Our history

Headington was founded in 1915 by a group of evangelical Christians as an independent school to provide ‘a sound education for girls to fit them for the demands and opportunities likely to arise after the war’.


The school occupied a number of large houses in Headington before settling on its present site. It started life in Headington Lodge on Osler Road with just ten boarding and eight day girls.


Brookside on the London Road was taken over by the school. This house was built in 1886 and first occupied by Thomas Arnall, Oxford’s Head Postmaster. The school renamed it Napier House when they moved out of the original Headington house with that name, and it is now home to Headington Preparatory School.


The original Napier House in Pullen’s Lane was also taken over. This house was built in 1892 for Professor Arthur Napier. Now renamed Cotuit Hall, it forms part of Oxford Brookes University.


Numbers had reached 70, and Davenport House (on the corner of London Road and Pullen’s Lane) was taken over by the school. This house had a 2 acre garden and another nineteen acres of farmland attached stretching as far east as the White Horse pub. Davenport is still one of Headington's boarding houses, home to our youngest boarders.


The school took over Hillstow (now Dorset House) on the London Road, and this became the fifth large Headington house to be used by the school.


The present main school was built in the neo-Georgian style. Chiang Yee in The Silent Traveller in Oxford describes it as having an 'atmosphere of spacious dignity'.


Headington was established as an educational charity, in recognition of the benefits that it provides to its pupils and the wider community.


Over 300 girls at the school, and by 1985 were 500 in the senior school and 130 in the Prep School.


There are around 1,000 girls at Headington, including 280 in the Preparatory School. Over 30 nationalities are represented in our school community.

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