Old Suttonians' Association

In 2018, the structure of governance for Sutton Valence School's alumni community changed. Having previously operated as separate entities, the School and the Old Suttonians' Association, combined their resources to form a new partnership overseeing all aspects of the alumni activities available to the Old Suttonian community.  Since then, the partnership has grown into the SVS Foundation, which provides a collective structure for all aspects of the School's wider community. Old Suttonians remain a key part of that, with the alumni community (collectively still known as the Old Suttonians' Association) forming the largest single group within the Foundation.  



While it was the case that the Old Suttonians had been meeting formally at an annual dinner for at least 12 years beforehand, it was not until 1890 that the Old Suttonians' Association was formed ‘for the purpose of uniting all Old Suttonians in a bond of fellowship with one another, and with the School; and for promoting interest in the School in other ways’.

Membership was open to all past pupils, at an annual fee of 5 shillings (25 pence in today’s money) and also to all staff past and present. The day-to-day organisation of the Association fell into the hands of an elected committee answerable to an AGM held in London immediately before the annual dinner there. This structure remained more or less the same for the following 128 years. The annual fees rose and their method of collection changed, but otherwise it remained a very traditional organisation, loyal to the School and to each other.

As time passed, alumni relations became increasingly dependent upon technology and a more structured system of management to maintain data compliance, the OSA's relationship with the School became ever-closer.  With the creation of the School's Development Office in 2002, the day-to-day management of OS data was moved 'in-house', together with much of the OS communications remit, including the OS Newsletter (later The Old Suttonian magazine). The OSA and School continued to work separately, though sharing many of the collective resources. 



Following consultation, it was proposed that a new structure be established by way of the School taking the lead in the provision of all alumni activities and finance. This was designed to stimulate an improved working programme covering all Old Suttonian engagement. This new approach would see the traditionalism of the OSA enhanced by the more dynamic and modern approach of the School's Development Office. Where the School and OSA had previously run their own designated alumni events and communicated through their own channels, the new structure would allow a more streamlined and cohesive programme covering all aspects of OS relations.



Today, the Old Suttonians' Association forms part of the wider SVS Foundation. As part of that, the Old Suttonian community has representatives on the SVS Foundation Council (the strategic body charged with determining the direction and focus of the School's alumni engagement programme), as well as on the Old Suttonians' Association Committee (the executive body responsible for delivering and managing the programme).  Between these two bodies and the School's Development Office, we hope to offer an enhancement of the existing alumni programme, as well as developing new opportunities for Old Suttonians to return to the School to share their experiences with the present generation of Suttonians, and to enjoy the thriving arts, sport and community  activities throughout the School year.


Contact Us

Sutton Valence School

North Street, Sutton Valence, Kent, ME17 3HL


Tel: 01622 845200

Email: enquiries@svs.org.uk

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