Welcome to

Welcome to

A word from Martyn Beer,

Ackworth has always been a co-educational, boarding and day school. For nearly 250 years, we have maintained a passion for teaching and learning. We are proud of our traditions and family values, but equally proud of our innovative approach to co-education.

Ackworth is a dynamic and forward-thinking school. We strive to develop resilient individuals who not only think creatively, but also act ethically and with responsibility. We encourage our students to express themselves with confidence, to embody the Quaker value of speaking respectfully to others, but also in a way that is true to themselves and their beliefs.

Located in a beautiful rural setting in Yorkshire, we offer broad educational opportunities from nursery age to sixth form, for day pupils and boarders.

Some of these opportunities are:

  • proven academic performance
  • a safe and supportive atmosphere
  • the strength of quiet reflection
  • excellent sport, music, drama, visual arts and recreational facilities

Please come and visit us. I look forward to welcoming you to Ackworth.

Martyn Beer


Martyn Beer

Our Values

Simplicity: We believe in living simply and adventurously, placing charity and concern for others at the centre of what we do.

Truth: We cherish the truth which enables our pupils and staff to develop integrity in what they do and what they think, helping them to build meaningful, lasting relationships.

Equality and Community: We believe all people are of equal worth and our diverse international community values all individuals and answers the good in everyone.

Peace and Respect: We encourage our pupils and staff to adopt peaceful methods of dealing with conflict in all its forms, taking both individual and collective responsibility in resolving differences.

Sustainability: We believe it is our responsibility to protect the Earth and to encourage our pupils and staff to treasure and preserve it across the generations.

Aims & ethos

At Ackworth School, we aim to:

  • Develop a well integrated and self-disciplined community, with an international dimension, in which the values of Quakers are seen to underpin the school.

  • Help all pupils to progress at a pace appropriate to their age, aptitude, interests and ability, to achieve the best external examination results of which they are capable and to leave school equipped to lead a full and responsible life in the adult world.

  • Provide, and encourage the use of, the widest possible range of opportunities, e.g. sporting, creative and recreational, outside the formal curriculum.

  • To help pupils to grow in self-respect and to appreciate and enjoy the benefits of good health.

  • Encourage pupils to consider others before self, to look for the good in people and to be honest and trustworthy at all times.

  • Encourage service to others within and beyond school.

  • Provide, in conjunction with parents and guardians, care and support for pupils as they develop and mature.

  • Help pupils to value their fine surroundings and the work of those who maintain them and to extend their appreciation to an understanding of wider environmental issues.

The Quaker Ethos

Ackworth was founded as a Quaker school in 1779, to educate Quaker children ‘not in affluence’. Much has changed since then but we still state in our aims that Quaker values underpin the school.   At the heart of the Quaker faith is the statement in the first Advice:

Take heed, dear Friends, to the promptings of love and truth in your hearts. Trust them as the leadings of God whose Light shows us our darkness and brings us to new life.

Hence the emphasis on silence which still shapes our day at Ackworth and which is such a feature of the school, giving as it does a reflective feel to our daily lives.

Having listened, a Quaker tries, however imperfectly, to translate faith into practice.  Quakers are enjoined to look for that of God in everyone, and if Ackworth really is a Quaker school then it should be friendly, welcoming and encouraging for all concerned.

We should be catering for the needs of the individual child. There should also be an active social witness. Quakers have traditionally been very much concerned with promoting peace, and with penal reform and ending slavery.

We have much to live up to.


Ackworth School was founded in 1779 by John Fothergill on behalf of The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) and the School Committee (or Board of Governors) is still accountable to this body. The School was established for Quaker boys and girls and the Quaker ethos, with its emphasis on quiet reflection and the search for God (or good) within oneself and within others, lies at the heart of the School.

Periods of reflective silence form part of each day, during Morning Meeting and before meals for example, and each Thursday there is a short silent Meeting for Worship for the whole School.

The importance of respect for others and honesty at all times emphasised by the Quaker faith helps to produce a calm, friendly atmosphere which is supportive and reassuring for young people.

The majority of pupils are from non-Quaker families and about 20% come from other countries. Indeed, the international nature of the School, especially in the Sixth Form, is one of its distinctive features. As in any such community there has to be a clear disciplinary framework and our expectations are high. Ackworth pupils respond well to this and to the opportunities provided for assuming responsibilities, for example within the boarding houses and on the School Council.