Parmiter's School

Parmiter's School
High Elms Lane

, ,
WD25 0UU

Coordinates51°42′11″N 0°23′20″W / 51.703°N 0.389°W / 51.703; -0.389Coordinates: 51°42′11″N 0°23′20″W / 51.703°N 0.389°W / 51.703; -0.389
MottoNemo Sibi Nascitur[1][2]
(Latin: "No one is born unto themselves alone"[1])
Established1722 and 1887 in Bethnal Green
1977 in current site
FounderThomas Parmiter
Local authorityHertfordshire
Department for Education URN136899 Tables
Chair of GovernorsAlp Mehmet
HeadteacherMichael Jones
Staff80 teaching, 50 support
Age11 to 18
Enrolment260 (Sixth Form)
1452 (total)[3]
Colour(s)Burgundy  , Sky Blue  , White   and Navy Blue  

Parmiter's School is a co-educational state comprehensive school with academy status in Garston, Hertfordshire, close to the outskirts of North West London, England with a long history. Although the school admits pupils of all abilities it is partially selective. 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. 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. The Trustees of Thomas Parmiter's Estate bought property in Cambridge Heath in Bethnal Green, London in 1723.[4]

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. Unfortunately these buildings were destroyed by bombing during World War II. Peter Renvoize left the foundation the sum of £500 on his death in 1842.[4]

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 the parish of St Matthew's, Bethnal Green.

Part of the building occupied by Parmiter's School in Approach Road, Bethnal Green. It was later Raine's Foundation School, and is currently unoccupied.

The Gloucester Street school closed in 1885, reopening in new buildings in Approach Road (51°31′52″N 0°03′04″W / 51.5312°N 0.0511°W / 51.5312; -0.0511) in 1887.[5] 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.[4]

New campus, new era[edit]

The school moved to Garston, Hertfordshire as a mixed comprehensive school in 1977. 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.[4][6]

In April 2010, Parmiter's School hosted Any Questions?, a topical debate on the elections, broadcast on BBC Radio 4.[7]

Academic performance and reputation[edit]

The Financial Times Secondary School rankings 2011 showed Parmiter's in 278th place out of 2190 schools. [8]

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.[9]

The Ofsted inspection in September 2011 found that Parmiter's was "an outstanding school with an outstanding sixth form."[10]


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


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[when?] by the School Adjudicator for England the school was forced to cap its intake based on academic ability at 25%.[citation needed]


  •   Beven
  •   Carter
  •   Lee
  •   Mayhew
  •   Renvoize
  •   Woolley

Notable former pupils[edit]

Former pupils of the boys' grammar school in Bethnal Green

Former pupils of the mixed comprehensive in Hertfordshire:


  1. ^ a b "Parmiter's School". Archived from the original on 28 May 2010. Retrieved 14 August 2010.
  2. ^ Erasmus (1700). Adagia (Leiden ed.). p. 4.6.81.
  3. ^ "Parmiter's School - Absence and Pupil Population". Archived from the original on 15 August 2022. Retrieved 15 August 2022.
  4. ^ a b c d M.J. Fletcher (1987). The History of Parmiter's Foundation (2nd ed.). Watford: Edson Printers.
  5. ^ Parmiter's School, Approach Road, Bethnal Green, Images of England, English Heritage National Monuments Record.
  6. ^ "History of Parmiter's". Parmiter's School. Archived from the original on 26 April 2009. Retrieved 10 July 2008.
  7. ^ Binnie, Adam (12 April 2010). "BBC Radio Four's Any Questions? will be broadcast from Parmiter's School in Watford". Watford Observer. Retrieved 15 January 2023.
  8. ^ Secondary Schools 2011, Financial Times, 2011.
  9. ^ State School GCSE Results, London Evening Standard, 2010.
  10. ^ Ofsted Inspection Report, Ofsted, 21–22 September 2011.
  11. ^ "Who's Who". Retrieved 10 September 2017.
  12. ^ Mytton, Margaret (4 November 2008). "Obituary: Dave Pearson". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 October 2009.
  13. ^ Woolley, G.H. (1963). Sometimes a Soldier. London: Ernest Benn.
  14. ^ Braid, Mary (28 February 1995). "Charmer lived like playboy of eastern world". The Independent. Retrieved 2 October 2009.
  15. ^ Matthews, Anthony (14 November 2022). "BBC England reporter Kelly Somers on World Cup, Watford and career". Watford Observer. Retrieved 11 March 2023.