Cargilfield Preparatory School

Cargilfield Preparatory School is a private co-educational prep school in Edinburgh, Scotland. It was founded in 1873. It is a day and boarding school for boys and girls aged 3–13 and caters for approximately 300 pupils. It prepares pupils mainly for Common Entrance Examinations or Academic Scholarships required for entry to public schools.

Cargilfield Preparatory School
45 Gamekeepers Road


Coordinates55.96971°N 3.30004°W / 55.96971; -3.30004
TypePreparatory school
Day & Boarding School
MottoDeo Custode
("With God as [a] guardian")
Religious affiliation(s)Church of Scotland
FounderRev Daniel Charles Darnell[1]
HeadmasterRob Taylor
Age3 to 13
HousesBruce, Stuart, Wallace, Graham
Colour(s)Red, Navy blue, White


Cargilfield was founded in 1873 by Rev Daniel Charles Darnell[2] and was the first independent preparatory school in Scotland. Originally, the school was located in the Trinity area of Edinburgh; it was sometimes referred to as Cargilfield Trinity School. In 1899, the school relocated to Barnton.[1]

In the period 2003-2012, the headmaster was John Elder. Among the changes he made to the school was the abolition of homework.[3]

In 2014, the UK government named the school in a list of 25 UK employers which had failed to pay workers the national minimum wage, for underpaying an artist in residence by £3,739.[4] The school responded that it had rectified this situation as soon as it was made aware of it, and apologised.[5]

The school has reached the finals of the UKMT Team Mathematics Challenge competition in five consecutive years (2013,[6] 2014, [7] 2015, [8] 2016, and [9] 2017.[10] )

Former pupils

See also Category:People educated at Cargilfield School


  1. Granton History site discussing street name origins, which cites the Rev Darnell as having founded the school
  2. Leinster-Mackay, Donald (15 November 1984). The Rise of the English Prep School. Falmer Press Ltd. ISBN 0905273745.
  3. Schofield, Kevin (5 April 2005). "Ditching homework adds up to better grades". The Scotsman. Archived from the original on 18 May 2007. Retrieved 28 May 2007.
  4. "Government 'names and shames' minimum wage underpayers". BBC. 8 June 2014. Retrieved 8 June 2014.
  5. "Edinburgh school 'failed to pay minimum wage'". The Scotsman. 9 June 2014. Retrieved 29 August 2014.
  6. UK Mathematics Trust Yearbook 2012-2013. United Kingdom Mathematics Trust. 2014. ISBN 9781906001216. OCLC 922596589.
  7. UK Mathematics Trust Yearbook 2013-2014. United Kingdom Mathematics Trust. 2015. ISBN 978-1-906001-23-0.
  8. Uk mathematics trust yearbook 2014-2015. United Kingdom Mathematics Trust. 2016. ISBN 978-1906001261.
  9. UK Mathematics Trust Yearbook 2015-2016. United Kingdom Mathematics Trust. 2017. ISBN 978-1906001322.
  10. "Team Maths Challenge National Final 2017" (PDF). UKMT. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 June 2017. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
  11. Letters from Flanders, written by 2nd Lieut. A. D. Gillespie, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, to his home people; (1916)
  12. Logie Bruce Lockhart, Now and Then, This and That (Larks Press, 2013), p. 27
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