About Us

Welcome to Burdett-Coutts & Townshend Foundation CE Primary School. We are a Church of England Voluntary Aided school serving a diverse and fascinating central London community.

  • As a fully inclusive community school with a Church of England ethos, we welcome those of different faiths, and of none. We place a strong emphasis on working together and mutual understanding, so that our pupils have a wide and balanced view of the world through their interactions with school friends and teachers.
  • Our Christian vision is deeply rooted in our theological understanding of St Paul’s letter to the Philippians: ‘I can do all this through Him who gives me strength‘. We encourage our learners to be ambitious for themselves, and for others. We challenge and support them in questioning the world and in finding solutions.
  • Our vision is lived out through our exploration and teaching of the Christian values of friendship, compassion and service. We want our learners to be ready to learn, respectful of each other and to feel safe so that they can flourish in today’s world, knowing that they are loved and cherished by God. For it is through Him, that they are given the strength to encounter each day and live life in all its fullness.

Testimonials are best heard directly from our children, so please visit us to get a real ‘feel’ for what we stand for. Please contact Mrs L. Deary (Pastoral Support Manager), who will be happy to organise a visit for you.

A Brief History

Angela Georgina Burdett-Coutts, Baroness, was born in London on April 21, 1814. She took the name of Coutts in 1837 when she inherited the family banking fortune from her grandfather, Sir Thomas Coutts.

She was influenced by her great friends, Charles Dickens and the Duke of Wellington, in deciding to use her money for philanthropy; they advised her how to conserve her wealth while using it to the best advantage.

In the early 1840s, the Bishop of London informed the Dean and Chapter of Westminster that Miss Burdett-Coutts had approached him, with a proposal to build a church and school in memory of her father, and that she would like this memorial to be the centre-piece of a new parish bearing the name of St. Stephen.

The area in mind was then one of the worst slums in London; bounded by Rochester Street, Rochester Row, Vincent Square, and Bell (now Elverton) Street. There were originally three schools: a boys school, a girls school and an infant school (called Townshend Foundation).

In 1849, the main school was built and on 21st August, 1907, the combined schools became the Burdett-Coutts and Townshend Foundation School, Rochester Street.

The school had a place of importance in the Baroness’ vision in the realistic preparation of young people to meet the challenge of the adult world. One even became the Prime Minister of Australia, and documentation and photographs remain of William Morris ‘Billy’ Hughes’ visit when he came to England.

There continues to be a close and personal link with the church, with the Vicar of St Stephen’s sitting on the Board of Governors and also with the Burdett-Coutts family, a member of whom sits on the Board of Trustees. The school also regularly pays tribute to its benefactors through dedicated lessons, collective worship and during the Founders’ Day celebration each year.