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Our History

Sacred Heart High School and Westminster Cathedral were both designed by John Francis Bentley.  The school buildings are listed by Historic England at Grade II, placing them in the top 6% of all historic buildings. Apart from the twenty years as a seminary in the late nineteenth century, our site has a 330 year tradition of contributing to the education of young women.

Our school would not exist were if not for the vision and bravery of Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat.  Sophie founded the Society of the Sacred Heart, a prohibited organisation, at the time of the French revolution. Acutely aware of the lack of female education among the poor, Sophie, compelled to act, founded the first Sacred Heart School in Amiens in 1801. Sophie’s dream of educating young women, regardless of financial means had begun. Soon the Society established a network of schools, with a reputation of academic excellence, throughout France and beyond.   

The tenets that our school was founded upon in 1893 remain; a commitment to serving West London’s diverse youth and providing an academically rigorous Catholic education, empowering these students to be moral and productive members of society. 

Today, Sacred Heart High School Hammersmith, provides a high quality, innovative education for just over 1,100 girls between the ages of eleven and eighteen.  We are a proud member of a world-wide network of schools that places the creation of tomorrow’s leaders and the development of young women at the heart of everything we do.   


Eighty students from eight West London schools collectively rowed 100 miles this week, therefore completing their #Thames100 challenge.