Our Foundations

Our journey began in 1563 when a local textile dealer, Francis Graunt, bequeathed a small house and ten shillings a year for the ‘use of a Free School’ within the town of Wakefield. He was able to imagine the impact that an education would have on enabling a brighter future for boys in Yorkshire. He understood the significance of transformational giving. His generosity, together with a large number of bequests and promises of support, led to a Royal Charter being granted in 1591, authorising the foundation of Queen Elizabeth Grammar School (QEGS).

In 1875, Wakefield Grammar School Foundation (the Foundation) was founded by the Governors of QEGS and following the Endowed Schools Act in 1869, which allowed girls’ schools to be formed, the Governors bought Wentworth House and transformed it into a school for girls. Wakefield Girls’ High School (WGHS) opened its doors to 58 girls in 1878.

The foundations laid all those years ago have been the building blocks on which Wakefield Grammar School Foundation continues to build, in order to provide an exceptional education to girls and boys from Wakefield and the surrounding area.

Whilst Francis Graunt provided the first gift of its kind, it was by no means the last. Many have shared Francis’ vision over the years and at the heart of our Schools’ successes is a tradition of philanthropy. This tradition is one that we would like to continue for centuries to come, particularly as we realise our vision for the future of our Schools with the development of the Clayton Campus.