History of the foundation 1

A History of the Foundation


A huge debt of gratitude is owed to one man: the Founder of Reed’s School, Reverend Dr Andrew Reed, a visionary and social reformer, ahead of his time. 

In the early 1800s, as a young Minister based in Stepney, Reed found himself holding the hand of a dying parishioner. The man’s wife had passed away and his final wish was that his two young daughters would be cared for. Reed’s own mother had been left a penniless orphan and, recalling this, he agreed to help. 

The granting of this simple wish would lead the way to a life dedicated to philanthropy, changing the futures of thousands of children over the next 200 years.  In his search to find suitable care for the girls, Reed visited many orphanages and was appalled at the circumstances he found. He believed that a better solution must exist and, with the help of a small but committed group of supporters, who all shared his vision that the poor should not surrender their dignity in the face of poverty, resolved to make it reality.

The outcome was the founding in 1813 of a charitable foundation: the London Orphan Asylum in Clapton, East London. The word ‘asylum’ was carefully chosen to signify a place of shelter, safety and education for vulnerable children. Indeed, so driven was Reed by the need for social reform, he founded several other charitable institutions including the Royal Hospital for Incurables in Putney (now the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability), the Reedham Orphanage and the Infant Orphan Asylum in Wanstead.


With a move to Watford in 1871, the London Orphan Asylum charitable foundation was renamed the London Orphan School (LOS), which later became Reed’s School in the early 1940s. This heritage attests to the fact that we are not a school with a Foundation but, importantly, a Foundation with a school.

Funding this charitable foundation was a constant challenge, but Reed refused to be daunted. His resolve saw him appeal to wealthy members of the City, the gentry and the Royal Family. He knew that their patronage would bring prestige to the charity and also instil confidence in its other benefactors. This support remains today.

During World War Two, the boys were evacuated to Totnes in Devon and the girls to Towcester in Northamptonshire. In 1946, the girls moved to Dogmersfield Park in Hampshire and the boys took up residency at our present site in Cobham.

From 1813 to the late 1950s, every pupil who attended the School had lost the support of one or both parents and so was fully funded by the Foundation, receiving the education and care to transform their futures. Then, due to financial difficulties, it became necessary to take on fee-paying pupils as well, creating the thriving and successful School we are today. 

The Foundation remains central to our purpose: the challenge is to ensure we can continue to offer no less than 10% of our pupils, who come from vulnerable social backgrounds, the opportunity to change the course of their lives by raising aspirations, inspiring confidence and providing a well-rounded education.




The Foundation in the News

@ReedsFoundation - 5 Oct
Today we welcomed students from to Reed's School to participate in Launch Car Challenge, a STEM activity designed for Year 5 students Impressive amount of creativity and enthusiasm in the FutureTech building today! https://t.co/KyyoZrR9Fm
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@ReedsFoundation - 3 Oct
A huge thank you to everyone who ran to raise money to help support the work of the Foundation. https://t.co/SSvkv87kvN
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@ReedsFoundation - 3 Oct
Looking forward to supporting more students through the Andrew Reed Foundation.
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@ReedsFoundation - 3 Oct
During , we reflect and give thanks to all the amazing kinship carers we have within our Reed's School community. Thank you for the sacrifices you make and the care you show. Your support is truly transformational! https://t.co/2LMBb7A82f
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@ReedsFoundation Retweeted Old Reedonians - 2 Oct
And they’re off…our brave athletes running for the Download the app to track, send messages & look out for their bright orange tops. “May the wind be at your heels” 👏👏👏👏👏👏👏 from all https://t.co/0S72wCR7Mm
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@ReedsFoundation - 1 Oct
Today we hosted 30 children from at Reed's School. The aim of the day was to give the children a chance to see what a boarding school environment is like and to meet some students who board at the school. https://t.co/1W0Ii0Auf9
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@ReedsFoundation - 30 Sep
Good luck Jon Don and thank you for supporting the Andrew Reed Foundation! https://t.co/L9q1uWKpio
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@ReedsFoundation - 29 Sep
Taking a moment to appreciate what a wonderful view we have from the Foundation office! https://t.co/ktA0gDRvQt
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@ReedsFoundation - 26 Sep
Do you know a Year 11 girl who has lost the support of a parent? We offer transformational bursaries for girls to attend the Sixth Form . Applications for September 2023 entry are closing soon! https://t.co/yRFQMOSeQZ
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@ReedsFoundation Retweeted Old Reedonians - 24 Sep
What do 4 , the hubby of an OR, a teacher and a parent have in common? The answer: on 2 Oct when they'll be putting body & soul on the line for the . Show your support by donating on their JustGiving pages. https://t.co/ShDDJcYlvQ
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@ReedsFoundation Retweeted Reed's School Cobham - 9 Sep
It is with deep sadness that we pay tribute to Our Patron, HM The Queen. Her Majesty’s service has inspired many generations of Reed’s pupils. We'll be forever grateful for a lifetime of dedication & commitment to our Nation. Our heartfelt condolences to the entire Royal Family. https://t.co/0XaRlOy6Bj
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@ReedsFoundation - 7 Sep
So true.👍
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@ReedsFoundation Retweeted Amber Evans - 1 Sep
Review: This day and boarding school for boys (and girls in the 6th Form) with spectacular facilities, a strong community spirit and solid academic results makes for well-rounded & high-achieving students. The open morning on Sat 17 Sep. https://t.co/tBiUcl0Ljh
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@ReedsFoundation - 1 Sep
It's back to school tomorrow for our new Foundation pupils. We are looking forward to being part of their Reed's journey and supporting their families. As you approach the school, look out for this wonderful creation produced by Diana, Chair of the Foundation Panel.#postboxtopper https://t.co/SMnKCwAH7B
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@ReedsFoundation - 30 Aug
On here's a reminder that our entry criteria for Foundation bursaries is the loss of one or both parents. We are still accepting applications for 2023 entry to https://t.co/qZdE3mZW0n
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@ReedsFoundation - 17 Aug
Do you know a boy going into Year 6 who has lost the support of one or both parents and would benefit from a life-changing education at Reed's School? The Foundation office is open during the summer for discussions.#bursaries https://t.co/tm70NAAo3G
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@ReedsFoundation - 11 Aug
A fantastic initiative by and . See the link below on how to donate or help spread the word to families in need. https://t.co/OBY1ot5o8g
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@ReedsFoundation - 8 Aug
Our Foundation has been transforming children's lives for over 200 years. Since it was founded over 13,000 children have had the opportunity to benefit from a life-changing education Proud to be making a difference! https://t.co/g9596XJUOP
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@ReedsFoundation - 3 Aug
The Foundation office is open throughout the summer holidays to discuss Foundation places for 2023. If you know a boy who has lost the support of one or both parents please do get in touch. https://t.co/pUAYmtj4db https://t.co/K3Qnkl3mRV
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@ReedsFoundation Retweeted Reed's School Cobham - 29 Jul
Looking for a part-time job? We need a BARISTA in our cricket centre café at weekends & a GYM INSTRUCTOR (evenings) in our Fitness Centre. Great rates of pay are offered for these vacancies. More info: https://t.co/1ZfoYvZSza Closes: 19/8 & 3/8 respectively. https://t.co/Vt7V2ahwNW
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