story of hlc – main
story of hlc – circle

The Story of HLC

Pioneering Girls Education

Harrogate Ladies’ College, the first of our family of schools to be established, has been pioneering girls’ education in the UK since 1893. We were part of a significant movement in the second half of the nineteenth century to offer girls the same education opportunities as boys and to enable them for the first time to gain access to UK universities. As well as our school, the movement also included the founding of Cheltenham Ladies’ College, Downe House and Roedean.

Our school soon forged a reputation as a leader among girls’ schools and just eleven years after it first opened we moved to our current magnificent, purpose-built home. The size and scale of the buildings was quite unusual at the time for a girls’ school and it was an important symbol to the world that girls’ education was here to stay.

Apart from a short period during the Second World War when the school buildings were commandeered for military purposes, the school has remained on the same site ever since. On-going investment and development have seen our Campus grow to the 22 acre site it is today.

Find out more about our Campus

Pre-school & Nursery

Whilst remaining fierce supporters of the benefits of a girls’ only education at senior school, in 1997 we opened our pre-school and nursery now known as Highfield Pre-School, but originally called Bankfield.  Bankfield opened its doors when we took over Kent Road Playschool from its previous owner, Mrs Banks, on her retirement.  The school was re-located from a nearby site to a large Victorian house adjacent to the main Campus and today provides a stepping stone between home and school for more than 70 boys and girls aged from 2 to 4 years.

Prep School

Just 2 years later, in 1999 we completed our family of three schools with the opening of Highfield, a co-ed Prep School for boys and girls aged 4-11 years.  Highfield is set within our main Campus grounds and has the benefit of accessing all of the senior school facilities.  The school was established to meet the needs of local families looking for a world class education in the heart of Harrogate.

With the addition of Highfield Pre-School and Highfield Prep School, our family of schools is today able to offer a seamless education journey from 2-11 years for boys and 2-18 for girls within one Campus.

A Living History

We are steeped in history and we maintain many traditions as well as our traditional ethos. This sense of history combines today with modern facilities and forward thinking, progressive teaching to meet the needs of today’s world. We continue today, where we started, as educational pioneers forging the way for tomorrow’s education.