School House

School House, Lawrence Sheriff Street, Rugby, CV22 5EH
Tel: +44 (0) 1788 556 170  |  Email:

School House is situated in the oldest part of the School and was the original House when Rugby School moved to its present site from the centre of the town around 1750. The current buildings were designed and built by the architect Henry Hakewill between 1809 and 1815. These include Old Hall, the vaulted study block that looks onto the Close and the dormitories. The Old Quad, OBS and other classrooms around the quad were also built at this time.

School House was extended throughout the 19th century, when further studies and another large dormitory (now the Assistant Housemaster's accommodation) were added. It was during this time that Thomas Hughes (author of Tom Brown's Schooldays) was a boy in the House under the great Dr Arnold; many of the places mentioned in that book still exist today.

School House underwent a major refurbishment in the late 1960s, when the current dining room was created out of an internal quadrangle and a wooden spiral staircase that went up through the House was replaced by a series of concrete flights. Between 1993 and 1995 the House was, once again, extensively refurbished and today provides accommodation for up to 54 boys.

For the first couple of years the boys occupy dormitories of five or six and from the GCSE year upwards they have their own study bedroom. In addition there is a House Library, three large common rooms, a snooker room and a number of kitchenettes around the House. The Close provides plenty of space for recreation and in the summer months the boys can enjoy the peace and quiet of the School House garden.

Peter Bell, who took over School House as Housemaster in September 2013, was educated at Campbell College, Belfast. He studied Mathematics as an undergraduate at Lincoln College, Oxford, and stayed on to complete a Masters in Mathematical Modelling and Numerical Analysis.

A career in finance followed, qualifying as a Chartered Accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers, before spending seven years at Morgan Stanley. Although he very much enjoyed this experience, the lure of teaching could not be resisted, and he completed a PGCE at the Institute of Education, London, before moving to Rugby in 2008 to teach Mathematics.

Outside the classroom, Peter’s passion is sport, in particular hockey, having played at top club level. He coaches boys and girls hockey teams, as well as assisting with tennis coaching in the Trinity Term. Before his appointment as Housemaster in 2013, Peter was Assistant Housemaster in Bradley House for four years. In the academic year 2012-13, he was also the Assistant Deputy Head (Academic).

Peter still plays the occasional game of hockey for the staff, and enjoys a round of golf when time permits. He is keen to return to skiing once his children are old enough. In the meantime, the family enjoy their holidays on the beaches in Cornwall. Peter is married to Lisa, and they have two young sons, Oliver and George.



After reading Physics at the University of Nottingham, Ashley Ellis completed his PGCE at Homerton College, Cambridge, where he is currently studying  part-time for an MA. His teaching career originated from founding a private tuition business upon leaving sixth-form which he continued until the end of his university degree. 

Outside of the classroom, Ashley is passionate about travelling with hopes of ticking his final Eastern European country, Russia, before the year is out. He also plans to travel around as many of the Scandinavian countries by kayak as possible, an interest which arose from a camping trip to Sweden last summer.  In his spare time, he enjoys swimming and playing football, sharing his love of the game with the U16As as their coach. 

Off the sports field, Ashley manages the Physics Olympiad and the accompanying experimental project, with hopes of setting up an inter-school physics competition in the future. 


Kate McAlister joined School House as Matron in January 2019 and has followed a varied  and interesting career path.  She worked for the Foreign Office many moons ago, serving in Pakistan for two years where she enjoyed travelling to India, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.  Kate also ran her own restaurant for 10 years during which time she also brought up her two children Josephine and Thomas. She then took herself off to university as a mature student and subsequently became a teacher of Design and Technology. She has taught for 18 years with the last eight years in a British school in Dubai.

Kate enjoys travelling, absolutely anything arty but especially fine art and music.  She also enjoys walking, reading and cooking.

Her main priority now is to provide a real home from home for the boys in School House. It has always been the pastoral and caring side of working with teenagers that she has particularly enjoyed and looks forward to getting to know the boys well and making their time at School as happy as possible.



Hm: P K Bell
Lawrence Sheriff Street, Rugby, CV22 5EH
Tel: 556 170
Email: schoolhouse@