Parmiter's School

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Parmiter's School is a co-educational school with academy status in Garston, Hertfordshire on the outskirts of North West London, England with a long history. Although the school admits pupils of all abilities it is partially selective (see below). It is currently the most oversubscribed school in Hertfordshire, and has often been recognised by the DfES for being one of the highest performing schools in the country by value added and score as a mixed ability school.


Thomas Parmiter was a wealthy silk merchant in East London, who died in 1681. He left two farms in southwest Suffolk in his will to provide £30 per annum for six almshouses and £100 per annum for "one free school house or room for ten poor children" in Bethnal Green, London. Mrs Elizabeth Carter donated land for the school and an annual income of £10, while William Lee donated £100 for the building of a school house and a further annual £10. The building in St John Street (now Grimsby Street) was completed in 1722. Over the years the Trustees of Thomas Parmiter's Estate looked after its investments carefully. A notably prescient move was the purchase in 1723 of property in Cambridge Heath using money lent by Edward Mayhew.<ref name="Fletcher">Template:Cite book</ref>

By 1730 the school accommodated 30 boys, growing to 50 in 1809. In 1839 it moved to new premises in Gloucester Street (now Parmiter Street) after the original site was acquired by the Eastern Counties Railway. (These buildings were destroyed by bombing during World War II.) Peter Renvoize left the foundation the sum of £500 on his death in 1842.<ref name="Fletcher"/>

In 1870, the Great Eastern Railway acquired most of the Cambridge Heath property for the sum of £27,000. The Charity Commission, acting under the Endowed Schools Act 1869, forced a new constitution on the foundation, directing one third of the income to the almshouses and two thirds to the school, which was by this time providing secondary education to 70 boys. Fees were to be introduced, with 40 foundation scholarships for boys from St Matthew's parish, Bethnal Green.

thumb.]] The Gloucester Street school closed in 1885, reopening in new buildings in Approach Road (Template:Coord) in 1887. In 1913 a revised constitution created separate foundations for the school and the almshouses. The Parmiter phoenix was designed by W.A. Cross for the 40th anniversary of the Approach Road school in 1927. In 1951 the school became a voluntary aided grammar school. In 1966 and 1967 it successfully resisted plans by the Inner London Education Authority to merge it with St Jude's Church of England School to form a comprehensive school. Parmiter's Grammar School had grown to 525 boys by 1976, but the days of the grammar school were numbered.<ref name="Fletcher"/>

In that year the Governors placed before the Secretary of State for Education and Science a proposal to build a mixed comprehensive school on a new site in Garston, Hertfordshire, which was approved in February 1977. The first intake of 1st Year students entered the Hertfordshire School in September 1977 and expanded by annual intakes until the full complement of forms from 1st Year (Year 7) to Upper Sixth (Year 13) had been achieved in September 1983. Parmiter's School in Garston was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II on 11 December 1981, the year of the Tercentenary of Thomas Parmiter's bequest. The grammar school in Bethnal Green closed in the same year. The school acquired grant maintained status in 1991, and returned to voluntary aided status in September 1999.<ref name="Fletcher"/>

In both 2005 and 2006, the current Year 12 football team reached the final of the ESFA National Cup, narrowly losing twice.

In April 2010, Parmiter's School hosted Any Questions?, a topical debate on the elections, broadcast on BBC Radio 4.

Performance of School

The Financial Times Secondary School rankings 2011 showed Parmiter's in 278th place out of 2190 schools. <ref name="Financial Times">Secondary Schools 2011, Financial Times, 2011.</ref>

The Evening Standard places Parmiter's School in 54th place out of 269 state schools in south-east England in 2010 based upon GCSE and A-Level results.<ref name="Evening Standard">State School GCSE Results, London Evening Standard, 2010.</ref>

The Ofsted inspection in September 2011 found that Parmiter's was "an outstanding school with an outstanding sixth form."<ref name="Ofsted">Ofsted Inspection Report, Ofsted, 21–22 September 2011.</ref>


The school used to be highly selective (though always taking siblings regardless of ability, so making it technically a non-selective school), however following a judgment by the School Adjudicator for England the school was forced to cap its intake based on academic ability at 25%.Template:Citation needed

Recent Changes

On 1 September 2010, Nick Daymond, the headteacher at Roundwood Park School in Harpenden, replaced Brian Coulshed, who stepped down after 18 years at the school.

Notable former pupils

Former pupils of the boys' grammar school in Bethnal Green:

  • John Crow (former governor of the Bank of Canada)
  • Terence Knapp (actor, director, educator, and author)
  • Alfie Stokes (professional footballer)
  • Tommy Walsh (TV gardener, Ground Force)
  • Geoffrey Woolley (Victoria Cross recipient) attended the school up to the age of 10.
  • Alp Mehmet (UK Ambassador to Iceland)
  • Graham Stilwell (England no.2 tennis player)
  • Dave Pearson (painter)

Former pupils of the mixed comprehensive in Hertfordshire:

  • Nick Leeson (single-handedly responsible for the bankruptcy of Barings Bank)
  • Jordan Parkes (former Watford F.C. now Barnet F.C. footballer)
  • Captain Everything! (punk rock band)
  • Steven Finn (Middlesex and England cricketer)
  • Harry Crawford (footballer) (Southend United F.C. Professional Footballer)
  • Tom Carroll (English footballer)
  • Nathan Byrne (English footballer)
  • Will Cozens (The Capital FM Network Radio DJ)
  • Ben Lewis (Entrepreneur of the Year ACCLTD Awards 2012)

Notable teachers

  • Stuart Bates (member of pop band The Divine Comedy)
  • Lewis Froy (member of punk rock band Captain Everything!)
  • Guy Williams (creator of many of the extraordinary highly detailed models at Pendon Museum)



Template:Schools in Hertfordshire