Rio Olympics 2016: Where did the Team GB medal winners go to school?

Proud teachers and their schools have heaped praise on former pupils who have contributed to a record medal haul for Team GB at this year’s Rio Olympics.

Overall, just under 70 per cent of the medal-winning athletes were educated at state-maintained schools. A handful of athletes, including Tom Daley, the diver, were given scholarships to attend independent schools.

Sutton Trust figures from the 2012 London Olympics revealed more than a third (36 per cent) of British medal winners attended a private school, despite those schools only educating 7 per cent of pupils. However, that proportion has decreased since 2012, and Schools Week analysis shows 32 per cent of medal-winning athletes were educated at independent schools.

Sir Peter Lampl, chair of the Sutton Trust and of the Education Endowment, said today: “The success of Team GB in Rio has been a national triumph. It’s been fantastic to see a growing number of our national heroes coming from comprehensive and other state schools.

“But alumni of private schools are still over-represented among our medalists. Although some state schools have improved support for competitive sport over the last decade, they’re still more likely to benefit from ample time set aside for sport, excellent sporting facilities and highly qualified coaches.”

Schools Week has also reported on figures from the Independent Schools Council that show private schools have almost as many swimming pools between them as the whole of the state school, higher education and further education sectors combined.

But the winners appear to buck the trend. See below for a full breakdown of the type of school medal winners attended.

Schools Week has put together a full round-up of their schooling history. Medalists with multiple medals are listed under the day they won their first medal.



Day 2


Adam-Peaty-with-his-gold-medal-PA-Adam Peaty, 100m breastroke, gold

The 21-year-old beat his own World Record to win gold on day 2 of the Olympics.

Born in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, he attended Painsley Catholic college, a Roman Catholic academy, and then Derby college, an FE provider.

Painsley posted on its website: “Many congratulations to Adam Peaty – our first Olympic Gold!! What a fantastic swim from our former student!!”

Painsley boasts a number of other sportspeople in its alumni, including lower league footballers Adam Yates and Gareth Owen.


Jazmin Carlin, 400m freestyle, silver, and women’s 800m freestyle, silver

Born in Swindon, the 25-year-old moved to Swansea, Wales, ten years ago. She previously attended Royal Wootton Bassett academy, in Swindon, which was rated outstanding by Ofsted in 2013, and now operates in a standalone academy trust.

The 25-year-old missed out on the opportunity to compete in London 2012 because of illness.

In an interview with the Swindon Advertiser about Carlin’s win, the school’s chair of governors Marion Sweet said: “We are tremendously proud. I was absolutely desperate for her to get a medal.”

Sweet said Carlin was an “inspiration” to current pupils.


Day 3


Tom Daley and Daniel Goodfellow, men’s synchronised 10m platform, bronze

The duo (pictured above) came third in the synchronised diving, after a tense battle for the spot. It was their first competition and medal as a pair.

Goodfellow, 19, attended Melbourn Village college in Cambridgeshire until he moved to Plymouth. The school is now part of the Comberton academy trust.

Daley, 22, who became a supporter of ChildLine when he was 13, has spoken out about bullying he endured when he was at Eggbuckland community college after he competed in his first Olympics, in Beijing in 2008.

His father withdrew him from the school, and he was given a “very significant scholarship” at Plymouth College, an independent school, where he sat his GCSEs and A-levels. The school is partnered with Plymouth Leander swimming club and has produced a number of Olympic and world medallists.

Daley will have a chance to secure another medal when he competes in the individual diving event later in the competition.


Edward Ling, men’s trap, bronze

The 33-year-old from Somerset, attended community school Court Fields.  The school, in Wellington, became a sponsored academy after a 2013 Ofsted report said it required improvement.

Ling has competed in two previous Olympics.


Day 4


Siobhan-Marie O’Connor, 200m individual medley, silver

Another athlete from Somerset. O’Connor attended Ralph Allen school a comprehensive in Bath.

Hearing of her win, the school tweeted:




James Guy, Stephen Milne, Dan Wallace and Duncan Scott, 4x200m freestyle relay, silver

Guy, 20, who was born in Bury, received a scholarship from the prestigious Millfield School when he was 13, and moved to Somerset to attend the school.

Milne, Wallace and Scott are all Scottish. Milne, 22, from Perth, attended a comprehensive school – Perth academy; Wallace, attended North Berwick high school, near Edinburgh, and 19-year-old Scott attended Strathallan School, an independent school in Perth.


Day 5


Chris Froome, men’s time trial, bronze

Froome wasn’t educated in the UK, growing up in Kenya and then South Africa. He attended two independent schools, St Andrew’s and St John’s college, both in South Africa.


Steven Scott, men’s double trap, bronze

The 31-year-old went to the same state school as Olympic gold medallist Dame Kelly Holmes – Hugh Christie technology college, in Tonbridge, Kent.


Joe Clarke, canoe slalom, gold

Another water-based Olympian from Staffordshire – joining Adam Peaty in winning a gold medal.

Clarke, 23, attended Alleyne’s academy, a comprehensive school in Stone.


Sally Conway, 70kg judo, bronze

The 29-year-old, from Bristol, went to a state school – Marlwood school.

Jack Laugher and Chris Mears, synchronised 3m springboard, gold. Laugher also won silver in the diving 3m springboard on day 11

Both state educated, Laugher attended Ripon grammar school, a selective school in Yorkshire, and Mears went to The Willink school in Reading.


Max Whitlock, men’s all-round (gymnastics), bronze, and individual men’s floor, gold, and individual men’s pommel horse, gold

Whitlock attended Longdean school in Hemel Hempstead, a former grammar school that became comprehensive in 1970.

The school’s PE department tweeted:


Day 6


Katherine Grainger and Victoria Thornley, double sculls, silver

Great Britain’s most decorated female Olympian, Grainger attended Bearsden academy, a state secondary school in Glasgow. She is chancellor of Oxford Brooke’s university.


Welsh-born Thornley attended Bishop Heber high school and then independent Abbey Gate College, both in Chester.


Philip Hindes, Jason Kenny and Callum Skinner, men’s cycling sprint, gold. Kenny and Skinner also claimed gold and silver respectively in men’s individual sprint

Kenny went to Mount St Joseph school in Farnworth, Manchester. He has previously praised the support he had at the school from his PE teachers.

Skinner, from Scotland, attended James Gillespie’s high school in Edinburgh, a state secondary school.

Hindes holds dual nationality with Germany, having a  German father. He grew up in Germany, attending a specialist sports college called Heinrich Heine Gymnasium, which boasts a number of athletes in its alumni.

David Florence and Richard Hounslow, canoe slalom double, silver

Hounslow grew up in Harrow, London, and went to Rooks Heath high school and then Harrow college.

Florence attended Scottish independent school Stewart Melville’s college.



Men’s rugby 7s, silver

Seven of the 12-strong team went to a state school, they are:

James Davies – Dyffryn Taf comprehensive school, Wales

Phil Burgess – Tomlinscote school and sixth form college

Ruaridh McConnochie – Cranbrook school – a state, boarding grammar school

Dan Norton – Brockworth Enterprise school, and then Hartpury College (FE)

Mark Robertson – Earlston high school, on the Scottish borders

Mark Bennett – St Joseph’s High

Sam Cross – Brynmawr school, Wales


Those who attended an independent school are:

Ollie Lindsay-Hague – Millfield school

Marcus Watson – St George’s college – the same school attended as former schools minister David Laws

Daniel Bibby – Kirkham grammar school

Tom Mitchell – Worth school

James Rodwell – Berkhamsted school


Alex Gregory, George Nash, Constantine Louloudis & Mo Sbihi, men’s coxless four, gold

Gregory attended Bredon Hill middle school, followed by Prince Henry’s high school, in Worcestershire, and Sbihi went to Hollyfield school, an academy in Surbiton. Nash attended independent Lanesborough school, and Louloudis went to Eton.


Helen Glover and Heather Stanning, women’s coxless pair, gold

Glover and Stanning singing the national anthem on the medal podium
Glover and Stanning singing the national anthem on the medal podium


Glover attended Humphry Davy School, a comprehensive in Penzance, before winning a scholarship to Millfield independent school for her sporting ability.

Stanning attended independent school Gordonstoun school in Scotland, where she was head girl in her final year.


Charlotte Dujardin, Carl Hester, Fiona Bigwood, Spencer Wilton, Team GB, team dressage, silver. Dujardin also won individual dressage gold

Dujardin attended Van Dyke’s school, an academy in Leighton Buzzard, although she said she constantly missed lessons to go riding.

Hester went to Elizabeth College, an independent school in Guernsey, Bigwood attended Croydon High, an all-girls independent school in London. Schools Week was not able to find which school Wilton attended.


Bryony Page, women’s trampolining, silver

Page went to Brine Leas School, an academy in Nantwich, Cheshire.


Nick Dempsey, Men’s RS:X windsurfing, silver

Dempsey attended Orton Longueville school, in Peterborough. The school became an academy in 2011, joining the Cambridge Meridian academies trust, and was renamed Nene Park academy.


Ed Clancy, Steven Burke, Bradley Wiggins and Owain Doull, Team GB, Men’s cycling team pursuit, gold

Clancy, whose mum is a primary school teacher in Gloucestershire, attended Shelley High school, a comprehensive in Huddersfield.

Burke attended Park High school and later Nelson and Colne college, which reportedly renamed its sport centre after Burke.

Wiggins attended St Augustine’s Church of England high school, a voluntary-aided school in Kilburn, north west London, and Doull attended Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Glantaf, in Cardiff.

Day 7


Team GB, Women’s Eight rowing, silver

According to analysis by the Good Schools Guide, five of the women went to independent schools and three went to state schools.


Team GB, Men’s eight rowing, gold 

According to the same analysis, six of the men went to state schools with three being educated in private schools.


Day 8

Laura Trott, Joanna Rowsell-Shand, Elinor Barker and Katie Archibald, Team GB, Women’s cycling team pursuit, gold. Trott also won omnium gold on day 11

Trott attended Turnford school, a comprehensive in Hertfordshire, which turned into an academy last year and renamed Haileybury Turnford. It is now sponsored by Haileybury and Imperial Service college, an independent school in Hertford.

Rowsell-Shand was first spotted by the British Cycling Apprentice Programme after being tested at her school – Nonsuch high school, an all-girl’s grammar school, in Surrey.

Barker is the daughter of a teacher and attended Llanishen High School, in Cardiff. Archibald is the only rider who attended an independent school, The Glasgow Academy.


Rebecca James, women’s Keirin, silver, and cycling sprint, silver

James attended King Henry VIII school, an English-language comprehensive in Abergavenny, Wales.


Mo Farah, men’s 10,000m, gold

Farah, who moved from Djibouti to England aged eight, attended Isleworth and Syon school and later Feltham community college. Farah credits his old PE teacher, Alan Watkinson, for introducing him to athletics, “if it wasn’t for him I don’t think I would be running”.

Greg Rutherford, men’s long jump, bronze

Rutherford attended Denbigh School, a specialist technology college in Milton Keynes. He played several sports, and had trials for Premier League club Aston Villa before committing to athletics.


Jessica Ennis-Hill, heptathlon, silver

Ennis-Hill attended state school King Ecgbert in Sheffield, and stayed on in the sixth form to study her A-levels. England cricketer Joe Root also attended the school and was in his first year when Ennis-Hill was in her final year.


Adam Peaty, Duncan Scott, James Guy, Chris Walker-Hebborn Men’s 4x100m medley relay final team, silver

Scott attended Strathallan, an independent boarding school in Scotland, Guy attended Millfield independent school and Walker-Hebborn attended King Edwards school, in Bury St Edmunds.


Day 9


Justin Rose, Golf, gold

Rose attended Robert May’s School, an academy in Hampshire, from 1991 to 1996.

Louis Smith, individual men’s pommel horse, silver

Emotions run high for Louis Smith
Emotions run high for Louis Smith

Smith attended Arthur Mellows Village College, a state school just outside Peterborough.


Andy Murray, men’s tennis singles, gold

Murray attended Dunblane high school, a state school in Perthshire, Scotland, before he moved to the Schiller International School in Barcelona, Spain, at the age of 15. The private school cost £40,000 for his 18-month stay at the tennis academy.


Day 10


Sophie Hitchon, women’s hammer throw, bronze

Hitchon attended Hameldon community college, a comprehensive in Burnley, Lancashire.

Mark Cavendish, men’s omnium, silver

Cavendish went to Ballakermeen high, a comprehensive school in Douglas, on the Isle of Man.


Day 11

Gilles Scott, Finn sailing, gold

Scott attended Sharnbrook Upper School, a state school in Bedford. It is one of the only schools in the country that uses vertical tutoring – where each tutor group has pupils from every year group.


Amy Tinkler, floor gymnast, bronze

Tinkler attends Durham high school for girls, an independent school. It’s a busy few weeks for the 16-year-old, who is set to find out her GCSE results next week.


Nile Wilson, high bar, bronze

Wilson went to Pudsey Grangefield School, a state school in west Yorkshire. After Wilson’s success, the school tweeted: “Huge congratulations from us all to Nile. We are all so proud to have an Olympic bronze medallist as one of our former students!”


Joshua Buatsi, boxing light-heavyweight, bronze

Buatsi attended Archbishop Tenison’s CofE High School, a specialist maths and computing selective school in Croydon.


Katy Marchant, cycling sprint, bronze

Marchant attended Brigshaw High School, a state school in Leeds.


Day 13

Jon Schofield and Liam Heath, kayak double 200m, silver

Heath went to George Abbot, a state school in Surrey, and Schofield attended Clitheroe Royal grammar school in Lancashire.


Chris Langridge and Marcus Ellis, badminton men’s doubles, bronze

Ellis is another Yorkshire medallist, he attended Colne Valley high, a state school in Huddersfield, while Langridge went to Therfield school, in Surrey.


Alistair Brownlee, men’s triathlon, gold and Jonathan Brownlee, men’s triathlon, silver

The Brownlees both attended Bradford grammar school, an independent school in Yorkshire. Headmaster Simon Hinchliffe said: “Words cannot express how thrilled and proud we are that two former Bradford Grammar School pupils have won a brilliant Olympic triathlon gold and silver in Rio.

“Alistair and Jonny show a wonderful drive and commitment to excellence that started during their time at Bradford Grammar.”


Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark, women’s 470, gold

Mills attended an independent school in Cardiff, Howell’s school, while Clark went to Essex state school Colchester County high school for girls.


Jade Jones, women’s 57kg taekwondo, gold

Jones attended Flint high school in Flintshire, Wales.


Day 14

Nick Skelton, individual jumping (equestrian), gold

Skelton went to independent school Bablake in Coventry – one of the oldest schools in the country.

Hockey, women’s, gold

The 16-strong team is evenly split between state and independent schools, although state grammar schools appear to be more represented in this sport than in aforementioned sports.


Giselle Ansley – Kingsbridge community college, Devon

Sophie Bray – Tiffin girls’ school, Kingston

Hannah Macleod – Hitchingbrooke school, Cambridgeshire

Sam Quek – Birkenhead high school for girls (an independent school at the time Quek was there, but which in 2010 converted to academy status) and Calday Grange grammar school

Helen Richardson-Walsh – West Bridgford school, Nottinghamshire

Kate Richardson-Walsh – Priestnall school, Stockport

Laura Unsworth – Sutton Coldfield grammar school for girls

Hollie Webb – The Ecclesbourne school, Derbyshire



Crista Cullen – Oakham school

Alex Danson – Farnborough Hill

Maddie Hinch – Kings college, Taunton

Shona McCallin – Repton

Lily Owsley – Clifton college, Bristol

Susannah Townsend – Sutton Valence

Georgie Twigg – Repton

Nicola White – Hulme grammar, Oldham


Relay, women’s, 4 x 100m, bronze

All four women went to state schools, with just one (Asher-Smith) attending a grammar school

Dina Asher-Smith – Newstead Wood school, Orpington

Desiree Henry – St Anne’s Catholic high school for girls, Enfield

Daryll Neita – Prendergast school, Lewisham

Asha Philip – Connaught school for girls


Lutalo Muhammad, taekwondo, men’s, 80kg, silver

Muhammad attended Holy Family technology college, in Walthamstow – the same school as grime artist Lethal Bizzle.


Day 15


Vicky Holland, triathlon, bronze

The 30-year-old attended Newent community school in Gloucestershire

Nicola Adams MBE, women’s flyweight (boxing), gold

Born in Leeds, Adams, the world’s first female Olympic boxing champion, attended Agnes Stewart Church of England school in the city before going on to Hopwood Hall college, an FE provider in Rochdale.

Relay, women’s, 4 x 400m, bronze

Emily Diamond – Bristol grammar school (independent)

Eilidh Doyle – Kinross high school, Scotland

Anyika Onoura – Archbishop Blanch school, Liverpool

Christine Ohuruogu – St Edward’s C of E school, Romford and Trinity Catholic high school, Woodford Green

Kelly Massey – Royal Wolverhampton school (independent)

Bianca Walkden, taekwondo, women’s +67kg

Walkden attended Broughton Hall in Liverpool, a voluntary aided school, also attended by Brookside actress Jennifer Ellison and Atomic Kitten singer Natasha Hamilton.


Day 16

And the final medal goes to….

…..Joe Joyce, men’s super heavyweight (boxing), silver

Joyce’s state school – Ernest Bevin college in Tooting – is a heavyweight when it comes to former pupils. The school was named after trade union leader and Labour politician Ernest Bevin (not to be confused with fellow Labour MP Nye Bevan, the founder of the NHS).

It is also where London mayor Sadiq Khan went to school, and has many sportsmen in its alumni, including snooker player Jimmy White and professional basketball player Eric Boateng.

The school is a specialist school for sport.



The Schools Week schools Olympics medal table


Olympic medals



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  1. Don’t forget Louis Smith. Got silver in last night’s individual men’s pommel horse just behind Matt Whitlock. He was educated at Arthur Mellows Village College, a state school just outside Peterborough. And he won Strictly!

  2. Our local state schools in Portsmouth do less sport than when I was at school in the fifties. Every child is supposed to learn to swim, but they don’t. When the kids do achieve something significant there is no support from the local media. A school in Portsmouth, with no playing field, became the most successful football team in the 110 year history of Hampshire schools football, winning twelve trophies and playing at Wembley, becoming all England champions. The local TV stations ignored them. It is a personality culture world, unfortunately.

  3. Sporting prowess needs funding and opportunity. Unfortunately, councils are cutting facilities to save money. Even Don Valley track where Jessica Ennis-Hill trained is being closed.
    Shame. If the Olympic legacy means anything at all, it needs national, properly-planned funding and shouldn’t have to rely on Lottery grants.

  4. Simon Hartley

    One entry in this report is a little incomplete, and I wonder how many other points are influencing the “State vs Independent” ratio. Shona McCallin, hockey player, attended Kesteven and Grantham Girls School, a State selective school in Grantham, and moved to the reported Repton school (independent), to sit her A levels.