John Lyon was a successful and wealthy yeoman farmer. In 1572, the Queen of England, Elizabeth I granted him a royal charter to establish a charity to be endowed by him to fund a school in Harrow for local pupils and to endow a trust to maintain two local roads, the Harrow Road and the Edgware Road, known as the “Roads Trust”. His generosity and vision have resulted in the development of the John Lyons’ Foundation.
Today, the John Lyon’s Foundation aims to transform the lives of children and young people through education. It includes two schools with about 840 students each in Harrow-on-the-Hill: Harrow School, a boys’ full-boarding secondary school still based around the original schoolhouse on top of the Hill; and John Lyon School, a nursery through secondary co-educational day school located on and around the Hill. It also includes John Lyon’s Charity, established in 1991 when the Roads Trust was relieved of its responsibilities for the maintenance of the roads and it became a grant-giving charity which today uses the income from its assets, now worth £400m, to award grants of around £15m p.a. to about 500 charities, based in the nine boroughs in West London that surround the Harrow and Edgware Roads.
The Foundation’s reach also extends beyond London, both through online schooling and the family of International Schools around the world which carry the Harrow name, educating over 7000 boys and girls.
Although each element of the Foundation has separate aims and structures, they share the same governing body, and work together to increase their charitable impact.
John Lyon’s legacy is a truly remarkable one. Those of us who are privileged to serve as Governors feel fortunate to play a small part in its history.
This website is one of the ways in which the achievements of the Foundation are showcased. I hope that it will help introduce you to the amazing work that is done by the Foundation, its wider family of schools, and all the dedicated people who work within it.
Chairman of Governors
John Lyon’s Foundation