Lawrence Sheriff School


Lawrence Sheriff School is a boys'
grammar school A grammar school is one of several different types of school A school is an educational institution designed to provide learning spaces and learning environments for the teaching of students under the direction of teachers. Most coun ...
Rugby Rugby may refer to: Sports Rugby codes * Rugby football in various forms: ** Rugby league: 13 players per side *** Masters Rugby League *** Mod league *** Rugby league nines *** Rugby league sevens *** Touch (sport) *** Wheelchair rugby league ** ...
Warwickshire Warwickshire (; abbreviated Warks) is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first published by William Chambers ( ...

, England. The school is named after
Lawrence Sheriff Lawrence Sheriff (or Sheriffe) (c. 1515 or 1516 – September 1567) was an Elizabethan The Elizabethan era is the epoch in the Tudor period of the history of England during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I (1558–1603). Historians often depict ...
, the
Elizabethan The Elizabethan era is the epoch in the Tudor period The Tudor period occurred between 1485 and 1603 in and includes the during the of until 1603. The Tudor period coincides with the dynasty of the in England whose first monarch was ...
founder of
Rugby School Rugby School is a public school (English independent Independent or Independents may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Artist groups * Independents (artist group), a group of modernist painters based in the New Hope, Pennsylvania, a ...
. The school's name is often shortened to 'LSS', or often just 'Sheriff'. The school has historically run in partnership with Rugby High School for Girls, a nearby grammar school.



Lawrence Sheriff School was founded to fulfil Lawrence Sheriff's original intentions to provide a school for the boys of
Rugby Rugby may refer to: Sports Rugby codes * Rugby football in various forms: ** Rugby league: 13 players per side *** Masters Rugby League *** Mod league *** Rugby league nines *** Rugby league sevens *** Touch (sport) *** Wheelchair rugby league ** ...
and neighbouring
Brownsover Brownsover is a residential and commercial area of Rugby, Warwickshire in England, about miles north of the town centre. The area is named after the original hamlet (place), hamlet of Brownsover. Since 1960, the area has been subsumed by the exp ...
, which was originally carried out by Rugby School. By the eighteenth century, Rugby School had acquired a national reputation as a public school and moved to its present site. As the proportion of pupils from outside Rugby increased and the people of the town seemed to benefit less from Lawrence Sheriff's original bequest, local concern led to the nineteenth-century proposal of a Lower School for local boys, with Foundation Scholarships to the Great School. The Lower School was opened in 1878 on the present site of Lawrence Sheriff School with a
curriculum In education Education is the process of facilitating , or the acquisition of , s, , morals, s, s, and personal development. Educational methods include , , , and directed . Education frequently takes place under the guidance of educat ...
designed to meet the needs of a commercial education and preparation for Rugby School. By 1906, a compromise between the traditions of the Foundation and a proposal to hand the school over to the county, led to a Governing body chaired by the
Headmaster A head teacher, head instructor, bureaucrat, headmaster, headmistress, head, chancellor, principal or school director (sometimes another title is used) is the staff member of a school with the greatest responsibility for the management Manag ...

of Rugby School and containing both Foundation and County Governors. The school was built on what before was
glebe Glebe (also known as church furlong, rectory manor or parson's close(s))McGurk 1970, p. 17 is an area of land within an ecclesiastical parish A parish is a territorial entity in many Christian Christians () are people who follow or adher ...
land named Market Field, at what was the east limit of the built-up area of Rugby.

Second World War

Due to the need for maximum food production within Britain during the
Second World War World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
, unproductive land (sports fields, large ornamental gardens, parks, golf courses, etc.) was requisitioned for farming or
allotment garden An allotment garden (British English), often called simply an allotment, or in North America, a community garden, is a plot of land made available for individual, non-commercial gardening or growing food plants. Such plots are formed by subdividi ...
s. In this period, the School Field and a third of the Hart Field were used in the grass growing season for sheep grazing but remained in school sport use. Most of the rest of the Hart Field was ploughed and used for growing
wheat Wheat is a grass widely cultivated for its seed, a cereal grain which is a worldwide staple food. The many species of wheat together make up the genus ''Triticum''; the most widely grown is common wheat Common wheat (''Triticum aestivum'' ...

, except a strip along the bottom edge border that was used for allotment gardens; that border was adjacent to existing allotment gardens which were outside the school property. Approximately one third of the school's sixth form lost their lives during the war.

Voluntary aided status

partnership A partnership is an arrangement where parties, known as business partner A business partner is a commercial entity with which another commercial entity has some form of Business alliance, alliance. This relationship may be a contractual, exclus ...

continued into
voluntary aided A voluntary aided school (VA school) is a state-funded school in England and Wales England and Wales () is a legal jurisdiction covering England and Wales, two of the four countries of the United Kingdom, parts of the United Kingdom. England and W ...
status under the 1944 Act. At the time the school opened, it was on the outskirts of
Rugby Rugby may refer to: Sports Rugby codes * Rugby football in various forms: ** Rugby league: 13 players per side *** Masters Rugby League *** Mod league *** Rugby league nines *** Rugby league sevens *** Touch (sport) *** Wheelchair rugby league ** ...
town, which in 1878 was much smaller than now. The original building (now called Big School), was extended in 1909 with science wings (now used for Chemistry and Physics) on each side. The school continued to grow with several extensions, including the Jubilee Wings (1926 and 1934), the library wing (1957), and major expansion in the early 1960s, which included new biology labs and a new gymnasium. Big School was badly damaged by a fire in 1980, but was immediately restored. The school
organ Organ may refer to: Biology * Organ (biology) In biology, an organ is a collection of Tissue (biology), tissues joined in a structural unit to serve a common function. In the biological organization , hierarchy of life, an organ lies betwee ...
was damaged beyond repair and was replaced. In September 2014 Lawrence Sheriff School converted to academy status, thus ending its status as a voluntary aided school.

Present day

Lawrence Sheriff School is now the selective boys' grammar school for Rugby and the surrounding area. The school also has an old boys society: the Old Laurentians. The school has been expanded greatly in the last fifteen years with the construction of a new sixth form centre and the conversion of Penrhos House, originally the sixth form
common room A common room is a type of shared lounge Lounge may refer to: Architecture * Lounge, the living room of a dwelling * Lounge, a public waiting area in a hotel's lobby (room), lobby * Lounge, a style of commercial alcohol-Bar (establishment), b ...

common room
, into a Music block, as well as the construction of a new Learning Resources Centre.


The school owns a playing field, Hart Field, a mile away east-southeastwards, with five Rugby football, Rugby pitches and changing rooms. Over the school year of 2009, the field was regenerated with new pitches created, including an Astroturf field, a new block of changing rooms, cricket nets and levelled playing fields. Following funding from Sport England, the school also houses a regional and local table tennis centre.

Academic performance

In 2008, 2010 and 2011 the school came first in national performance tables based upon data from the Department for Education (schools were ranked by their total points score in examinations). In 2012 it came fourth in the country and in 2013 it came seventh out of 3,200 secondary schools. In 2013 75% of boys gained the English Baccalaurate. Comparing this to local selective schools in the area 87% of King Edward VI pupils, 73% of Bablake pupils, 66% of Rugby High School pupils and 64% of Rugby School pupils gained the certificate. In 2014 97% of boys gained the English Baccalaurate, placing the school third in the country according to the performance tables published in the Daily Telegraph on Thursday 29 January. The same table showed that the school's average points score placed it fifteenth in the country. In January 2009 the school achieved an average point score of 792, whilst in January 2011 it came top again, with an average point score of 757.4.

Recent changes

The school operates a vertical tutoring system, in which forms consist of students from each year group. This was implemented to allow older students to mentor and support younger students. It also provides tutors with increased opportunities to support individual students and to check their progress more closely. Currently the new science building is underway. The school is partnering with Lutterworth High School in order to sponsor a primary school in the area. However, Peter Kent, the school's headmaster, stated that the new school will not become a feeder school for Lawrence Sheriff.

Notable Old Laurentians

Former pupils at the school are called Old Laurentians and include: * Steve Beebee – author and journalist * Arthur Bostrom – Crabtree in '''Allo 'Allo!'' (head boy at the school) * Will Carruthers – musician * Michael Claridge – professor of entomology at Cardiff University from 1983–99 and president of the Linnean Society of London from 1988–91 * Wayne Clarke (broadcaster), Wayne Clarke – award-winning broadcaster * Ben Croshaw – producer of Zero Punctuation * Valentine Cunningham – professor of English language and literature at the University of Oxford since 1996 * John L. Harper CBE – plant biologist * Thomas Hedley – media magnate * Robert George Spencer Hudson – geologist and president of the Paleontological Association from 1957–59 * Ralph Hudson Johnson FRSE (1933–1993) – neurologist * Mark Mapletoft – former England rugby player and season top point scorer in English rugby union premiership * David Mowat – Conservative MP for Warrington South from 2010–17 * Mark Pawsey – Conservative MP for Rugby (UK Parliament constituency), Rugby since 2010 * Jason Pierce – singer * Mike Powell (Warwickshire cricketer), Mike Powell – Warwickshire cricketer * Ric Todd – former List of Ambassadors from the United Kingdom to Poland, Ambassador to Poland (2007–11) and Governor of the Turks and Caicos Islands (20112013) * Andrew Rawnsley – political journalist * Walter Sweeney (politician), Walter Sweeney – Conservative MP for Vale of Glamorgan (UK Parliament constituency), Vale of Glamorgan from 1992–97 * Major-General (United Kingdom), Maj-Gen Anthony Trythall CB – director of Army Education from 1980–84 * Kevin Warwick – computer scientist * Norman Wooding CBE – chairman of Courtaulds from 1978–83


There are five houses: Caldecott (Purple), Simpson (Green), Tait (Red), Wheeler (Blue) and Kent (Yellow). There are many inter-house competitions between the five. These competitions can range from sports or academic competitions. At the end of each year, the house with the most points for each competition wins a trophy. In 2020, Kent house was established to fit the increasing number of students being admitted. Wheeler house was renamed from "School House" in 1963. Tait house was named after a local auctioneer and parent- Edwin Tait. In 1891, an altercation broke out between Mr Tait and the headmaster Mr Weisse over the flogging of his son. The situation was resolved and Mr Tait subsequently presented a cup for the Champion Athlete. Kent house was named after Dr Kent once headmaster who departed the school at the end of the 2021 autumn term.

Local Government Ombudsman Report

On 19 May 2014 the school was found at fault by the Local Government Ombudsman for failing to provide an appeal to a child whose place was withdrawn for 2013 entry.

Harassment against the school

In 2015 at the Coventry County Court, the School successfully applied for an injunction against a parent who for many years harassed senior members of the school through a number of different channels. The judge ruled that the parent had "crossed the boundary between unattractive or unreasonable conduct to conduct, which is, indeed, oppressive and unacceptable. It has plainly involved a deliberate and persistent course of, in my view, unreasonable and oppressive conduct, which was calculated to, and did, cause alarm, fear or distress…”

Other information

* The Parents' Association is in the Guinness Book of Records as the UK's oldest Parents Association. * The school has a partnership with
Rugby School Rugby School is a public school (English independent Independent or Independents may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Artist groups * Independents (artist group), a group of modernist painters based in the New Hope, Pennsylvania, a ...
and is twinned at Years 12 and 13 (the sixth form) of education with Rugby High School For Girls, Rugby High School


External links

The Old Laurentian Website

Regional Table Tennis Centre

Local Government Ombudsman Report 2014
{{Authority control Educational institutions established in 1878 Grammar schools in Warwickshire Boys' schools in Warwickshire People educated at Lawrence Sheriff School, Schools in Rugby, Warwickshire 1878 establishments in England Academies in Warwickshire