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Harrow School /ˈhæroʊ/, commonly referred to as "Harrow", is an English independent school for boys situated in the town of Harrow, in north-west London. There is some evidence that there has been a school on the site since 1243, but the Harrow School of today was formally founded in 1572 by John Lyon under a Royal Charter of Elizabeth I. Harrow is one of the original nine public schools that were regulated by the Public Schools Act 1868.

The School has an enrollment of 814 boys spread across twelve boarding houses, all of whom board full-time. It remains one of the four all-boys, full-boarding schools in Britain, the others being Radley College, Eton College, and Winchester College. Harrow's uniform includes straw hats, morning suits, top hats and canes. Its long line of famous alumni includes eight former British/Indian Prime Ministers (including Churchill, Baldwin, Peel, and Palmerston), numerous foreign statesmen, former and current members of both houses of the U.K. Parliament, two Kings and several other members of various royal families, 20 Victoria Cross and one George Cross holders, and a great many notable figures in both the Arts andVarious schools[citation needed] in the same location have educated boys since 1243, but the School in its current form was founded in February 1572 under a Royal Charter granted by Queen Elizabeth I to John Lyon, a local wealthy farmer. In the School's original charter, six governors were named, including two members of the Gerard family of Flambards, and two members of the Page family of Wembley and Sudbury Court. It was only after the death of Lyon's wife in 1608 that the construction of the first school building began. It was completed in 1615 and remains to this day, however it is now much larger.

The School grew gradually at first, but growth became rapid during Imperial times as British prosperity grew. Lyon died in 1592, leaving his assets to two causes, the lesser being the School, and by far the greater beneficiary being the maintenance of a road to London, 10 miles (16 km) away. The school owned and maintained this road for many years following Lyon's death, and the whole school still runs along this 10-mile road in an event called "Long Ducker" every November. At first the primary subject taught was Latin, and the only sport was archery. Both subjects were compulsory; archery was dropped in 1771. Although most boys were taught for free, their tuition paid for by Lyon's endowment, there were a number of fee-paying "foreigners" (boys from outside the parish). It was their presence that amplified the need for boarding facilities. By 1701 for every local there were two "foreign" pupils; this was used to generate funds for the School as fees increased. By 1876 the ratio was so high that John Lyon Lower School was brought under the authority of the governors of the Upper School so that the School complied with its object of providing education for the boys of the parish. It is now known as The John Lyon School and is a prominent independent school in England. It maintains close links with Harrow. The majority of the school's boarding houses were constructed in Victorian times, when the number of boys increased dramatically.

Old Schools The 20th century saw the innovation of a central dining hall, the demolition of small houses and further modernisation of the curriculum. Presently there are about 800 boys boarding at Harrow.

In 2005, the School was one of 50 of the country's leading independent schools which were found guilty of running an illegal price-fixing cartel, exposed by The Times, which had allowed them to drive up fees for thousands of parents, although the schools said that they had not realised that the change to the law (which had happened only a few months earlier) about the sharing of information had subsequently made it an offence. Each school was required to pay a nominal penalty of £10,000 and all agreed to make ex-gratia payments totalling £3,000,000 into a trust designed to benefit pupils who attended the schools during the period in respect of which fee information was shared. However, Mrs Jean Scott, the head of the Independent Schools Council, said that independent schools had always been exempt from anti-cartel rules applied to business, were following a long-established procedure in sharing the information with each other, and that they were unaware of the change to the law (on which they had not been consulted). She wrote to John Vickers, the OFT director-general, saying, "They are not a group of businessmen meeting behind closed doors to fix the price of their products to the disadvantage of the consumer. They are schools that have quite openly continued to follow a long-established practice because they were unaware that the law had changed."

Recently, the School Governors have expanded overseas, opening additional schools in Beijing, China (Harrow International School Beijing); Bangkok, Thailand (Harrow International School, Bangkok); and New Territories, Hong Kong (Harrow International School Hong Kong). the Sciences. The Good Schools Guide published in 2014 said "Parents looking for a top notch, blue chip, full boarding, all boys' school will be hard-pressed to beat Harrow. This is a school on top of its game".

List of Old Harrovians