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Additional Information

Historical Context

Bristol Grammar School was founded by Royal Charter, issued by Henry VIII on 17 March 1532. Pre-dating the city’s other independent schools and its two universities, BGS has played a central part in Bristol life ever since, standing for the best in education in the city for almost five hundred years.

It continues to navigate successfully the educational cross-currents of tradition and progression, and as the current stewards of this enduring institution, we remain mindful of its illustrious past whilst being more aware than ever of the need to keep looking forward. In changing economic and political times, BGS continues to develop young adults of integrity and character, rigorous in their application, compassionate in their outlook, and ready to make a real and lasting difference in the world that awaits them.

Endowed by Nicholas and Robert Thorne, the school was established “for the teaching of literature and good manners” to the sons of merchants and tradesmen of the city. It has evolved considerably since then – most notably, we are now a proudly coeducational school – but the desires to build an education around academic endeavour and the development of good character, and to include those who might not otherwise be afforded such a privilege, remain as central to our Mission now, as when the school was established.

A Note on Bursary Provision

As stated clearly in our Mission and in Aim 4, widening access to a BGS education to all those who might benefit from it, regardless of ability to pay, is central to our vision for the School. We are proud that over one hundred pupils at BGS currently receive means-tested financial assistance to attend, with the equivalent of over fifty free places offered. We want, however, to see a significant increase in this number, to the point where access becomes truly needs-blind. The Board of Governors has a deep and long-term commitment to this objective, which is likely to take decades to fulfil.

If you would like to find out any more about the financial assistance available for your child to attend BGS, please contact the School Bursar at If you would like to find out how you might help us to widen access to a BGS education, please contact the Head of Bristol Grammar School at