the uniform as an important way of giving the school a unique identity and unifying the school. Around that time the administrators had discussed the idea of updating the uniform. A few of the school's 800 students voted; over 95% voted in favour of keeping the original uniform.[5]

The dining hall with many spectators at the front watching the band play during the Beating Retreat

Christ's Hospital Model United Nations (MUN) programme attempts to develop global citizenship amongst the next generation of world thinkers and leaders, and also ordinary pupils. Its team debates international affairs at conferences, and organises its own for students from other schools.[7][8]

Christ's Hospital was featured in the first series of the reality television programme Rock School, in which Gene Simmons of Kiss helped a group of pupils form their own rock band.[9]

The Christ's Hospital Band participating in the Lord Mayor's Show in 2008


An Arts Centre complex (architect: Bill Howell) was opened in 1974 including a theatre with Tudor style auditorium, music school extension, Octagon rehearsal/performance space and classrooms.

The Christ's Hospital Arts Centre served as a principal arts venue for Horsham and the surrounding area until the establishment of an arts centre in Horsham in the 1980s. A programme of performances continues to be open to the public. Former notable pupils in theatre and film include Jason Flemyng, Leo Gregory,[10] James D'Arcy, Michael Wilding, and Roger Allam.

ISI inspection

In late November 2012, Christ’s Hospital underwent a whole school inspection carried out by the Independent Schools’ Inspectorate (ISI). The school was rated “excellent” (the top grade) in the report released in January 2013. The optional term 'Exceptional' was not used. The report also said: (ii) Recommendation for further improvement 2.6 The school is advised to make the following improvement. 1. Ensure, through consistent monitoring by its academic leaders, the highest standards of teaching in all subject areas.[11]


View of Grecians East

The house system is incorporated with the boarding programme and most pupils are boarders. The school houses are named after notable Old Blues, primarily writers. Each house has an "A" and "B" side, each housing roughly 45 pupils arranged from west to east as follows:

Old Blues


Notable members of staff have included:

See also


  1. "CH AT A GLANCE | Christ's Hospital". Retrieved 2016-01-25.
  2. Council of Almoners Annual Review 2005/2006
  3. Charity Commission. CHRIST'S HOSPITAL FOUNDATION, registered charity no. 306975.
  4. Charity Commission. CHRIST'S HOSPITAL SCHOOL, registered charity no. 1120090.
  5. 1 2 "Students Vote to Keep Tudor Uniform." British Heritage 32, no. 2 (May 2011): 10. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed 27 August 2011).
  6. "London Metropolitan Archives : Information Leaflet Number 29 : Records of Christ's Hospital and Bluecoats Schools" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-01-25.
  7. "Christ's Hospital Model United Nations". Retrieved 2016-01-25.
  8. "Host of awards at conference ceremony for pupils - West Sussex County Times". 2013-06-28. Retrieved 2016-01-25.
  9. Archived 17 October 2015 at the Wayback Machine.
  10. Hodgkinson, Will (11 November 2005). "How I found my inner hippy". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 29 April 2010.
  11. "Christ's Hospital - ISI - Independent Schools Inspectorate". Retrieved 2016-01-25.
  12. Christ's Hospital, G.A.T. Allan, Shepperton 1984, ISBN 0-86364-005-2


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