Educational Affiliations

The Fletchers Company has links with four secondary schools:

  • The City of London Academy Islington
  • The City of London Academy Southwark
  • The City of London Freemen’s School
  • The City of London Academy Hackney

Also, through the Livery Schools Link, a Company Liveryman can sign up to offer their expertise (of any kind) to schools. The aim is to help young people in schools develop vital skills for their future. Evidence shows that the Livery has made a big impact already. There is no expected level of commitment.

The link is


The City of London Academy Islington

COLAI was opened in 2008 as a non-selective co-educational school, and is sponsored by the City of London Corporation and City University, and the Worshipful Company of Saddlers.

We were delighted when, a few years ago, COLAI decided to set up a house system using city livery companies, and even more delighted that students chose ‘The Fletchers’ to be one of their houses (along with Drapers, Glovers and Weavers). The Company is proud to be sponsor of two Fletchers house prizes which are awarded at the Annual Awards Evening in December. When visiting the school we have been shown round by students in Fletchers House who are always most effective ambassadors for the house and for their school. They share in the whole school’s commitment to a culture of high aspiration, motivated by their motto ‘stay sharp, hit the mark’. 

As the head of House Mr Adam Smith writes on the COLAI website about the Fletchers House:

The Fletchers house epitomises the inspiring ethos of the Academy – Respect, Integrity and Responsibility. Although it would be easy to point to the clear success of the house as an indicator of this, I prefer to look at the day-to-day levels of commitment both pupils and staff show to uphold these key British values. To be a Fletcher means to have pride in the levels of care shown to one another and to celebrate the success and achievement of every day at the Academy. This is underpinned by hard work, and an enjoyment and willingness to stretch and challenge ourselves in lessons, tutor time and during extra-curricular activities.

The Fletchers Company is delighted to support the school even in the small way we are able to,  and to see its progress, which has placed it for progress at GCSE as the 15th best school in the country out of 6,382 schools.



The City of London Academy Southwark

COLAS is situated in the Bermondsey area of Southwark and has links with a number of livery companies. Their atrium has around it the shields of all of the companies to which they are linked: the Fletchers' is there because we support prizes in art and in music technology.

COLAS takes great pride in its city links, as well as its caring, inclusive community, and has achieved exceptional success in all areas. It has an added focus on Business and Enterprise and Sport, and is one of only 10 schools in England to be awarded Basketball Academy status by Basketball England. A new Sixth form centre opened in September 2017.


The City of London Freemen’s School

The creation of the City of London Freemen’s School was enabled by an 1850 Parliamentary Bill (finally enacted in 1853) but its roots lie in the earmarking of the sale proceeds of the London Workhouse in Bishopsgate (roughly where Liverpool St now runs) by an 1829 Act allocating the funds for the foundation of a school.  Education was in the air but there seemed to be no hurry.  The key pioneer was one Warren Stormes Hale, a Common Councillor (later Lord Mayor) who became Chairman of the City Lands Committee in 1833.  His first educational success was the creation of the City of London School using the John Carpenter (1442) bequest funds to create the boys’ school which opened in 1837.  The workhouse funds were still untouched so Councillor Hale led the drive for the 1853 Enabling Act, became chairman of the committee responsible for implementing the Act and the school, known as The City of London Freemen’s Orphan School, was opened in 1854.  To complete the set of the City’s three independent schools The City of London School for Girls was opened in 1894.


The Freemen’s Orphan School was created in Brixton next to the existing City of London Almshouses and was originally surrounded by fields.  Records show that there were no houses between the school and Clapham Common at that time.  From the outset the school was co-educational with an original capacity (all boarders) for 70 boys and 30 girls between the ages of 7 and 14.  Almost from the outset there was a prize recognising the successes of pupils when, in 1860, Alderman Edward Condor donated an annual prize fund.  Condor was a Wheelwright but other livery companies followed with their own prizes.  Before the turn of the 19th century the Orphan School Prize Day regularly attracted the Lord Mayor and his party and shortly afterwards it was recorded that this was the only day in the year that the pupils were served blancmange and jelly.


At about this time as part of the Army recruitment for the Boer War the Londoners enlisting in the City Imperial Volunteers were all granted the Freedom of the City of London.  The subsequent loss of life in South Africa gave a strong supply of new orphans.  Unfortunately this period also saw increasing urbanisation of Brixton, indeed industrialisation, resulting in much pollution and illness amongst the pupils and staff.  The search was initiated for a new school site.


In 1914 the school’s fourth Headmaster was appointed before the outbreak of the First World War and he continued for 31 years, finally retiring in 1945 after the end of the Second World War.  He oversaw vast change leading to the rise of the present school, including the relocation to Ashtead, Surrey in 1926, the renaming to the current title, of The City of London Freemen’s School and, as a schoolboy, the young Joe Byllam-Barnes, Citizen and Fletcher (also PM Upholder).


Joe may have been the first former pupil of the school to become a Fletcher but he is not the last and many Fletchers who became Members of Common Council would have taken their turn as Governors of the school.  The Fletchers’ Court currently includes in its number one current governor and three past governors.


The school flourishes with over 900 pupils aged between 7 and 18 all running around in the 57 acre Ashtead Park site and in its latest ISI inspection (2015) achieved a top rating of “Excellent”.  Each year the Master Fletcher is invited to attend Prize Day in the company of other livery Masters and, frequently, the Lord Mayor.  The Company currently gives 2 prizes in the Junior School.  However, it is with some pleasure that we record that it was a pupil from the City of London Freemen’s School who won the Fletchers’ prize for the best essay on the subject of Agincourt in 2015, the 600th anniversary of the battle – where, if we need to complete the circle, one of Joe Byllam-Barnes’ ancestors fought.


Further information on the school website




The City of London Academy Hackney


The Worshipful Company of Fletchers is delighted to have stated to forge links with another City of London academy, COLAH, which was established in 2009 and which lies opposite the National Trust’s Sutton House in Hackney. As the school outlines, its students are taught in an environment that promotes academic, creative, sporting, linguistic and personal achievement – the City Experience. COLAH has strong sponsorship from KPMG. Particularly notable is the opportunity given to all students to take up a musical instrument. The Fletchers are in discussion with the school on supporting prizes, perhaps in the area of humanities.



Livery Schools Link

The City of London supports the Livery Schools link which is an organisation aimed at supporting and facilitating links between Liverymen and women and schools in London and beyond. For further details and opportunities to register your interest see


More in this category: « Joining the Fletchers Governance »