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Queen Victoria School

Queen Victoria School, Dunblane
©2016 Gazetteer for Scotland

Queen Victoria School, Dunblane

Overlooking the B8033 road, leaving Dunblane to the north, Queen Victoria School is a boarding school for the children of Scottish and Scottish-based armed forces personnel. It represents a national memorial for two reasons. Firstly, the school was founded by public subscription in memory of those Scottish servicemen who fell in South Africa during the Boer Wars. However, it also represents Scotland's national memorial to Queen Victoria, who died shortly after fundraising began. The population gave generously with, for example, every serviceman donating a day's pay and the school was officially opened on the 28th September 1908 by King Edward VII.

The competition-winning design for the four-storey main block was by architect John Archibald Campbell (1851 - 1909) in the Scottish Renaissance style and this is now a listed building. Campbell was also responsible for the inter-denominational chapel, hospital and ancillary buildings. A nondescript classroom and boarding block was added in the 1960s. In 1996, the school became fully co-educational. Today there are four boarding houses named after famous military commanders; Cunningham, Haig, Trenchard and Wavell. The school has a roll of 280 pupils, between the ages of 11 and 18, whose parents are from all ranks of the army, navy and air-force serving at home and overseas. Particular emphasis is placed on ceremonial and extra-curricular activities. The Queen Victoria Pipe Band has played at all home rugby internationals since 1922 and their highland dancers appear nationally and internationally.

The School operates under its Constitution of 1905 which commits the Secretary of State for Defence to fund the school, rather than the parents, and requires the school to maintain a strong humanitarian ethos. Priority in admissions is given to children who have lost a parent in service, and other compassionate cases, rather than academic excellence. Since 1992, the school operates as an agency of the Ministry of Defence.


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