North London Collegiate School

North London Collegiate School is an independent educational institution with a day school for girls in England. Founded in Camden Town, it is now located in Edgware, in the London Borough of Harrow. Two sister schools were opened - one in South Korea, on Jeju Island, and one in Dubai, both are coeducational day and boarding schools offering the British curriculum. It is a member of the Girls' Schools Association.

North London Collegiate School
Canons Drive

, ,

TypeIndependent institution with day school for girls in London and coeducational boarding school in South Korea
Mottoin spe laboramus
FounderFrances Mary Buss
Local authorityHarrow
Chairman of the GovernorsTim Suter
HeadmistressSarah Clark
GenderGirls (UK), girls and boys (South Korea)
Age4 to 18
Enrolment1066 (2008)
HousesAngus, Lindsay, Gibbons, Collet, Aitken
Colour(s)Sky blue      Brown     
Former pupilsOld North Londoners (ONLs)


The North London Collegiate School was founded by Frances Buss, a pioneer in girls' education. She was listed by The Times as one of the top ten greatest women of all time. It is generally recognised as the first girls' school in the United Kingdom to offer girls the same educational opportunities as boys, and Miss Buss was the first person to use the term 'Headmistress'.

The small school opened in 1850 at No.46 (later renumbered No.12) Camden Street, London.[1] She believed in the importance of home life and it remained a day school.[2]

In 1929, the school bought Canons, a modest villa built by William Hallett Esq, on the site of a palatial residence originally built in the early 18th century by the Duke of Chandos, and relocated to the property (designed by Sir Albert Richardson) in 1940.[3][4]

George Bernard Shaw's mother was a director of music at the school, followed in 1908 by J.B. Manson's wife, Lilian, whose ambitious revival of Purcell's Dido and Aeneas in 1910 gained coverage in The Times.[5]

Today the school caters to girls from ages 4 to 18. It comprises a Junior School (Reception to Year 6) and Senior School (Year 7–13). Former pupils are known as ONLs, short for Old North Londoners.

The school also introduced a house system in 2014, with the houses being named after noted past pupils. The houses have colours, and each house has two house captains amongst the pupils (a year 9 and a year 11), and a staff head of house.

The uniform of North London Collegiate School is light blue and dark brown in colour, however uniform is not compulsory in sixth form.

The co-ed boarding North London Collegiate School Jeju opened in Seogwipo, South Korea in 2011.[6]


North London Collegiate is one of the most academically successful schools in England, having been placed in the top two in the Daily Telegraph exam league tables every year for over a decade. It has been an International Baccalaureate World School since October 2003 .[7][8] Girls may choose to take the traditional A Levels or the Pre-U or the IB curriculum.

The girls are also encouraged to participate in non-academic pursuits. The Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme is available similarly to all independent schools. They may also take part in activities such as World Challenge Expeditions, Young Enterprise, Model United Nations and various community service projects.[9]


Notable former pupils

Notable former staff


  • The North London Collegiate School 1850–1950: A Hundred Years of Girls' Education Includes 'Essays in honour of the Frances Mary Buss Foundation' together with an appendix section that includes Royal Patrons, The School Prospectus, Prize Day List, Links to Girton College and the University of London, and regulations concerning Prefects and Monitors. Published by OUP (Oxford University Press) in 1950 with 231 pages, including the index. (No author or Editor)[47]
  • "And Their Works Do Follow Them" by Watson, Nigel London, James & James, 2000 ISBN 0907383300
  • Cockburn, J S; King, H P F; McDonnell, K G T, eds. (1969). "Schools: The North London Collegiate School". A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 1, Physique, Archaeology, Domesday, Ecclesiastical Organization, the Jews, Religious Houses, Education of Working Classes To 1870, Private Education From Sixteenth Century. Victoria County History (via British History Online). pp. 308–310.


  1. "Secondary schooling". Retrieved 15 March 2013.
  2. Scrimgeour, Ruby Margaret, (ed.), The North London Collegiate School, 1850–1950: a hundred years of girls' education, (Oxford University Press),
  3. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 22 January 2016. Retrieved 1 January 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 25 March 2016. Retrieved 27 February 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. Buckman, David (1973), James Bolivar Manson, p. 9, Maltzahn Gallery Ltd, London.
  6. NLCS Jeju Archived 23 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  7. "North London Collegiate School". Tatler. March 2012. Archived from the original on 4 July 2012.
  8. "North London Collegiate School". IB World Schools. IBO. Retrieved 22 May 2008.
  9. Extracurricular Activities Archived 16 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  10. The Book entitled The North London Collegiate School 1850 – 1950 contains a black-and-white frontispiece portrait of Frances M Buss, with a printed signature – See bibliography for further detail of book
  11. The book entitled The North London Collegiate School 1850 – 1950 contains references in the index to this person and a black-and-white photographic plate with printed signature- See Bibliography for further detail of book
  12. The book entitled The North London Collegiate School 1850 – 1950 contains references in the index to this person.
  13. "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography – subscription based". Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  14. "NLCS welcomes new Headmistress Sarah Clark". NLCS website. NLCS. 8 January 2018. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
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  16. "Barbara Amiel: Farewell, my lovely". Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  17. James Russell, 'Angus, Margaret MacGregor [Peggy] (1904–1993)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2016
  18. Schmid, Mena. "AA & her milieus: North London Collegiate School for Girls". Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  19. schools, isbi. "North London Collegiate School - Edgware, Middlesex - London - HA8 7RJ". Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  20. "Obituary: Peggy Angus". Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  21. "How to be top: Its girls are the cream of north London and its". Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  22. Deborah Gorham (9 October 2012). The Victorian Girl and the Feminine Ideal. Routledge. p. 172. ISBN 978-0-415-62326-1. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  23. "Jo Coburn". North London Collegiate School. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  24. "Beatrice Webb, Clara Collet and Charles Booth's Survey of London". 21 March 2016. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  25. "Fidra Books - Anne Digby". Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  26. Law, Katie (2019). "Astrophysics professor Jo Dunkley on the complexities of the universe and her mission to get women into science". London: Evening Standard. Archived from the original on 31 January 2019.
  28. "Margaret Fingerhut - Pianist". Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  29. "North London Collegiate School". London's Top Schools. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  30. David Buckman (2006). Artists in Britain Since 1945 Vol 1, A to L. Art Dictionaries Ltd. ISBN 0 953260 95 X.
  31. North London Collegiate School – Famous ONLs Archived 17 December 2005 at the Wayback Machine
  33. "Gilmore, Margaret, (Mrs Eamonn Matthews) - WHO'S WHO & WHO WAS WHO". doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.001.0001/ww-9780199540884-e-4000149/version/3. Retrieved 13 June 2018. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  35. Jardine, Cassandra (30 March 2001). "Adventures of a high flier". Retrieved 13 June 2018 via
  36. Louise E Howard (2012). Sir Albert Howard in India and The Earth's Green Carpet. p. 224. ISBN 978-1-4716-2449-0. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  37. "Margaret Calkin James, graphic and textile designer : papers - Archives Hub". Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  38. Hester Barron, 'MacDonald [married names Ridgley, Peterkin], Ishbel Allan (1903–1982)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2015
  39. "North London Collegiate School Prospectus". Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  40. "Class of 97 take up the reins - Tes News". Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  42. "Escape from the hothouse - The Spectator". 6 September 2014. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  43. Accomplished ONLS – Distinguished ONLS List Archived 7 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine Publisher: North London Collegiate School. Retrieved 23 February 2014.
  44. "Old North Londers — ONL Profiles: Olivia Wayne". North London Collegiate School.
  45. "Pretoria High School for Girls". Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  46. C. A. Creffield, 'Aveling, Edward Bibbens (1849–1898)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004
  47. Detail obtained from a copy of The North London Collegiate School 1850–1950

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