HistoryThe Sir James Henderson British School of Milan was founded in 1969 by British parents who wanted to provide a British education to their children. The school was named after Sir James Henderson, a British businessman who started up Coats in Italy after WW1. He also founded the British Chamber of Commerce and the first Rotary Club in Italy. His wife provided a generous donation to start the school.
The original objective of the school was to serve the British community of Milan and provide its members with a British education from the age of 3 to18 years.
In 1969 the school had just over 90 students (84 in the Lower School,12 children in the Upper School). In 1994 it had 380 students and currently the school has over 800 students (416 in the Lower School, over 390 children in the Upper School), representing 41 nationalities.
The Sir James Henderson was originally located on Via Mancinelli. After a few years the school was split up, with the Upper School located on Via Lombardia. The facilities were not ideal and much was improvised; there was no real playground, classrooms were very cramped. At one point classes were held in apartments in a building down the road. Despite these handicaps, the school always produced excellent academic results.
The School moved to the its current site on Via Pisani Dossi in 1996. Teaching and playground facilities improved tremendously and academic results consistently remained at a high level. Growth has permitted more subject choice in upper classes. Recognition by Italian state (“Parità”) was obtained around the same time and the school is now fully recognised by Italian educational authorities and graduates are accepted into Italian universities
In September 2008 the Sir James began the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme and the first group of students to obtain their IB Diplomas graduated in June 2010.
Student PopulationThere are 359 students in the Lower School and over 350 students in the Upper School. Currently, the school is composed of about 25% English mother tongue students, 50% Italians (many of whom have some experience living in an English-speaking country) and 25% International students, representing 41 different nationalities.
Legal StructureSJH Association is a non-profit organisation whose objective is to institute quality British education in Milan. Members and owners of the association are all parents of the students (each family up to 2 memberships).
School Srl is a commercial for profit entity responsible for all the teaching activity. The S.r.l. was established in 2001, when Italian law required teaching activity to be organised under for profit organisation. The Association owns 100% of the school.
Board of GovernorsThe SJHS Association is managed by a Board of eight Association elected Governors, three ex officio Governors (the British Consul General in Milan, the Director of the British Chamber of Commerce in Italy and the Director of the British Council in Milan) and three Independent Governors. Governors are elected by the Association members for a four year period. The Board elects a Chairman and a Vice Chairman. The Board also nominates committees to deal with specific current and ad hoc topics: Financial, Building, Governance, Education, Nominations, Marketing etc. The committees may include non Governors and report to the Board. The Board of the Association acts also as sole shareholder of the school Srl.
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