Our beloved subject, John Lyon…by instinct of charity, (the devine providence foregoing) hath purposed in his mind a certain Grammar School…of new to erect, found and forever establish for the perpetual education, teaching and instruction of Children and Youth…giving a very good example to all others to imitate the like hereafter, and also to the common profit of all our subjects
Extract from the Royal Charter granted to John Lyon by Queen Elizabeth I, 19 February 1572
Who was John Lyon?
John Lyon was a yeoman farmer from the village of Preston, located in the present-day Borough of Brent. In 1572, Queen Elizabeth I granted John Lyon a Royal Charter to found Harrow School, a free grammar school for 30 boys from his parish. The Charter also anticipated that John Lyon would establish a separate trust to maintain the two roads between London and Harrow, now the Edgware and Harrow Roads. In 1578, John Lyon provided an endowment for that purpose in the form of a 48-acre farm in the area known today as Maida Vale. He lies buried with his wife Joan in St Mary’s Church, Harrow on the Hill, close to Harrow School.
What is John Lyon’s Foundation?
John Lyon’s Foundation is an educational foundation, consisting of three main elements - Harrow School, The John Lyon School and John Lyon’s Charity. Its aims are based on its history and culture and the charitable intentions of its Founder, John Lyon, and his belief in the intrinsic value of education and the possibilities and opportunities that this can bring. Each element of the Foundation has its own strategic plan, prepared largely from its own, independent yet related perspective.
The three elements of the Foundation provide opportunities to educate, enable and inspire children and young people through its broad range of activities, primarily through the provision of education and learning and through the awarding of grants by the Charity. The Foundation also works to provide similar opportunities through the independently owned Harrow International Schools, operating under a licence of the Name and Badge of Harrow School.
The Foundation Family
John Lyon’s Foundation is not a legal entity in itself but is the name given to a group of four separate legal entities (charities): the Royal Charter Corporation (comprising Harrow School and The John Lyon School and which has two wholly-owned non-charitable subsidiary trading companies: Harrow School Enterprises Limited and Harrow International Schools Limited), John Lyon’s Charity, Harrow Development Trust and The John Lyon School Development Trust.
Through franchise arrangements, the Name and Badge of Harrow School are licensed to independently owned and managed international schools. While not part of the Foundation, the Harrow International Schools are “affiliated to” the Foundation. All the schools referred to above (including the Harrow International Schools) are known informally as “the Harrow family of schools”.
John Lyon’s Foundation is also closely associated with the Harrow Association and the Lyonian Association, and has strong links with the Harrow Club, which Harrow School helped to establish.
The Constituent Parts of the Foundation Family
1. Harrow School and John Lyon School
The principal vision of the founder, John Lyon, was the establishment of a school. Today, this vision finds form in two distinct schools, Harrow School and John Lyon School.
They are not distinct legal entities but form the Corporation originally incorporated by Royal Charter on 19 February 1572. Its formal title is “The Keepers and Governors of the Possessions Revenues and Goods of the Free Grammar School of John Lyon, within the town of Harrow on the Hill in the County of Middlesex” (the members of which are the Governors and Trustees of the Corporation and, collectively, The Trustee of John Lyon’s Charity). It is referred to in the statutory accounts and, where appropriate for legal reasons, as the “Corporation”.
2. John Lyon’s Charity
In May 1991, a Charity Commission Scheme came into effect giving the Trustee discretion to apply the income from the separate trust established by John Lyon (originally for the purpose of maintaining two roads from London to Harrow and Kenton) for general charitable purposes for the benefit of the nine London boroughs through which the roads pass. The work of John Lyon's Charity as part of the Foundation provides an important contribution to the support of the local community, in addition to the educational opportunities provided by the two Schools.
3. Harrow International Schools
The Harrow International Schools are independently owned and operate under a licence of the Name and Badge of Harrow School. The first Harrow International School was established in Bangkok in 1998, and further International Schools have been set up in Asia since then. The Foundation continues to look at opportunities to develop its network of International Schools in Asia, and elsewhere.
4. The Harrow Association and the Harrow Development Trust
The Harrow Association fosters and promotes the network of former pupils and the Harrow Development Trust is a separate charity and fund-raising organisation. They work together with a common aim, to keep Old Harrovians and other Harrow Association members in touch with Harrow School and with each other, and to enable Old Harrovians to support the School in both financial and non-financial ways.
The Harrow Development Trust raises money in order to assist Harrow School in meeting its charitable objectives and to help to provide it with a significant permanent endowment, especially in the form of provision for scholarships and bursaries, as well as to meet the School's needs for major capital projects in accordance with its priorities.
5. Harrow School Enterprises Limited (“HSEL”)
HSEL is a wholly-owned, non-charitable subsidiary trading company of the Royal Charter Corporation, and the commercial arm of Harrow School. It provides holiday courses, manages commercial lettings of the School's facilities, runs tours of the School and offers many other services. During the summer holidays several hundred students come from all over the world to attend English language courses at the School.
6. Harrow International Schools Limited (“HISL”)
HISL is the company through which the name and crest (or Badge) of Harrow School is licensed to the Harrow International Schools. Like HSEL, it is a wholly-owned, non-charitable subsidiary trading company of the Royal Charter Corporation. The Company plays an important role in the oversight of the Harrow International Schools.
7. The Lyonian Association and The John Lyon School Development Trust
The Lyonian Association is an organisation to which all of The John Lyon School’s alumni belong. Its strategic intent is to create a seamless transfer from School to Association. The School maintains its links with alumni through the Lyonian Office.
The John Lyon School Development Trust is a separate charity and fund-raising organisation that supports The John Lyon School.
8. The Harrow Club W10
Founded in 1883 by philanthropists associated with Harrow School, the Harrow Club today is a standalone charity which works hard to be an excellent provider of youth programmes and activities for young people and their extended community, principally in the deprived area of London W10. The Club has enjoyed long and distinguished support from Harrovians, Old Harrovians and Harrow School Masters and continues to do so.