Around 830 boys aged 13 to 18, who come from all over Britain and across the world, live in Harrow’s 12 boarding Houses. The School’s diverse pupil body means that a boy from London, Yorkshire or the Scottish Highlands may become a close friend of someone who lives in the USA, South Africa or South Korea.
Harrow School describes its purpose as preparing boys from diverse backgrounds and abilities for a life of learning, leadership, service and personal fulfilment. The School’s purpose is underpinned by its values: Courage, Honour, Humility and Fellowship.
As a steward of many cherished traditions, today’s Harrow is shaped by the best of its past. The School has produced many great men: Old Harrovians include statesmen such as Peel, Palmerston, Churchill, Nehru and King Hussein of Jordan; writers including Byron, Sheridan, Trollope and Richard Curtis; and one of the most renowned philanthropists of the 19th century, Anthony Ashley-Cooper, the seventh Earl of Shaftesbury.
Inspired by the example of Lord Shaftesbury, in 2012, we established Shaftesbury Enterprise, which encompasses all Harrow’s philanthropic, charitable, outreach and partnership work and is central to Harrow School life. Through this initiative, boys engage purposefully and genuinely with the local community and beyond.
As part of Shaftesbury Enterprise, Harrovians make weekly visits to local primary schools to help with activities including reading projects and homework clubs. The School shares its resources and facilities with many other primary schools and, last year, more than 200 primary school children visited Harrow for masterclasses in chemistry, mathematics, drama, sport and music. Harrow also has numerous partnerships with secondary schools in the area, with whom we run activities such as training days, revision sessions and lectures.
Harrovians also work to help members of the local community through a range of projects at, for example, Bradbury Court (a residential care home for the disabled in Harrow run by Livability), Certitude (a charity that provides support for people with learning difficulties and mental health problems), and FirmFoundation, an organisation working with single homeless people in Harrow.
Boys are strongly encouraged to undertake charitable work and our annual run, in which every boy takes part, has raised over £300,000 in the past three years. Our first annual report on Shaftesbury Enterprise activities serves as a snapshot of the work of this kind that we are doing as a School.