About The John Lyon School

In 1572, John Lyon, a local yeoman farmer, was granted a charter by Elizabeth I to found “the Free Grammar School of John Lyon”. By the 19th Century, helped by John Lyon’s generous endowments, “the Free Grammar School” had become Harrow School, one of the most famous and prestigious public schools in the UK. However, Harrow School had also moved away from its founder’s original intention of providing an education for local boys, with ‘foreigners’ (boys from outside the parish) hugely outnumbering the locals. To address this issue, the “Lower School of John Lyon” opened in 1876 as a day school for local boys. It was later renamed as The John Lyon School.

Today The John Lyon School is part of the Foundation which also governs Harrow School and John Lyon’s Charity. It has its own Board of Governors with delegated powers from the Foundation. The School has had 12 Heads since 1876 and has developed into one of the top independent day schools for boys in the UK. Our most recent inspection report, published in 2011, states that the "pupils' personal development is excellent. They show high levels of confidence, responding well to the school's inclusive ethos and its focus on developing the individual."


The John Lyon School Timeline

1572 John Lyon, a yeoman farmer, is granted a charter by Elizabeth I to found 'the Free Grammar School of John Lyon in the village of Harrow on the Hill' – later known as Harrow School.
1650 The first boarding house at Harrow School, Head Master's, opens as the number of ‘foreigners’ (fee-paying boys from outside the parish) begins to grow.
1861 Royal Commission looks into the 'Present State of Popular Education in England'.
1868 As a result of the Royal Commission, the Public Schools Act allows Harrow, Eton, Winchester, Charterhouse, Rugby and Shrewsbury to adapt their original charters to meet new circumstances.
1874 Following the 1868 Act, ‘The Lower School of John Lyon in Harrow’ is formally established in line with John Lyon’s original intention of providing an education for local boys.
1876 The new School opens, following the construction of its own building on Middle Road. This building, known as Old Building, remains in use today.
1891 The first Old Lyonian dinner is held at Harrow Liberal Club.
1955 JLS expands across Middle Road with the acquisition of the Red House.
1965 The Governors ratify the School's change of name to The John Lyon School.
1991 John Lyon’s Charity is established after the Charity Commission allows the revenue from John Lyon’s original endowment to support charitable purposes across nine London boroughs. Today JLS, Harrow School and John Lyon’s Charity are all part of the Harrow School Foundation.
1997 The Duke of Edinburgh opens the new John Lyon Sports Centre at the Middle Road site.
2008 New Science and Drama Building opened.
2009 The School's 12th Head, Miss Katherine Haynes, took up her post in September 2009.

Timeline of the Heads of The John Lyon School

September 1879 - July 1898 J.E. Williams
September 1898 - July 1910 E. Young
December 1910 - April 1926 E.H. Butt
April 1926 - July 1951 O.A. Le Beau
September 1951 - July 1968 R.F. Boyd Campbell
September 1968 - July 1983 G.V. Surtees
September 1983 - July 1986 D.Dixon
September 1986 - July 2001 Reverend T.J. Wright
September 2001 - August 2004 Dr C. Ray
September 2004 - Dec 2004 Acting D.A. Rimmer
January 2005 - August 2009 K.J. Riley
August 2009 - to present Miss K.E. Haynes