Sutton Valence School

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Sutton Valence School
Svs from above.jpg
Motto My trust is in God alone
Established 1576
Type Independent school
Religion Anglican
Headmaster Bruce Grindlay
Visitor Archbishop of Canterbury
Chair Lady Elizabeth Vallance
Founder William Lambe
Location Maidstone
ME17 3HL
51°12′52″N 0°35′37″E / 51.2145°N 0.5935°E / 51.2145; 0.5935Coordinates: 51°12′52″N 0°35′37″E / 51.2145°N 0.5935°E / 51.2145; 0.5935
Gender Coeducational
Ages 3–18
Houses 4 boarding houses
Colours Blue, black and silver
Publication The Suttonian
The Young Suttonian
The Old Suttonian
Expired Motto Floreat Suttona
Latin: Let Sutton flourish
Former pupils Old Suttonians

Sutton Valence School (SVS) is an independent school near Maidstone in southeast England. It has 520 pupils. It is a co-educational day and boarding school. There are three senior boarding houses: Westminster, St Margaret's and Sutton, and one junior Beresford.


The school was founded in 1576 as the Free Grammar School of William Lambe in Sutton Valence, by William Lambe, Master of the Worshipful Company of Clothworkers and a member of the Chapel Royal of Henry VIII.[1] It remained under the control of the Worshipful Company of Clothworkers until 1910 when it was taken under the control of United Westminster Schools, a charitable trust which also incorporates Emanuel School and Westminster City School in London.[2]

In 1983, the school became co-educational and in 1995 it incorporated Underhill Preparatory School. It is now a co-educational day and boarding school catering for pupils from three to eighteen years of age. It has local and overseas pupils.

The school has gone through renovation and expansion, building a new maths block, theatre, indoor swimming pool, second astro pitch and an all-weather track and field facility. The sports hall is dedicated to Sydney Wooderson, a former pupil and Olympic athlete who held the world record for the mile.

Boarding houses

On 21 July 1911, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Randall Davidson, opened the new buildings, comprising the Main School and the St Margaret's, or Headmaster's Wing. The Westminster Wing was still under construction. The site had previously been leased to the school by the Filmer family as a playing field before the acquisition of the 'Upper' and subsequently used as the village recreation ground. It has been purchased outright by a Master of the Clothworkers’, W. E. Horne, and presented to the new governing body.[3][4]

Upper School houses derive their names from the City of Westminster Schools Association. Leslie Bridges, the first housemaster of Westminster lent his name to the nickname of "Ponts". St Margaret's is named after the Westminster Parish Church, dedicated to St Margaret of Antioch.[5]

House name House colour Colours
Westminster Black and silver
St Margarets Black and maroon
Sutton Black and gold


The CCF and the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme (DofE) are for pupils in Year 9 and above. CCF courses are supplemented by termly field days offering overnight camps, exercises and adventure training. DofE members undertake service in the community and expeditions. Pupils in Year 10 and Year 11 can opt out of this provision and study for a creative subject in GCSE. The CCF meets on a Wednesday afternoon. Each afternoon is started by a Contingent parade outside the School's Cornwallis Building. The CCF train on Field Days at military bases. Sutton Valence School CCF is affiliated to the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment.[6]

Coat of arms

School uses coat of arms of the founder William Lambe and the motto of the Worshipful Company of Clothworkers.[7][8]

  • Coat of arms blazoned: Sable, on a fess Or, between three pierced cinquefoil ermine, two mullets sable.
  • Motto: My Trust is in God Alone


Notable alumni


  1. ^  Lee, Sidney, ed. (1892). Dictionary of National Biography. 32. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ Blatchley-Hennah, F. T. W., A Sort History of Sutton Valence School, Kent Messenger Publishing, Maidstone, 1952
  5. ^ Blatchley-Hennah, F. T. W., A Sort History of Sutton Valence School, Kent Messenger Publishing, Maidstone, 1952
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ Blatchley-Hennah, F. T. W., A Sort History of Sutton Valence School, Kent Messenger Publishing, Maidstone, 1952
  9. ^ Retrieved 9 May 2011.
  10. ^ Purdey, Brion (24 August 1992). "Obituary: Cecil Bacon". The Independent. Retrieved 18 December 2016. 
  11. ^ Joseph Friedman Retrieved 9 August 2013.

External links

  • BBC Education league table
  • Inspection Report on Sutton Valence School
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