CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Surrey Life today CLICK HERE

Royal Alexandra and Albert School in Reigate

PUBLISHED: 12:03 01 November 2007 | UPDATED: 14:54 20 February 2013

Royal Alexandra and Albert School's headmaster Paul Spencer Ellis

Royal Alexandra and Albert School's headmaster Paul Spencer Ellis

With its beautiful grounds, fantastic facilities and impressive sporting record, it's no wonder there's a long waiting list for the Royal Alexandra and Albert School in Gatton Park, Reigate.Tony Flook paid them a visit

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine September 2007


With its beautiful grounds, fantastic facilities and impressive sporting record, it's no wonder there's a long waiting list for the Royal Alexandra and Albert School in Gatton Park, Reigate.Tony Flook paid them a visit



Set in some 260 acres of spectacular parkland, the Royal Alexandra and Albert School in Gatton Park, Reigate, is a truly magnificent place.

Formed in 1949 from the amalgamation of two schools, both with their own long histories and royal patronage, it occupies a grand Palladian-style building that was formerly the home of the Colman family (of mustard fame).

The impressive grounds, which are mentioned in the Domesday Book, were gifted to Bishop Odo of Bayeaux by King William l. More recently, they were the site of a Tudor mansion, and the existing gardens were designed in part by the famous landscape gardener Lancelot "Capability" Brown.

Also housing St Andrew's parish church, it is not surprising that the site is a popular venue for weddings and other events.

The school itself has some 730 pupils, divided almost equally between girls and boys, of which 420 are boarders. As one of only 35 members of the State Boarding Schools' Association, its mission is to provide high quality boarding education at the lowest possible cost.

"In essence, it means that pupils' day education is state funded, whilst the cost of out of hours activities and of boarding are met by their families," says the headmaster, Paul Spencer Ellis. "As a result, fees are around half what parents would expect to pay at most independent schools.


"In addition, there is a foundation that can remit fees, on a means-tested basis, for children who have a need to board but where it would otherwise be out of reach for their families. Because of this, there is a heavy demand for our 420 boarding places, for pupils aged from seven to 18, and we have plans to increase this to 550.

"I am certain that boarding is a vital element in the overall experience we offer our pupils. They benefit from the atmosphere of a traditional boarding school but one that, we believe, has kept pace with changing times. The fact that most of our 112 full-time staff live on site helps build pupil/staff relationships and create a dynamic environment."

The school is so popular, in fact, that even day places can be over-subscribed and, as such, it has had to set priorities. Siblings of existing pupils come first, then those who can show promise in sport. Any remaining places are offered to children living locally.

Renowned for its sporting excellence, the school was awarded Sports College status in 2005 and is a young sportsman or sportswoman's paradise. As well as an indoor swimming pool, fitness centre and a well-equipped sports hall, there is a floodlit games area and extensive pitches for team games, including a cricket oval overlooking one of the three lakes.

Pupils with an interest in horse riding can enjoy not only the park but also a sand school and indoor riding school (where the trophy room is bedecked with rosettes). Individual interests are also encouraged and one pupil recently showed promise at archery, while another proved to be a fine Irish dancer.

"We are also seeking planning permission for indoor and outdoor tennis courts, floodlit netball courts, an athletics track, an Astroturf hockey pitch and additional rugby pitches," continues the headmaster. "Eight million pounds has already been committed for new and upgraded facilities and further capital expenditure is planned, including provision for two new science laboratories, further classrooms and a dance studio."

Music is a key feature at the school too, with a self-contained centre comprising teaching spaces, rehearsal rooms and individual practice rooms. The recently-opened performing arts centre seats up to 400, whilst the chapel, which can accommodate 700 people, is used for larger events.

There is also a full programme of after school activities for both day pupils and boarders. Girls as well as boys can join the cub and scout troops, and pupils are encouraged to prepare for the Duke of Edinburgh awards.

"We are a church school committed to fostering Christian principles within a caring community," sums up Paul Spencer Ellis. "However, children of all faiths - or none - are welcomed and we respect all beliefs.

"Here at the Royal Alexandra and Albert School, we concentrate on the quality of the teaching and on individual pupils."



  • The Royal Alexandra and Albert School, Gatton Park, Reigate, Surrey RH2 0TD. Tel: 01737 649000

    More from Surrey Life

    Thursday, November 15, 2018

    Surrey is full of secret hideaways and hidden gems. Slades Farm on the Wintershall Estate is definitely one of them

    Read more
    Wednesday, November 14, 2018

    The new hotel is set to open in spring 2019 and will be located in the heart of the vineyard, offering sweeping views over the North Downs Way.

    Read more
    Tuesday, November 13, 2018

    From Santa’s Grottos, to Victorian Christmas markets and late-night shopping, we’ve covered what’s on in Surrey this season

    Read more
    Tuesday, November 13, 2018

    Whether you're looking for fine dining, pub grub or exotic dishes, eating out in Surrey has something for everyone. Here's our guide to the best local restaurants and pubs

    Read more
    Tuesday, November 13, 2018

    Having bloomed in Brighton’s restaurant scene over the past decade, The Chilli Pickle opened its second site in Guildford this summer

    Read more
    Monday, November 12, 2018

    Historic Royal Palaces and IMG have announced that Kylie Minogue is the first headliner confirmed for Hampton Court Palace Festival 2019. These will be her only London shows of summer 2019. Here’s how you can get tickets

    Read more
    Monday, November 12, 2018

    Enjoy this linear rail to ramble section of the Thames Down Link route taking the short train-ride from Box Hill & Westhumble to Ashtead before walking back

    Read more
    Monday, November 12, 2018

    Great things to do in Surrey this weekend (16, 17 and 18 November): art exhibitions, walks, concerts, theatre, places to visit and other events and ideas.

    Read more
    Tuesday, November 6, 2018

    It’s that time of year when our beautiful countryside is alight with the colours of autumn. Here, we pick out some of her favourite spots to enjoy the seasonal splendour – as well as some perfect places for a post-walk refresher

    Read more
    Tuesday, November 6, 2018

    Found on the stretch of the River Thames between Weybridge and East Molesey, Sunbury-on-Thames is blessed with a village feel where it meets the water. From antique hunts to the joys of river life, here are a few of our favourite reasons to visit

    Read more
    Monday, November 5, 2018

    Verity & Violet are Loui and Jess – a singing duo from Surrey who specialise in blending vintage classics with modern favourites. The two have achieved success in the capital, but are now hoping to attract an audience closer to home

    Read more
    Friday, November 2, 2018

    With the Christmas celebrations seemingly starting earlier every year, it all feels a little too ‘soon’ sometimes, but what if you want to look your best for Christmas & New year celebrations and are considering having cosmetic non-surgical procedures? The Bella Vou Pantiles Clinic offers surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures and treatments from a purpose-built private clinic in the heart of Royal Tunbridge Wells

    Read more
    Thursday, November 1, 2018

    Living in England’s most densely wooded county, it’s always a pleasure to witness Surrey donning its autumn finery. Here’s some of the best places to do just that - plus a few pub pit stops to enjoy on route!

    Read more
    Wednesday, October 31, 2018

    We are regularly reminded of the high cost of housing with statistics revealing that only one in three millennials will be able to afford their own home during their lifetime and that most will remain in the category known as Generation Rent

    Read more

    Newsletter Sign Up

    Sign up to the following newsletters:

    Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

    Our Privacy Policy

    Topics of Interest


    Follow us on Twitter


    Like us on Facebook

    Subscribe or buy a mag today

    subscription ad

    Local Business Directory

    Property Search