Our school would not exist were if not for the vision and bravery of Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat. St Madeleine Sophie founded the Society of the Sacred Heart, in 1800 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.
Seven of the Sisters came from France in 1842 and founded the first school at Berrymead Manor, Acton.
Sr Janet Stuart decided that a Sacred Heart school was needed in Hammersmith and our school was founded in 1893 as a convent school for boarders. It became a day school in 1926 and in 1948 it was reorganised as a secondary grammar school — the Convent of Sacred Heart High School.
Today, the school remains under the Trusteeship of the Society of the Sacred Heart, providing 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 Sacred Heart schools that provides a transformational education for young women, as Sophie wanted, developing tomorrow’s leaders and a lifelong love of learning. This is at the heart of everything we do.
Our 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.