A Brief History

Falkner House was founded by Flavia Nunes in 1954. Starting in a few rooms in 19 Brechin Place, as pupil numbers grew, the tenants who were occupying the rest of the house moved out. Mrs Nunes’ extraordinary drive and a determination to seize any opportunity, meant she then bought 17 Brechin Place when it came on the market. Once the girls’ school was well launched Mr Nunes started Falkner House Boys’ School in 19 Pembridge Villas. The school was sold in 1973 after Mr Nunes’ death. In 1996, Falkner House Nursery was added to the fold.  In 2016 the building for a new Falkner House Boys’ School was purchased and we are now delighted to have older boys back in the Falkner House fold once more.

Mrs Nunes with her family for Mrs Griggs' christening.

Mrs Nunes with her family for Mrs Griggs’ christening.

Mrs Nunes would never have called herself an educationalist. She started the school because she saw this as the best means to support her family. Mrs Nunes did, however, have an additional agenda; she was determined that girls should have the same opportunities as their brothers. At the time, there was a huge educational gulf in what was offered to and expected of girls relative to boys and she wished to do what she could to improve opportunities for women. Mrs Nunes always said that girls and women should be self-reliant and a good education will always stand one in good stead. Without any intention she was the ultimate feminist.

Portrait of Mrs Nunes

Mrs Nunes

It is not surprising that the school has a family feel – Mrs Griggs was brought up in the flat above the school. Mrs Nunes’ eldest daughter Mrs Bird, was headmistress in the 1990’s and Mrs Griggs took over in 1999. Today Mrs Griggs is principal of both the Boys’ and Girls’ Schools, working alongside her daughters Mrs Dixon and Mrs Rogers who head up the two schools. The schools are now a partnership, with all partners being members of the Griggs family, and there is total commitment to retaining family ownership and direction.

The Falkner House hallmarks of kindness, good humour, grit and resilience all stem from Mrs Nunes. These characteristics have always been and will always remain at the heart of both schools.

Please see the following obituary of Mrs Nunes who died in January 2017:

In memoriam Flavia Nunes