Millfield is a co-educational independent school for pupils aged 13–18 years based in Street, Somerset, England. It was founded in 1935.

Butleigh Road

, ,
BA16 0YD

Coordinates51.1225°N 2.7275°W / 51.1225; -2.7275
TypeIndependent day and boarding school
MottoMolire Molendo
(Loosely translated as "to succeed by grinding")
FounderJack Meyer
Department for Education URN123911 Tables
HeadmasterGavin Horgan
Age2 to 18
Houses19 Boarding, 5 Day
Former pupilsOld Millfieldians

Millfield is a registered charity and is the largest co-educational boarding school in the UK with approximately 1,240 pupils, of whom over 950 are full boarders of over 65 nationalities. Millfield Development and the Millfield Foundation raise money to fund scholarships and bursaries. The school is a member of the G20 Schools Group and a member of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference. The Millfield campus is based over 240 acres in Somerset, in and around Street, in the South West of England.

Millfield has its own pre-prep and preparatory school, Millfield Preparatory School (also known as Edgarley) in nearby Glastonbury, which takes children from 2 to 13 years old. The prep school shares some of Millfield's facilities. It acts as a feeder school, with over 90% of its pupils typically moving up to Millfield each year.


Millfield was founded in 1935 by Jack Meyer (referred to at Millfield as "Boss"), following his return from India with seven Indian boys, six of whom were princes. The school started in the mansion built and originally owned by the Clark family, who owned and ran the shoe manufacturer Clarks.[1]

Meyer, educated at Haileybury and Imperial Service College,[2] adhered to the philanthropic aim, known at the school as The Millfield Mix: " nurture talent by providing the very best facilities, teaching, coaching and opportunities in which young people can exercise and explore their abilities; and to give awards to those in financial need."[3]

In 1939, the school became one of the first independent schools to become co-educational.[4] Over the years, the school acquired land and houses around the locale, and a result there were many boarding houses within a 10-mile (16-kilometre) radius of the original site; this resulted in boarders living at houses or billets in the outlying villages – being bussed in and out for lessons and meals.[2] The girls' boarding house was at Ashcott House from 1967 until 1984.[5]

Over recent years, many of these houses have been sold and the proceeds invested in new on-campus boarding houses. There are currently three remaining country boarding houses occupied by male pupils.

In the 1990s the school gained a reputation for drug and alcohol use among the pupils and a teacher was charged with assaulting a female pupil. In response, the school says that it takes a pragmatic approach to dealing with these problems; the school offers drugs counselling where appropriate, and for periodical visits to the school by police officers with sniffer dogs. Any pupils who are found with any illegal substances are immediately expelled.[6]

In 2005 the school was one of fifty independent schools which were found guilty of running an illegal price-fixing cartel, exposed by The Times, which had allowed them to drive up fees for thousands of parents.[7] Each school was required to pay a nominal penalty of £10,000 and all agreed to make ex-gratia payments totalling £3 million into a trust designed to benefit pupils who attended the schools during the period in respect of which fee information was shared.[8]


Millfield is predominantly a boarding school, having around 75% of its pupils as boarders.[9] The school operates a house system, which is based on sex and status as a day pupil or boarder. With the introduction of 'Nine at Millfield' in 2014, Year 9 is now treated as a transitional year with the school having 'Year 9 only' day and boarding houses. All of the other houses are Years 10–13 boarders, and two are exclusively for Sixth Formers (i.e. Years 12 and 13). The boarding houses are supervised by house parents, assisted by assistant house parents, tutors, and matrons. Each house generally has around 40 to 50 pupils.

There are fourteen boys' and nine girls' houses; the oldest house is Millfield House, which is the original building in which the school first began operating. The house opened when the school was established in 1935 and is now one of Year 9 boarding houses.[10] The house used to be the mansion of the Clark family, whose shoe business, C. & J. Clark, is based in the town.[11]

HouseYear Groups1Day/Boarding
AcaciaYear 9Boarding
The LakesSeniorDay
PortwaySixth FormBoarding
HouseYear Group1Day/Boarding
ButleighSixth FormBoarding
The GrangeSixth FormBoarding
Joan's KitchenSeniorBoarding
Keen's ElmYear 9Boarding
MillfieldYear 9Boarding
St Anne'sSeniorBoarding



Millfield is known for its sporting prowess and has produced many international and Olympic athletes;[14] its campus houses a wide range of sports facilities.[15] 130 staff sports coaches oversee the 28 different sports on offer, including athletics, badminton, basketball, chess, clay shooting, cricket, cross country, dance, equestrian, fencing, football, golf, hockey, karate, modern pentathlon, netball, outdoor activities, rowing, rugby, ski racing, squash, swimming, tennis and trampolining.[16]

Olympic Games

Millfield has been represented at every Olympic Games since 1956. At the London 2012 Games, Millfield was the most represented UK school. At the Rio Games in 2016, eight Millfieldians took part and won a total of four medals in rowing, swimming and rugby sevens.[17]

Millfield has an indoor riding arena and golf courses, as well as an Olympic-sized swimming pool, which appeared as a venue in the official London 2012 Pre-Games Training Camp Guide.[18] The Russian swimming team used the school as its training base before the London Olympics, and the Great Britain modern pentathlon squad also used the schools facilities in preparation for the games.[19]


  1. 1935–1971 Jack 'Boss' Meyer[6]
  2. 1971–1986 Colin Atkinson[2]
  3. 1986–1990 Brian Gaskell[2]
  4. 1990–1998 Christopher Martin[2]
  5. 1998–2008 Peter Johnson[6]
  6. 2008–2018 Craig Considine
  7. 2018– Gavin Horgan

Notable alumni

Former pupils of the school are known as Old Millfieldians or OMs. Alumni become life members of the Society when they leave the school. The principal aim of the Society is to keep members of the worldwide Millfield family in touch with each other and the school.

For details of notable former pupils, see Old Millfieldians.



  1. Lobb, Adrian. "Lancelot Clark: "If you teach your workers well, it is good for business"". Th Big Issue. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  2. Oliver, Mary. "Millfield in its Infancy". Street Society. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
  3. "Boss Meyer". Millfield School. Archived from the original on 4 April 2011. Retrieved 9 November 2010.
  4. "Millfield School". IVC technologies. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
  5. 'Ashcott', in A History of the County of Somerset: Volume 8, the Poldens and the Levels, ed. Robert Dunning (London, 2004), pp. 13–25. British History Online [accessed 1 October 2017].
  6. Marks, Kathy (10 September 1998). "Public school for scandal". Independent. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
  7. Halpin, Tony (10 November 2005). "Independent schools face huge fines over cartel to fix fees". The Times. London. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
  8. "The Office of Fair Trading: OFT names further trustees as part of the independent schools settlement". Retrieved 22 December 2018.
  9. "Millfield". Winter's. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  10. Boarding – Millfield Archived 18 July 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  11. Palmer, Mark (2013). Clarks: Made to Last: The story of Britain's best-known shoe firm. Profile Books. ISBN 9781847658456.
  12. "Boarding Houses". Retrieved 22 December 2018.
  13. "Day Houses". Retrieved 22 December 2018.
  14. Jones, Sally. "The Best British Schools for Sport". School House. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
  15. "Schools Guide 2012 – Millfield". Tatler. 2012.
  16. Kelly, Guy (8 August 2016). "Talent factory: How Millfield produces more Olympians than any other school". Telegraph. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  17. Kelly, Guy (8 August 2016). "Talent factory: How Millfield produces more Olympians than any other school". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
  18. "Dominique / Olympic values and culture: summer camp". International Olympic Committee. 20 December 2018. Retrieved 22 December 2018.
  19. "Russian Olympians to train in Somerset school pool". BBC. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
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