The school at Louth which eventually became King Edward VI Grammar School can lay claim to being one of the oldest in the country - we know that there was schooling in the town as early as the eighth century. The earliest direct mention of a school here in the middle ages comes in a reference to the Louth schoolmaster Simon de Luda in 1276. The school seems to have been financed by the town's religious and merchant guilds and by a charity established by Thomas of Louth in 1317.
With the dissolution of the religious guilds in 1548, the future of education in Louth, as in so many other market towns in England, was placed at risk. Leading figures in the town petitioned Edward VI to secure the school's future, and on 21st September 1551 the school was granted a royal charter under which it was handsomely endowed and a Foundation was set up to administer it. This Foundation (though, sadly, not the handsome endowments) continues today and works actively behind the scenes to support the school, most recently offering financial support to our successful bid to become a Specialist Science College.
During its long history the school has gone through many changes of character. Until the mid 1960s it was a boys' school. In 1903 a girls' grammar school was established close by and in 1965 the two schools amalgamated. At the same time it became a 14-18 school within the innovatory "Louth Plan", which saw a 14-18 selective school sitting alongside three 11-16 high schools in the town and its environs. This situation would continue until the mid-1990s when the "Louth Plan" finally fell apart, and in 1997 the school reverted to taking the full secondary age range.
Since 1944 the school has been within the state sector, originally as a Voluntary Controlled school. In 1991 it became Grant Maintained and then adopted Foundation status in 1998. In September 2003 it became a Specialist Science College and following recognition as a High Performing Specialist School in 2007 has taken on Languages as a further specialism. This does not mean that it has ceased to be a grammar school which aims for, and reaches, high standards across the full curriculum.
Amongst our former students we number Captain John Smith (1592-95), who went on to be the first elected governor of Virginia; Sir John Franklin (1797-1800) and Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1816-1820). In more modern times our students have included Chris Wright (founder and chairman of Chrysalis Group) and the leading academic, Professor Philip, the Lord Norton of Louth.
The School in the 21st Century has retained many traditions and since 2009 some older traditions that had been long lost have been restored by the current Headmaster James Lascelles. The School now meets on six occasions a year in St James' Church to celebrate the beginning of the Academic Year, Founder's Day, Remembrance Day, Carol Service, Easter Service, and the Leaver's Service in July for Year 13. Prefects and the position of Head Boy and Head Girl once banned by a former Headmaster in the 1970s have been restored to provide further opportunities for Leadership in the Sixth Form. However, it is doubtful that either the straw boater or prefect's cap will ever make a return, although a recent call for the school song to be resurrected is being considered.
Whilst the site has retained many of its traditional buildings, new development continues. Foundation House, once only used by boarders at the School has now had the back section renovated to house the Art Department. The front of Foundation House is to be the subject of the next extensive restoration to enable the Humanities department to move in and take up residence by 2014. In addition, the former Art department, or Science block, located on the main car park was converted into a Sixth Form Centre during the course of 2012/13 and a multi-million pound new build refectory, performance space and Mathematics department is due to open in Autumn 2015.
The School has a flourishing House system and each House is named after one of our former students.
To find out more about each of these famous individuals click on each of the pictures