A Brief History
Whilst Falkner House at Penywern Road is a new entity, Falkner House at Brechin Place 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.
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. Come 2017 we realised it was London boys who were being short-changed and we are now providing the same exceptional education for our Falkner House boys as the girls have had for more than 60 years!
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. She remains today as the principal of both schools. Two of her daughters; Mrs Rogers and Mrs Dixon work alongside her, with Mrs Dixon as headteacher of the Boys’ school and Mrs Rogers as headteacher of the Girls’ school. 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.