History & Heritage
Our heritage as an independent, co-educational school stretches back over 215 years, when the school was founded in 1803 by the Society of Licensed Victuallers.
The first Licensed Victuallers’ School was set up in Kennington in 1803 by the Society of Licensed Victuallers, and aimed to provide a caring and challenging education for the children of those working in the licensed drink’s trade. On opening, the school had 14 girls and six boys, all with family in the licensed trade.
At the time Kennington, which is now part of Greater London, was chosen because of its ‘wholesome and airy environment.’
In 1836, the Society of Licensed Victuallers was granted a Royal Charter, with King William IV becoming Royal Patron of Licensed Victuallers’ School. This has continued ever since, with Her Majesty The Queen patron of all three LVS Schools today.
In 1866, Mr William Smalley, General Secretary for the charity between 1844 and 1880, and himself an ex-pupil of the school, donated one thousand guineas to the Licensed Victuallers’ Asylum, providing funding for construction of the Smalley Wing. His part in the charity’s history is remembered today as LVS Ascot hosts regular ‘Smalley Lectures’, and Smalley prizes are presented annually at President’s Day.
As industrialisation increased, and London spread outward, the school moved to another green site in Slough in 1921.
In 1963, all licensees were encouraged to donate the cost of two cigarettes a week to fund one hundred distressed places at Licensed Victuallers’ School to cover clothing, food, education and pocket money.
The school moved again in the late 1980s to its current location, Ascot in Berkshire.
In 2004, the Licensed Trade Charity was formed through the merging of the Society of Licensed Victuallers and Licensed Victuallers’ National Homes, and is still in operation today, supporting those in the licensed trade.
With each move, the charity incorporated the latest educational thinking and facilities in the design of the Licensed Victuallers’ School, providing a modern educational environment able to compete and perform successfully in the independent school marketplace.
The school’s strong academic, sporting and creative results are a testament to this success and now provides and education to over 850 students, from the ages of 4-18.
Please join us at one of our open mornings where you can meet members of our Senior Team, our School Principal and take a tour of the school.Book Now