Millfield is a co-educational independent school for pupils aged 13–18 years based in Street, Somerset, England. It was founded in 1935.
Millfield is a registered charity and is the largest co-educational boarding school in the UK with approximately 1,240 pupils, of whom over 950 are full boarders of over 65 nationalities. Millfield Development and the Millfield Foundation raise money to fund scholarships and bursaries. The school is a member of the G20 Schools Group and a member of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference. The Millfield campus is based over 240 acres in Somerset, in and around Street, in the South West of England.
Millfield has its own pre-prep and preparatory school, Millfield Preparatory School (also known as Edgarley) in nearby Glastonbury, which takes children from 2 to 13 years old. The prep school shares some of Millfield's facilities. It acts as a feeder school, with over 90% of its pupils typically moving up to Millfield each year.
Millfield was founded in 1935 by Jack Meyer (referred to at Millfield as "Boss"), following his return from India with seven Indian boys, six of whom were princes. The school started in the mansion built and originally owned by the Clark family, who owned and ran the shoe manufacturer Clarks.
Meyer, educated at Haileybury and Imperial Service College, adhered to the philanthropic aim, known at the school as The Millfield Mix: "...to nurture talent by providing the very best facilities, teaching, coaching and opportunities in which young people can exercise and explore their abilities; and to give awards to those in financial need."
In 1939, the school became one of the first independent schools to become co-educational. Over the years, the school acquired land and houses around the locale, and a result there were many boarding houses within a 10-mile (16-kilometre) radius of the original site; this resulted in boarders living at houses or billets in the outlying villages – being bussed in and out for lessons and meals. The girls' boarding house was at Ashcott House from 1967 until 1984.
Over recent years, many of these houses have been sold and the proceeds invested in new on-campus boarding houses. There are currently three remaining country boarding houses occupied by male pupils.
In the 1990s the school gained a reputation for drug and alcohol use among the pupils and a teacher was charged with assaulting a female pupil. In response, the school says that it takes a pragmatic approach to dealing with these problems; the school offers drugs counselling where appropriate, and for periodical visits to the school by police officers with sniffer dogs. Any pupils who are found with any illegal substances are immediately expelled.
In 2005 the school was one of fifty independent schools which were found guilty of running an illegal price-fixing cartel, exposed by The Times, which had allowed them to drive up fees for thousands of parents. Each school was required to pay a nominal penalty of £10,000 and all agreed to make ex-gratia payments totalling £3 million into a trust designed to benefit pupils who attended the schools during the period in respect of which fee information was shared.
Millfield is predominantly a boarding school, having around 75% of its pupils as boarders. The school operates a house system, which is based on gender and status as a day pupil or boarder. With the introduction of 'Nine at Millfield' in 2014, Year 9 is now treated as a transitional year with the school having 'Year 9 only' day and boarding houses. All of the other houses are Years 10–13 boarders, and two are exclusively for Sixth Formers (i.e. Years 12 and 13). The boarding houses are supervised by house parents, assisted by assistant house parents, tutors, and matrons. Each house generally has around 40 to 50 pupils.
There are fourteen boys' and nine girls' houses; the oldest house is Millfield House, which is the original building in which the school first began operating. The house opened when the school was established in 1935 and is now one of Year 9 boarding houses. The house used to be the mansion of the Clark family, whose shoe business, C. & J. Clark, is based in the town.
|The Grange||Sixth Form||Boarding|
|Keen's Elm||Year 9||Boarding|
Millfield is known for its sporting prowess and has produced many international and Olympic athletes; its campus houses a wide range of sports facilities. 130 staff sports coaches oversee the 28 different sports on offer, including athletics, badminton, basketball, chess, clay shooting, cricket, cross country, dance, equestrian, fencing, football, golf, hockey, karate, modern pentathlon, netball, outdoor activities, rowing, rugby, ski racing, squash, swimming, tennis and trampolining.
Millfield has been represented at every Olympic Games since 1956. At the London 2012 Games, Millfield was the most represented UK school. At the Rio Games in 2016, eight Millfieldians took part and won a total of four medals in rowing, swimming and rugby sevens.
Millfield has an indoor riding arena and golf courses, as well as an Olympic-sized swimming pool, which appeared as a venue in the official London 2012 Pre-Games Training Camp Guide. The Russian swimming team used the school as its training base before the London Olympics, and the Great Britain modern pentathlon squad also used the schools facilities in preparation for the games.
- 1935–1971 Jack 'Boss' Meyer
- 1971–1986 Colin Atkinson
- 1986–1990 Brian Gaskell
- 1990–1998 Christopher Martin
- 1998–2008 Peter Johnson
- 2008–2018 Craig Considine
- 2018– Gavin Horgan
Former pupils of the school are known as Old Millfieldians or OMs. Alumni become life members of the Society when they leave the school. The principal aim of the Society is to keep members of the worldwide Millfield family in touch with each other and the school.
For details of notable former pupils, see Old Millfieldians.
The new maths block
The school cricket ground and pavilion
The 50m Olympic Pool at Millfield
A map of the campus showing the facilities
Boss Meyer's bust outside Millfield House
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