History of Fairley House School
On 27th April 1982 Fairley House School opened its doors to 20 pupils at Princes Gate in Kensington. It was officially opened by Princess Alexandra in November 1982 and received its final DfE independent school registration in May 1983. The school’s first principal was Daphne Hamilton Fairley, a Speech and Language therapist who established the school as a memorial to her husband, Gordon Hamilton Fairley, an oncologist tragically killed by a bomb. As a parent of dyslexic children and an early pioneer in therapy and teaching for dyslexia, Daphne was asked by parents of children she worked with at home to set up a school for them. This dream was achieved after the parents raised £51,000 by holding a ball, ‘The First Annual Spell Ball’ at The Intercontinental Hotel.
Daphne Hamilton Fairley’s aim was ‘to make Fairley House a centre of excellence and to start building a scientific approach to helping children with dyslexia or language problems’. From the beginning, medicine and education were linked; speech and language therapy and occupational therapy, then only available in hospital clinics, were provided at the school and integrated with children’s academic work.
In March 1988 Prince's Gate was at capacity with 77 pupils, so the school relocated to Bark Place in Bayswater to provide more places. There, Patience Thompson took over as Principal in 1989, staying until her retirement in 1997 and moving the school to 30 Causton Street in April 1996 to enable still more pupils to join. By the time Jackie Murray became Principal in 1997 there were 95 pupils. Demand continued to exceed the space available, and in 2001 the school rented 220 Lambeth Road to accommodate pupils aged between 11 and 14. In 2005 the school purchased 220 Lambeth Road and re-organised the school so that younger pupils were accommodated at Lambeth Road which had initially been an infant school, while older pupils attended the Causton Street site. In 2007 additional space was rented at 36 Causton Street to house the administration and to create better facilities for pupils. In 2011 the school purchased 218 Lambeth Road, enhancing facilities for junior pupils and providing further places. The building was officially opened by Princess Alexandra in 2012.
Currently the school has approximately 200 pupils and its headmaster, Michael Taylor, oversaw the enrolment of the school's first Key Stage 4 pupils (14 to 16 year olds) in September 2015.