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The Royal School Wolverhampton owes both its existence and ethos to the good-hearted and pioneering Victorian philanthropist, Mr John Lees. A successful merchant and Wolverhampton resident, Mr Lees first opened a school in 1850 to provide a secure home and schooling for the city’s many orphans, brought about as a result of the cholera epidemic that was rampant in the mid 1800s.

It is hard to imagine that he began with just 13 children and that without his clear vision and determination, we may never have evolved into the co-educational non-denominational Free School that is now.

Within two years of opening, the ‘Orphan Asylum’ as it was known, extended its pupil numbers and moved to on Penn Road. Thanks largely to the generous donations of local dignitaries and entrepreneurs the building was added to in phases by the end of the 1800s, most of the existing Senior School buildings were complete, including our very beautiful and historic chapel.

In 1900, the Duke and Duchess of York paid a royal visit to open the new infirmary declaring that Queen Victoria had granted Royal patronage. The orphanage was proudly renamed ‘The Royal Orphanage of Wolverhampton’, a title that remained for the next four decades until, in 1944, King George V1 commanded via the Home Office that the School’s name should be changed to the Royal Wolverhampton School.

Growth continued apace and by 1931 work had begun on the Junior School. This opened a year later as a brand-new, purpose-built establishment with 47 pupils aged 5-10. Within a year this grew to 49 boys and 22 girls and by the early 1940s pupil numbers rose even more, necessitating further capital outlay for extensions, largely in response to the tragedy of war and children left fatherless and destitute.

The Royal continued as a charitable institution until the mid-1960s when it ran into financial difficulties and in a bid for survival the School’s Constitution was amended to allow some fee-paying pupils.

The generosity of Mr Lees and our Victorian forefathers continues to be acknowledged and celebrated on our School walls today.  Even as a fee-paying School, The Royal offered sponsored ‘Foundationer’ places to at least 10% of pupils attending each year.

Now an independently-run Free School we do, turn full circle by offering ‘education for all’ in an all-inclusive and inspiring learning community that welcomes children from all social backgrounds and creeds.


Flexibility – we have packages available for flexi boarding which might suit busy families where both parents work late or where parents may want some time away.

3 night stays mid-week for £135

3 night weekend stay which includes an activity for £155

Single night £55

Routine – structured evenings including a supervised prep, evening activities and a good bedtime routine ensuring our boarders are well rested for the next day.

Enrichment – our boarding houses are incredibly diverse and act as an opportunity for boarders to experience cultures from all around the world. The nurturing environment helps them develop socially and helps prepare them for life after school.

Family – We have a strong family ethos here at The Royal School, strengthened by our fantastic and experienced staff and their own families including our much-loved Harry (4) and Thomas (1) who have all the boarders in the palm of their hands.

To find out more contact admissions