Rutlish Foundation from the 20th Century
John Innes died in 1904, leaving about £315,000, and by his Will the John Innes Charity was founded. In January 1909, The John Innes Scholarships Foundation, and The John Innes Horticultural Institution were established. The John Innes Foundation continues to contribute financially to the Rutlish Foundation, for which we are grateful and appreciate the continuation of this historic link.
In 1913, six and a half acres of land which had been leased from the Merton Park Estate Co. and used as the School playing field, were purchased for £2,962.
By 1919 there were 460 scholars in the school and 2 additional classrooms were erected in the playground.
The triangular site known as The Paddock in Station Road was bought for £800 in 1920.
In 1921 the remainder of the playing field site was conveyed to the Governors as the Alfred and Mary Disney benefaction.
By 1926 there were 492 scholars and, in spite of the two extra classrooms (huts) in the playground, and the use of rooms at the White Hart in Kingston Road, accommodation was a serious problem. By 1928 this was eased by Surrey County Council building a Science Block on the Station Road site containing physics labs, chemistry labs, a biology lab and a demonstration room.
In 1936 classrooms were built adjacent to the Science Block and used for the Junior School. Also this year a pavilion from the Bath Show was bought by the Parents’ Association and erected on the Playing Field for use by the School.
In 1945, under the new Education Act, the School became a Voluntary Controlled free secondary day school for boys aged 11 to 18, to be wholly maintained by Surrey County Council.
Temporary classrooms and laboratories were built on the triangular site in 1946 to replace accommodation lost through enemy action during the Second World War. In March of that year The John Innes Horticultural Institution moved to Bayfordbury in Hertfordshire, and its former site was conveyed, with the Manor House and laboratory buildings, to Surrey County Council as a location for the new Rutlish School and playing field.
The Junior School was transferred to the former John Innes laboratory buildings in 1953, with reconstruction of the building continuing into the following year.
The remainder of the School was transferred to the new buildings in Watery Lane in September 1957. (The cost of the building work was in the region of £180,000.) The opening ceremony was performed by Mr. G. R. G. Mure, Warden of Merton College, Oxford on 18th September 1957.
Although the original plans envisaged the demolition of the Manor House and former laboratory buildings, and construction of an additional block to replace them, this part of the project had to be deferred indefinitely owing to financial restrictions.
Changes to the Manor House were completed in 1958 and provided accommodation for the Headmaster, Staff, Sixth Form and Office Staff. The Junior School continued to occupy the reconstructed laboratory buildings.
In 1960 the land and buildings of the new School and the Manor House were conveyed by Surrey County Council to the Governors, and the Horticultural Institution grounds were laid out as the new School playing field.
In 1965 the Government decided that secondary schools should be re-organised along comprehensive lines, with the new system coming to the borough of Merton over a three-year period from 1969 to 1971.
In September 1969, Rutlish became a ‘High School’ for boy pupils aged 13 and over.
Two co-exist. The Rutlish Foundation continues to exist and function alongside the Rutlish School Governing Body, with five Foundation Governors sitting on the School Governing Body as specified in the 1905 Scheme.
The Rutlish Foundation owns and manages the freehold of the School site, the freehold of the old playing field in Nursery Road (leased to the London Borough of Merton), the Sports Pavilion and Fives Courts, and is the lessee of the Pavilion site from the London Borough of Merton. It also owns the freehold to other properties including the White Hart pub on Kingston Road.
Its other responsibilities are to control and administer the various funds at its disposal. Find out more on our Current Scheme page.