Ackworth School is an independent school located at High Ackworth, near Pontefract, West Yorkshire, England.

The current headmaster is Anton Maree.

Today it still takes some boarders, although most of its 587 pupils are day pupils. About half of the boarding pupils are from overseas and are predominantly Chinese or Japanese. But there are an increasing number of boarders from elsewhere, including Germany, Morocco and other parts of Africa.

Although still a Quaker school, most of its pupils are no longer Quakers. However, pupils are expected to attend a Quaker meeting each morning for assembly, except for Wednesdays when pupils gather for house meetings or extended form period.

The school has four houses: Woolman, Gurney, Penn and Fothergill. They are all named after famous Quakers, and Fothergill house is named after the founder of Ackworth School, John Fothergill. Upon entering the school, each pupil is assigned to one of the four houses for inter-house events, such as football and drama. The winning house in any event gains that event's trophy, which is hung on the house's trophy board in the house dining hall.

Which house a pupil is in also determines which dining hall they have lunch in. The two dining halls are called Boys and Girls Dining Rooms, although the names are only representative of the past, when the boys and girls were divided. These days pupils in Gurney and Fothergill eat in Girls Dining Room and those in Woolman and Penn eat in Boys Dining Room—except at breakfast, where boys and girls are still segregated!

The school has a nursery that takes children aged 2 to 4, a Junior Department that takes children age 5 to 11, and the Senior School for students aged 11 to 18. The boarding facilities cater for Senior School pupils only.

The uniform is grey trousers, light blue shirt, navy school tie, and navy blue jumper for boys, and navy skirt, blue and white striped blouse, and navy jumper for girls. The Sixth Form boys wear a white shirt, grey trousers and either a burgundy jumper or black jacket. Sixth Form girls wear a white blouse, black dress and a burgundy jumper.

The school is a member of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference (HMC) and SHMIS


It was founded in 1779 as a Quaker boys and girls. Prior to the school's foundation, the building had been a foundling hospital created by Captain Thomas Coram.

Further reading[]

  • Ackworth School Annual reports.
  • Ackworth School, Then and now: Ackworth School bicentenary exhibition catalogue. (Pub. 1979).
  • Alphabetical list of scholars 1779-1979. Prepared by Arthur G. Olver, typescript.
  • The Cupola: the Ackworth School magazine, West Yorkshire Archives, Wakefield.
  • Foulds, V.E. Ackworth School. (Pub. 1991).
  • Foulds, V.E. So numerous a family: 200 years of Quaker education at Ackworth. (Pub. 1979).
  • Thompson,H. A history of Ackworth School. (Pub. 1879).

See also[]

External links[]

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