Our History

From a shared ideal and vision, the leading thinkers of their day, Lord Cockburn and his great friend Leonard Horner, planned a school that would exemplify and practice the very best of a structured education for the youth of the ever growing New Town of Edinburgh.

Following the collective personal and financial efforts of the first subscribers of the School, in October 1824 the Edinburgh Academy gathered for the very first time and heard the address from Sir Walter Scott, a strong personal supporter of the foundation of the School.

Sir Walter Scott concluded his address with the following words:

Without learning a physician was a mere quack, a lawyer a mere pettifogger, a clergyman, like a soldier without a sword, unable to enforce the authority of his Divine Master. Next to a conscience devoid of offence towards God and man, the greatest possession was a well-cultivated mind.

From that day forward the Edinburgh Academy has played a major role in Scotland’s educational landscape and history across the United Kingdom and around the globe.

Growing in position and structure over many generations of pupils, in 1960 the Edinburgh Academy Junior School moved into its own purpose built facility set amongst the greenery of Arboretum Road.

Girls first arrived in the School as members of the Sixth Form in the 1970s, but it was to be in summer of 2008, that full co-education came to all years across the Academy.  Since then, the focus on the highest standards of academic, pastoral and co-curricular activities outside of the classroom has seen both boys and girls progress from the School, fulfilling our ambition of displaying ‘confidence without arrogance’ throughout their adult life.

Discover More About EA's History in Academy Lore by David Standley