About St Bees School.

St Bees School has been an integral part of this picturesque coastal village in West Cumbria for many centuries. Founded by Edmund Grindal, Archbishop of Canterbury, in 1583. Parts of the original buildings are still in use, with significant expansion in 1844

Above the door of the famous Quadrangle is the school motto. This can be translated from the Latin as "Enter so that you may make progress".

School History.


St Bees School was founded in 1583 by Edmund Grindal, Archbishop of Canterbury. Remarkably, the small village of St Bees produced two Archbishops! Find out more on the village website.


The First Students.

Called the "Free Grammar School", the School was to provide education for boys born in Cumberland and Westmorland, who were able to pass an educational test. The School would be administered by seven governors.


All Round Excellence.

The eighteenth century saw a period of continued growth and increasing academic excellence. In 1977 the school became fully co-educational, and with the introduction of the International Centre in 1996, the School's reputation was further enhanced across the world.


Temporary Closure.

The school closed its doors in June 2015, but there was renewed hope for the future, as a new multi disciplined Board of Trustees was formed. Each of them passionately believed a viable and sustainable solution could be found for education in the future, and we are delighted to add this next step in our school history.


St Bees School Mark George and Danny Wang sign agreementWe are delighted to share this press release from 20th March 2017, which outlines the Trustees’ plan to reopen St Bees School in September 2018. The unique partnership with Full Circle Education Group (Shenzhen International) offers an exciting future to continue Archbiship Grindal’s legacy for many years to come. Download the full press release here. You can also find out more about Full Circle, and why we are so excited about collaboration for the future by clicking this link.

Where are we now? Vision and Mission.

Vision & mission

A stimulating, inclusive and safe environment in which every child is valued as an individual, and nurtured to realise their own unique potential.
To re-establish St Bees School as a vibrant and sustainable centre for the outstanding education and all round development of young people, in accordance with Archbishop Grindal’s legacy
  • Effective & transparent trusteeship
  • Maintain the existing assets & infrastructure in good order
  • Identify the most appropriate operating model for St Bees School
  • Secure necessary investment & support to develop existing assets / infrastructure to support identified model
  • Re-open St Bees School as soon as reasonably practical

Register Your Interest in School Places.

Although the school was temporarily closed in 2015, new Trustees have been appointed who are confident of reestablishing education at this historic and excellent school. There is no obligation in registering your interest here, but it does mean we can keep you informed of developments, so that you keep options open for your child's future.