We are a local school, forged and established in Highgate.

Channing was founded in 1885 by Miss Emily and Matilda Sharpe, and the Reverend Robert Spears. Their aim was to set up a school where the daughters of Unitarian ministers could obtain a ‘first-class education that would enable them to go to any university, if they so desired, and yet at the same time fit them for all the work of a woman’s home life.’

Upon founding their visionary school, they named it after one of Unitarianism’s leading theologians, William Ellery Channing. From the beginning, the curriculum was broad and ambitious, and Miss Matilda often invited distinguished visitors, such as the young Marconi, to talk to the school. Soon Channing was formally recognised as an institution of the highest standards.

Never forget life is expecting much of you and me

Miss Matilda Sharpe

The school originally occupied two houses on The Bank: Sutherland House (later renamed Channing House) and West View, which both remain on the Senior School grounds.

In 1926, Fairseat, with its impressive address of 1 Highgate Hill, was acquired as a boarding house for the School, and later became home to the Junior School. Part of the Lauderdale Estate, Fairseat was formerly the home of Sir Sydney Hedley Waterlow, Lord Mayor of London in 1872-3.

As a School, we have always played an integral part in the Highgate community. We are delighted to be in partnership with Highgate New Town Community Partners, with whom we provide Meals on Wheels and educational initiatives with local Primary Schools. For many years, we have enjoyed participating in such local events as Fair in the Square, Proms at St Jude’s, the Highgate Festival and Lauderdale House’s Heritage Weekend among many others. We often also support The Whittington Hospital and local care homes through charitable work.

Stepping outside Highgate, our easy access to central London offers us a wealth of outstanding cultural opportunities for pupils and staff to discover, enriching both the curriculum and The Channing Experience.

As a local school, over 90% of our pupils live within a three-mile radius and are thus able to travel to and from school with friends. We actively encourage our pupils to either walk or use public transport, with the aim of reducing car travel in the local area.