Rugby School UK

Rugby School, one of the UK’s leading and most prestigious private schools, is a co-educational boarding and day school situated in the English county of Warwickshire. Founded in 1567 and celebrating its 450th anniversary next year, it is one of the original ten English public schools defined by the Public Schools Act 1868. Today the School has 800 pupils aged 13 to 18 housed in 16 houses, 13 of which are for boarders. In 2016 it achieved record results at GCSE and was described by Tatler UK as ‘a school at the top of its game’.

Rugby has produced Prime Ministers of European nations, an Archbishop of Canterbury, and a Nobel Peace Prize winner. Rugbeians have contributed to stage and screen, to politics, the arts, philosophy, medicine, and public life. They have upheld justice as judges and law makers; helped run governments, schools, universities; founded businesses; won Olympic gold medals

  In 1823 it is said that, during a game of football at the school, Rugby pupil William Webb Ellis caught the ball and, ‘with a fine disregard for the rules…took the ball in his arms and ran with it thus originating the distinctive feature of the rugby game’.


Rugby’s greatest Head Master Dr Arnold (1828–42) transformed British education and formed the model that many other schools have since adopted. He recognised a modern concern – that education should address the formation of character, going beyond an understanding of learning as simply the acquisition of knowledge.

  Towards the end of the 20th century, the boys’ school once favoured by England’s monarchs became thoroughly co-educational. In 1975 three girls were admitted into the sixth form, and in 1992 the first 13-year-old girls arrived.

Now the School is national and international in outlook and recruitment, with boys and girls from all over the UK and 10% from overseas. As widening access to Rugby remains central to the school’s DNA, the Arnold Foundation for Rugby School was set up in 2003 to fund places for pupils who stand to gain the most from a boarding school education.