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The History of Freman College

Freman College began its life on September 1st, 1999, marking a new era in education in the Buntingford area.

It took over from the highly successful Ward Freman School,opened in 1970, which enhanced its reputation rapidly through the next thirty years. By 1999 the school was attracting students from a wide geographical area from all points of the compass, including Royston, Stevenage, Ware and the villages between, so that one third of its students came from beyond the traditional catchment area. It was felt that the change of name to Freman College more accurately reflected the age range and expectations of the students.

Prior to 1970, Buntingford was served by Buntingford Secondary School, a secondary modern which began its life between the two world wars. The first secondary school in Buntingford was founded in the seventeenth century. It was known as Buntingford Grammar School, and the first recorded benefactor was Elizabeth Freman. Her endowment in 1633 ensured its continuance throughout the seventeenth century.

Its most famous pupil was Seth Ward, who pursued a distinguished career in the church and in mathematics, culminating in the Bishopric of Salisbury in 1667. He further endowed the Grammar School which survived until 1900. Bishop Ward is commemorated in the town by the almshouses.

The college is built on land belonging to the Freman family.

Freman College became a foundation school in 2009 before being amongst the first schools in the country to embrace the challenge of autonomy by becoming an academy in 2011.