Eltham College

This article is about the school in London, England. For the school in Research, Australia, see Eltham College (Victoria).
Eltham College
Motto Gloria Filiorum Patres ("The glory of sons is their fathers" – Proverbs 17: 6)
Established 1842
Type Independent day school
Headmaster Guy Sanderson
Location Grove Park Road
Local authority Bromley
DfE URN 101693 Tables
Students 870
Gender Boys (with coeducational sixth form)
Ages 7–18
Houses      Carey
Former Pupils Old Elthamians
Website www.eltham-college.org.uk

Eltham College is an independent school situated in Mottingham in south-east London. Eltham and Mottingham once formed part of the same parish, hence its name.

Early history

The school dates back to the early Victorian era, when it was founded as the London Missionary Society's School for the Sons and Orphans of Missionaries. A girls' school had been established in Walthamstow in 1838 and a boys' school was opened in the same place at the beginning of 1842. The boys' school later relocated to Mornington Crescent in 1852 and then to a purpose-built location in the centre of Blackheath in 1857[1] (the old school building became the headquarters of the Church Army and is now a private hospital). Missionary David Livingstone sent his sons to the school while it was in Blackheath.[2]

Current site

The school moved to its present site - centred on an 18th-century mansion (Fairy Hall) in Mottingham - in 1912. The building had previously been used by the Royal Naval School from 1889 to the end of the summer term in 1910.

Eltham College began life as a small boarding school catering for children of missionaries serving overseas, mainly in India, China and Africa. From 1945 to 1976 Eltham was a Direct Grant school; thus, for example, the 1952 intake was roughly 20 pupils from London County Council schools and 20 from Kent schools (all 40 of these on scholarships), and 20 fee-payers. When the Direct Grant system was abolished in 1976, the school chose to go fully independent. Since the 1950s, the college has become primarily a day school for boys. The sixth form has been co-educational since 1981. Reflecting the origins of the school, each of the four houses is named after a prominent LMS or BMS missionary, namely Carey, Livingstone, Chalmers and Moffat; coloured blue, green, red and yellow respectively.

The school buildings have been progressively modernised and extended over the last few decades, with the addition of new sports facilities, science labs, theatre, a music school and Junior School facilities. A floodlit astroturf hockey pitch has also been recently opened, and the dining hall doubled in size. The grounds now cover over 60 acres.

Mandarin Chinese is now taught at Eltham College.



The school's headmasters at Blackheath[3] were:



The previous Headmaster, Paul Henderson, continued the school's programme of building and development started by Christopher Waller, including major redevelopment to the Junior School and Music School, and a car park in front of the College. The most recent addition is the Gerald Moore Art Gallery, built at the back of the school near the Eric Liddell Sports Centre. Named after the Old Elthamian Gerald Moore who provided part of the funding, it displays his work as well as that of students and other artists. The gallery opened in the spring of 2012.

There are currently plans to rebuild the language department, as well as the sixth form gallery. Building is set to start in 2015/16.

Notable Old Elthamians

(in alphabetical order)

References and sources

  1. Rhind, N. (1993) Blackheath Village & Environs, 1790-1990, Vol.1 The Village and Blackheath Vale (Bookshop Blackheath, London), p.117.
  2. 1 2 Rhind, N. (1993) Blackheath Village & Environs, 1790-1990, Vol.1 The Village and Blackheath Vale (Bookshop Blackheath, London), p.118.
  3. Rhind, N. (1993) Blackheath Village & Environs, 1790-1990, Vol.1 The Village and Blackheath Vale (Bookshop Blackheath, London), p.119.
  4. Obituary from The Independent
  5. Evening Standard, 6 May 2010, "The brash voice of LBC"

Coordinates: 51°26′17″N 0°02′20″E / 51.438°N 0.039°E / 51.438; 0.039

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