Headteacher of Alleyn’s gets lesson from his own former pupils, as they rally to the cause of the Judith Kerr Primary

Alleyn's school in Dulwich

Alleyn’s school in Dulwich

Last week I explained how the Judith Kerr school, a state primary in Herne Hill, South London, was threatened with losing its outdoor playing area in a deal which was designed to benefit three prestigious fee paying schools, Alleyn’s, Dulwich College and JAGS. You can read that piece here.

I wrote to the head teachers of all three schools asking for their response but none bothered to reply to me. Well perhaps they might want to reply to the letter below.  It is addressed to Dr Gary Savage, head teacher of Alleyn’s, and is signed by around 100 former pupils (plus a few current pupils and a handful of parents).

The letter makes its case exceedingly well. Meanwhile… if any current or former pupils (and teachers; well why not) of any of the three schools want to add their names to this letter, feel free to use the comments section on my site.


Simply put the word ‘Signed’  and then your name. I’ll get them up as quickly as they come in.




Dear Dr Gary Savage,

I am writing to you as a result of an article I have read which explains how the outdoor space at Judith Kerr Primary School is being threatened by Dulwich Estate (you can read the article here). Open spaces are such an important part of life for growing children, with play contributing so much to effective learning.

At Alleyn’s we were afforded the privilege of having ample space at our disposal. I am distressed to read that our former school could financially benefit from the same charity that may deny other children this right. I am therefore writing to urge you to publicly support the Judith Kerr Primary School Green Space Campaign and to challenge Dulwich Estate’s plan to offer this space to Dulwich Almshouses.

Though I absolutely recognise the value of the Almshouses, I strongly believe that the Dulwich Estate’s considerable property portfolio could offer alternative solutions. Alleyn’s, Dulwich College and JAGS nominate 2 Dulwich Estate trustees each, so out of the 11 nominated trustees in total, the 3 schools nominate 6. If the schools worked collaboratively I am clear that they would have a significant influence over the Estate’s decisions.

Failing that, Alleyn’s should release a statement in opposition to the actions of the Estate. As former Alleyn’s students we feel strongly about the impact our school has on the wider community, and believe it is our duty to ensure that the privileges Alleyn’s students are fortunate to receive do not hinder others’ opportunities.

I look forward to your response,

Asha Verma (School Captain, Duttons, 2011)

Samuel Bailey (Ropers, 2011)

Peter Morton (Duttons, 2011)

Katie Laurence (House Captain, Cribbs, 2011)

Cecilia Clark (Tysons, 2011)

Liz Laurence (House Captain, Cribbs, 2010)

Andy Laurence (Parent)

Nina Anderson (Cribbs, 2010)

Daniel Watson (Browns, 2011)

Lizzy Kinch (Spurgeons, 2011)

Jonathan Mayes (House Captain, Duttons, 2011)

Luke Clayton Thompson (Tulleys, 2011)

Crispin Kenney (Tulleys, 2011)

Martha Day (Hockey Captain, Browns, 2012)

Sam Allen (Senior Prefect, Ropers, 2011)

Phoebe Praill (House Captain, Spurgeons, 2011)

Calum Montell-Boyd (Senior Prefect, Bradings, 2011)

Ania Muras Struglinski (Ropers, 2011)

Tommy Emrich-Mills (Vice House Captain, Tulleys, 2011)

Daniel Forde (Senior Prefect, Football Captain, Cribbs, 2011)

Sophie Wyburd (Tulleys, 2012)

Anouska Cope (Senior Prefect, Vice Netball Captain, 2012)

Jamie Baptiste (Browns, 2011)

Zephyr Penoyre (Tysons, 2011)

Sophie Collis (Senior Prefect, 2011, currently a teacher at a state school who sees the need for green spaces)

James Aylward (House Captain, Tulleys, 2011)

Naomi Garratt (Vice House Captain, Tulleys, 2013)

Aaiza Ali (Senior Prefect, Ropers, 2010)

Ben Stephens (Ropers, 2011)

Fola Evans Akingbola (Sports Scholar, Tulleys, 2012)

Thomas Morton (Duttons, Current Student)

Claire Hall (Cribbs, 2011)

Faith Locken (House Captain, Ropers, 2011)

Jonah Calkin (Cribbs, Current Student)

Angeli Jeyarajah (Spurgeons, 2009)

Maya Peilow (House Captain, Browns, 2010)

Jamie Miller (House Captain, Tysons, 2011)

Jono Anderson (Ropers, 2011)

Ella Shanks (Spurgeons, 2011)

Jenni Le Pard (Senior Prefect, Cribbs, 2011)

Yasmin Jeyarajah (Vice House Captain, Spurgeons, 2011)

Samuel Young (Cribbs, 2009)

Rosemary Harris (House Captain, Duttons, 2010)

Chris Harris (Parent)

Annie Harris (Parent)

Daniel Unwin (Spurgeons, 2010)

Gabriella Russell (Tulleys, 2010)

Claire Charnock (Tysons, 2010)

Charlotte Sandberg (House Captain, Tulleys, 2010)

James Lawton (Vice Swimming Captain, Lower School Prefect, Bradings, 2010)

Camilla Craker-Horton (Lower School Prefect, Browns, 2011)

Ben Browett (Sports Captain, Spurgeons, 2011)

Hattie Smart (Browns, 2013)

Shadi Brazell (Vice School Captain, Browns, 2011)

William Bissett (Cribbs, 2011)

Jude Mack (Senior Prefect, Ropers, 2013)

Jacob Rowe (Vice House Captain, Cribbs, 2014)

Jaleh Brazell (Senior Prefect, Browns, 2016)

Khalil Thirlaway (Vice House Captain, Cadet CSgt, Browns, 2007)

Vera Vorobyeva (Current Student)

William Damazer (Head of Politics Society, Duttons, 2008)

Laura Kelly (House Captain, Spurgeons, 2016)

Anna Broughton (Senior Prefect, Cribbs, 2016)

Connie Castle (Lower School Prefect, Ropers, 2016)

Lucy Peters (Vice House Captain, Ropers, 2016)

Louis Knight-Webb (Bradings, 2016)

Alice McKimm (House Captain, Tulleys, 2016)

Penny Young (Lower School Prefect, Duttons, 2016)

Justin Mann (Tulleys, 2011)

Isabella Robertson (Vice House Captain, Duttons, 2016)

Theo McCausland (Vice House Captain, Bradings, 2012)

Joe Wilson (Vice House Captain, Tulleys, 2016)

Clara Collyns (2011)

Millie (Lower School Prefect, Tysons, 2016)

Ruby Welton (Vice House Captain, Ropers, 2016)

Sophia Dembitzer (Tulleys, 2011)

Alexander Marshall (Cribbs, 2016)

Kim Stallard (Senior Prefect, Browns, 2012)

Joshua Keeling (Senior Prefect, Hockey Captain, Bradings, 2016)

Anna Mymus (Tysons, 2016)

Holly Gimson (Senior Prefect, Spurgeons, 2016)

Audra Chukukere (Parent)

Andrew Mackenzie (Parent)

Lucie Davidson (Duttons, 2014)

Phil Morton (2014)

Josh Bailey (Ropers, 2014)

Lauren Meisner (Lower School Prefect, Tulleys, 2014)

Alabama Calkin (Lower School Prefect, Cribbs)

Haroun Hameed (Vice House Captain, Spurgeons, 2014)

Noah Forbes (Ropers, 2014)

Leo Dutton (House Captain, Duttons, 2014)

Claire Noble (CCF RQMS, Cribbs, 2014)

Emma Waldegrave (Lower School Prefect, Spurgeons, 2011)

Sam Hoiles (2014)

Lucy Morton (Parent)

Sylvie Markes (Vice House Captain, Duttons, 2014)

Brittany Johnston (Spurgeons, 2014)

Catherine Hindmarsh (Senior Prefect, Ropers, 2014)

Rachel Everitt (Bradings, 2011)

Adam Heaton (Bradings, 2009)

Charlotte Ody (Senior Prefect, Tysons, 2011)

171 comments on “Headteacher of Alleyn’s gets lesson from his own former pupils, as they rally to the cause of the Judith Kerr Primary

      • Howard Johnson on

        Dear Katherine.
        I am your old teacher from St. Anthony’s Scool. Alleyn’s was my secondary school in the 60s and I saw your name as a supporter of the Judith Kerr school.
        I’d remembered that you went to Alleyn’s.
        I can’t remember your brother’s name (Matthew?)
        I love very near to Judith Kerr School, just off Village Way.
        It would be lovely to hear your news.
        Best wishes to you, your brother and your folks.
        Howard Johnson

  1. Tom Maxwell on

    It might be a good idea to correct the misspelling of ‘publicly’ in the letter’s second paragraph. (I’m a supporter of Jay Rayner’s efforts to help the primary school, so I’m not having a go!)

  2. Mathieu Jullien on

    Dear Jay, Dear Alleyn’s former pupils,
    Thank you very much for your heartwarming support. As a dad to two children attending Judith Kerr Primary School, I am obviously very grateful. As a Frenchman – 15 years in London – who feel disappointed by the EU referendum outcome, you cheered me up with this display of generosity towards a very international school community!
    Best wishes

  3. Oscar Mathew on

    Signed Oscar Mathew (Tulleys, 2000)

    Jay – have you thought of contacting previous Alleyn’s Head Colin Niven for support? He always struck me as a decent guy, and I know he’s around Dulwich at the moment as I bumped into him recently.

  4. Niya Hill on

    So grateful for all your support Jay Rayner and to all those who have signed this letter.

    Niya Hill (Mother to Maya Yr 3 and Ella in Reception at Judith Kerr Primary School

  5. Jackie Yap on

    Thank you Jay for taking up our cause and trumpeting it with a loud flourish!

    And I was really moved to tears by the support that Alleyn’s past and present student population have shown towards us. Thank you so so very much from the bottom of all our hearts.

    Jackie (mother of Annabelle and Matthew at Judith Kerr PS)

  6. Withheld for personal reasons on

    Signed – former JAGS parent. Why couldn’t the almshouses go on the old SG Smith site – silly me it’s gone to a developer ramming in townhouses.

  7. Catherine Mattison on

    Signed. Catherine Mattison (JAGS, 1994, and JKPS parent) Thank you wonderful Alleyn’s pupils, we appreciate your support. And yours too of course Mr Rayner!

  8. Vince Abel (Bradings 1974) on

    While I appreciate the Estates desire to provide more alms houses hopefully for the benefit of less fortunate elderly Dulwich residents I do not agree that it should be to the detriment of the young pupils at this School.

  9. Steve Williams on


    Steve Williams

    Tulleys, 1974-81 and AOBFC 1980-2005 (ex-Vice Chairman and Edward Alleyn Club Executive Committee Member)

  10. James Bargeron on

    Quite extraordinary if the present head didn’t have the decency to reply. The need to support the local community is always there as Alleyn’s was started by being the benefactors of others goodwill. Don’t change that now Dr Savage.

  11. Helen Rattigan on

    Thank you all so much for your support. It is very much appreciated.
    Helen (Mother of a child in Reception at Judith Kerr Primary School)


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