A values-led education

Student chatting with classmate

Quaker ethos

130 years ago Leighton Park was founded on Quaker principles that today are considered best educational practice for any school; respect, integrity, simplicity, equality, peace, truth, and sustainability.

Quakers call these principles “testimonies” and do their best to live by them, actively living out their values rather than obeying a set of beliefs. They recognise no barriers of colour, class, or gender and are accepting of those of all religions or none. Quakers believe in the immense potential of each individual.

Picture from 1890 at Leighton Park

Giving our values currency and purpose

Leighton Park leads the UK for its commitment to outreach and partnership work, winning the prestigious national Independent Schools Association (ISA) Award for Outstanding Community Involvement in 2021 and 2020, the only time a school has won an ISA award two years running.

Developing kind and compassionate leaders for the future is an important part of how we give our Quaker values currency and purpose. Our mutually beneficial partnerships with community and educational organisations give us insight, strength and courage to look within and strive for a fairer, better society.

Read more about our outreach work +

Bringing an ethical dimension to your child's studies

We’re already working with local businesses to add an ethical dimension to your child’s studies. By taking real-world examples and asking our students to decide what would be fair, how they would act and why, they’re challenging the preconceptions of what’s important in business. It’s our first step towards a formalised education programme in ethical enterprise and entrepreneurship.

Values with purpose

Ethical enterprise is coming to the fore for most businesses, as corporate social responsibility becomes more pertinent to society. And it’s perfectly aligned with our Quaker values. Quakers are well known for their ethical and fair approach to business, playing a central role in establishing several of Britain’s best-known companies, including Barclays Bank, Cadbury, Rowntree and Clarks as well as many prominent organisations committed to ethical issues, such as Amnesty International, Oxfam and Greenpeace.

Our Quaker values
Take a look +

Our Quaker values are embedded throughout the life of the School and our students appreciate the moral compass they offer within and beyond the community. Watch our video to find out what they have to say about our STRIPES: Simplicity, Truth, Respect, Integrity, Peace, Equality and Sustainability.


Equality, Diversity & Inclusion

Leighton Park stands against everything to do with discrimination, exclusion, harassment, bullying and hatred in whatever form it takes, actively promoting fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance.  Leighton Park seeks to be a leading school in this regard, which delights in being diverse, open-minded and with a culture of equitable inclusion. Leighton Park is a place where everyone is respected, yet we recognise that tolerance is but a step on the journey to acceptance and celebration. We aspire to do our best by remaining agile and not complacent about the barriers and challenges to inclusion that can arise over time in schools and wider society.

Our seven Quaker values embody our commitment to the well-being of our School community and in particular, we seek to safeguard and support people with protected characteristics under the Equality Act (2010).  We also pledge to uphold the rights of all diverse young people not to be discriminated against as enshrined in Article 2 of the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of the Child.

We encourage applications from young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and others who would benefit from the transformative impact of our full bursaries.

If you have ideas to share with the Leighton Park Equality. Diversity and inclusion Steering Group or would like to discuss equalities, diversity and inclusion at Leighton Park, please contact our Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Shaun Dellenty at shaundellenty@leightonpark.com

Quaker roots

Although only a small number of students and staff are Quakers, it is our Quaker roots to which we owe our forward-thinking approach to education. These values provide the foundation for some of the long-standing, distinctive aspects of Leighton Park life, such as our holistic curriculum, the value placed on individuality, our strong sense of community and the collective moments of silence that punctuate the school day, offering students a much-needed opportunity for reflection.

An academic paper from Bristol University evaluating the Quaker approach to education in 2016 concluded: “Quaker schools are authentically Quaker. It is clear that the shared Quaker values translate into a learning environment in which students feel they are respected and listened to. This in turn helps to create positive relationships with teachers which results in a greater orientation towards ‘deep-learning’.”

Notable Quakers

The Obama family sent their daughters to a Quaker school and some better known Quakers include the actress Judi Dench and the confectioner John Cadbury, whose family helped establish the School in 1890. The inimitable James Dean was raised in a Quaker family. The Quakers won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1947.

Decorative stone work at Leighton Park

"It remains a Quaker-run school as the majority of governors are Quakers and, although no member of the Friends remains on the staff and only penny numbers of pupils are Quakers, the school lives by and exudes those gentle, civilised and socially responsible values. Few who leave here take nothing of those with them, and many see them as a guide for a healthy life."

Good Schools Guide

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