In 2018, the structure of governance for Sutton Valence School's alumni community changed. Having previously operated as separate entities, the School and its alumni association, 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. The new partnership grew to include other aspects of the School's wider community under the umbrella of the SVS 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 in 2017, it was proposed that a new structure be established by way of a partnership between the School and the Old Suttonians' Association, formed 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. Not only does the partnership offer an enhancement of the existing programme, it also aims to increase the 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.

The new partnership operates with a bicameral structure formed of the Old Suttonian Council (a strategic body charged with determining the direction and focus of the School's alumni engagement programme) and a Old Suttonian Board (an executive body responsible for delivering and managing the programme). At both levels, a balance of representatives from both the School and the OSA are involved to ensure that the partnership arrangement is reflected throughout.



The Old Suttonian Council is formed of seven members. To reflect the new partnership, three members are from the School, three from the Old Suttonians' Association and one further member representing the School's wider community. The OSA representatives serve a three-year term and are elected to their positions through the OSA AGM. The Council's strategic responsibility is to oversee the overall alumni programme, determining its direction and focus and ensuring that both the School and OSA are properly represented. The Council, which meets twice a year, also has responsibility for appointing members to the Partnership Board.

The current representatives on the Old Suttonian Council are listed below. Please note that the three OSA representatives are serving on an interim basis, subject to ratification and approval at the December 2019 OSA AGM. The final two places on the Council are yet to be determined.

Council Representatives

Bruce Grindlay (Headmaster) - Co-Chair - Contact Email
Douglas Horner DL (1962 M) - OS President and Co-Chair - Contact Email
Richard Mant (1961 M)
David Pickard (Staff 1977-2001, 2009-2015) - OS Honorary Secretary - Contact Email
Will Radford (Alumni Relations and Development Manager) - Contact Email


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