Repton School

Repton School

Repton School
Motto Porta Vacat Culpa
(Latin: "The gate is free from blame")
  • Bequest made: 1557
  • Land for school acquired: 1559
Type Independent day and Boarding School
Religion Anglican
Chaplain Adam Watkinson
Chairman of Governors Sir Henry Every Bt
Founder Sir John Port
Location Repton
DfE URN 113009 Tables
Students ~600
Gender Coeducational
Ages 13–18
Houses 10

Navy and Yellow

Preparatory School Repton Preparatory School
Former pupils Old Reptonians

Repton School is a co-educational English independent school for both day and boarding pupils located in the village of Repton, Derbyshire, in the English Midlands. The bequest to found a school either at Etwall or Repton was made in 1557, with the site of the former Repton Priory being acquired in 1559.


  • History 1
    • Motto 1.1
  • Today 2
    • Sports 2.1
    • Repton International Schools Ltd 2.2
      • Repton School Dubai 2.2.1
      • Repton School Abu Dhabi 2.2.2
      • Foremarke Dubai 2.2.3
      • Recent Events 2.2.4
      • Social Media 2.2.5
  • Film and TV settings 3
  • Notable Old Reptonians 4
  • Headmasters 5
  • Gallery 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


The school was founded at the bequest of Sir John Port of Etwall, who died on 6 June 1557.[1] Port left funds to found a Grammar School either at Etwall or Repton, on the condition that the students of the school pray daily for the souls of his parents and relatives.[1] Two years after Sir John's death, in 1559, the executors of his will purchased the site of Repton Priory from the Thacker family, for £37. 10s.

Repton Priory was a 12th-century Augustinian Priory, which had been dissolved in 1538. The abbey church and associated buildings had remained standing as the residence of the Thacker family until 1553, when then owner, Gilbert Thacker, fearing the priory would be recommissioned under Catholic Queen Mary I, had the church destroyed; a task that was almost entirely completed within a single day.[2][3] Thacker claimed "He would destroy the nest, for fear the birds should build therein again."[2] Thus when the land was acquired, only parts of the original priory buildings remained.[4][5] Fragments of the prior's lodgings, dated c.1438, were incorporated into a later building; the majority of this building dates from the 17th century and was comprehensively altered in the 19th century.[4][6][7] Foundations of other areas of the priory remain in several areas, having been uncovered during construction work in 1922: the bases of a cluster of columns remain of the former chancel and chapels; fragments of an arch remain, belonging to the former pulpitum, which were moved to their current position in 1906;[5] and fragments of the door surrounds of both the chapter house and warming room also survive.[4][7] The largest portion of the priory to survive is known as "Prior Overton's Tower", which dates from after 1437; largely altered from its original state, it has been incorporated into a largely 19th-century building.[8]

The School Arch. Formerly part of Repton Priory, it was moved to its current position in 1906.[5]
The Chapel

Repton Preparatory School was founded in 1940 and moved to nearby Foremarke Hall in 1947.

In 1970, Repton School, formerly only for boys, started accepting girls in the sixth form (the last two years). One of the first female sixth formers, Carole Blackshaw, was Lady Mayoress of London in 2002/03.[9] Repton became fully coeducational around 1990.


The school's motto, Porta Vacat Culpa ("the gate is free from blame"), is a quotation from Ovid's Fasti.[10] 'The gate' (Porta) refers to the school's arch[11] and, by a synecdoche of pars pro toto, the school itself, whilst also being a pun on the name of the school's founder, Sir John Port.[12]


The school caters for those aged 13 to 18, and has around 660 students, of whom 451 are boarders.[13] The school is divided into 10 houses, 6 for boys and 4 for girls.[14]

The Rep Theatre Company is an active theatre group composed of current and ex students. The most recent production of Equus is taking place in August 2015.[15]

As of the 2014–2015 academic year, the school's fees were £10,547 per term (£31,641 per year) for boarding students, and £7,825 per term (£23,475 per year) for day students.[16]


The school has a long sporting tradition and alumni include Wimbledon tennis finalist, Bunny Austin, and a number of first-class cricketers.[17] The school competes in a variety of sports including football, Field hockey, athletics, Rugby and tennis. Repton School holds the titles of Reigning National Girls U16 Indoor Champions and Girls U18 Outdoor and Indoor Champions.[18][19] In 2013 Repton School laid claim to a slice of hockey history after six former pupils played in the same international match.[20]

Repton International Schools Ltd

RISL was set up to establish, develop and maintain British international schools and currently has three schools in the UAE.[21]

Repton School Dubai

On 24 January 2006, Repton School announced plans to launch a new boarding school in Dubai; an initiative of the Dubai Education Council.[22] The school opened to the public in September 2007. The school is similar in many aspects of its teaching to Repton School. It is situated on a 50-acre (200,000 m2) site in Nad al Sheba and, according to the Good Schools Guide International, enjoys "very expensive facilities".[23] Houses in Repton Dubai include Foremarke, School, Dahl, Orchard, Brook, New, Latham and Jumeirah.

Repton School Abu Dhabi

Repton announced in March 2013 that it will be opening a similar campus on Al Reem Island, Abu Dhabi, in September 2013. The campus is scheduled to open in September 2014, and is expected cover 7,000 square metres.[24]

Foremarke Dubai

[25] Foremarke Dubai opened in 2013 and is located in Dubiotech, Al Barsha South.

Recent Events

In November 2014, the School held a week-long programme of events to commemorate the Great War and to Remember the 355 Old Reptonians who fell in the conflict.[26] Click the link below to visit the gallery of photos from the Exhibition.

Social Media

Repton School has a very active Twitter account which broadcasts real-time news from the school.[27]

Film and TV settings

The exterior of Repton School was used to represent the fictional Brookfield School in both the 1939 film and the 1984 BBC television drama version of Goodbye, Mr. Chips, while Sherborne School was the location in the 1969 musical version.[28][29] Around 200 Repton boys stayed at the School during the holidays in order to appear as extras in the 1939 film.[30]

Notable Old Reptonians


  • Thomas Whitehead (1621–1639)[63]
  • Philip Ward (1639–1642)[63]
  • William Ullock (1642–1667)[63]
  • Joseph Sedgwicke (1667–1672)[63]
  • Edward Letherland (1672–1681)[63]
  • John Doughty (1681–1705)[63]
  • Edward Abbot (1705–1714)[63]
  • Thomas Gawton (1714–1723)[63]
  • William Dudson (1723–1724)[63]
  • George Fletcher (1724–1741)[63]
  • William Asteley (1741–1767)[63]
  • William Prior (1767–1779)[63][64]
  • William Bagshaw Stevens (1779–1800)[63][64]
  • William Boultbee Sleath (1800–1830)[63][64]
  • John Heyrick Macaulay (1830–1840)[63][64]
  • Reverend Thomas Williamson Peile (1841–1854)
  • Steuart Adolphus Pears (1854–1874)
  • Henry Robert Huckin (1874–1882)
  • William Mordaunt Furneaux (1883–1900)
  • Hubert Burge (1900–1901)
  • Lionel Ford (1901–1910)



  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ a b 'Houses of Austin canons: The priory of Repton, with the cell of Calke', A History of the County of Derby: Volume 2 (1907), pp. 58-63. URL: Date accessed: 08 June 2013
  3. ^ Repton Church: Our Church - Christianity in Repton
  4. ^ a b c
  5. ^ a b c Pastscape - Detailed Result: PRIORY GATEWAY
  6. ^
  7. ^ a b
  8. ^ English Heritage listing for "Repton Hall with Prior Overton's Tower, Repton School"
  9. ^ a b
  10. ^ , book 2FastiOvid's , line 204
  11. ^ Repton School website
  12. ^ article entitled "Pro Pelle Cutem, The Hudson's Bay Company Motto" by E. E. Rich in Manitoba Pageant, April 1961, Volume 6, Number 3
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ Repton Pilgrims 1st Class cricketers
  18. ^
  19. ^ 7 January 2010Repton School uphold reputation for hockey excellenceDaily Telegraph Archived 13 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^ Repton Dubai Website
  23. ^ Good Schools Guide International, accessed Sept 2008
  24. ^ Top UK school comes to Reem Island this September
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^ Movies made in the Midlands, accessed March 2011
  29. ^ Repton, Derbyshire, accessed March 2011
  30. ^ 1930s: A year of tragedy and war worries, accessed March 2011
  31. ^ Harold Abrahams' Blue Plaque details
  32. ^
  33. ^ Harry Altham Biography at
  34. ^ Siddique latest off the impressive Repton production line
  35. ^
  36. ^
  37. ^
  38. ^ Daily TelegraphJohn Cornforth's obituary in the
  39. ^
  40. ^
  41. ^
  42. ^
  43. ^ Person Page 18417
  44. ^ 20 May 1932 - THE WORLD OF BOOKS REVIEWS
  45. ^ Walter Franklin | England Cricket | Cricket Players and Officials | ESPN Cricinfo
  46. ^
  47. ^ The Death of C.B. Fry | History Today
  48. ^ Biography - Sir Charles Henry Gairdner - Australian Dictionary of Biography
  49. ^ Debi Allen Associates - Clients - Graeme Garden
  50. ^
  51. ^
  52. ^ Jonathan Harvey - Short Biography - Music Sales Classical
  53. ^ The Home of CricketArchive
  54. ^ BBC Sport - Derby's Will Hughes - the Championship's latest sensation
  55. ^
  56. ^ Basil Rathbone biography
  57. ^ Robinson, Patrick Horsetrader ISBN 0-00-638105-7 (paperback, 1993)
  58. ^ obituaryTimesRobert Sangster's
  59. ^
  60. ^ Georgie Twigg
  61. ^
  62. ^ Ellie Watton
  63. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Robert Bigsby Historical and Topographical Description of Repton Woodfall and Kinder 1854
  64. ^ a b c d Repton Church Monuments
  65. ^ Dahl, Roald "Boy" ISBN 0-435-12300-9 (hardcover, 1986) (see also Boy: Tales of Childhood)
  66. ^ Repton School head teacher Robert Holroyd has to step down due to 'ill health'

External links

  • Repton School website
  • Repton Preparatory School website
  • Old Reptonian Society
  • Repton Dubai website
  • ISBI Information on Repton School
  • 2009 ISI Inspection Report