The Harrow family currently comprises five schools – Harrow School in London (1572), The John Lyon School (1876), Harrow International School Bangkok (1998), Harrow International School Beijing (2005) and Harrow International School Hong Kong (2012). Harrow International School Shanghai will open in 2016.

There is a common historical thread binding these schools together. Harrow School was founded in 1572 when Queen Elizabeth I granted to a local farmer John Lyon a Royal Charter to found a school at Harrow on the Hill for “the education of Children and Youth of the said Parish”. In 1876 the Lower School of John Lyon (later renamed The John Lyon School) was established to provide education for boys from the local community, a function that Harrow School was no longer fulfilling.

In the Charter it was anticipated that John Lyon would establish a separate trust for the purpose of maintaining two roads from London to Harrow and Kenton (now the Edgware Road and the Harrow Road). In 1578 and 1582 he gave to his new Charter Corporation a farm comprising 48 acres in the area now known as Maida Vale as an endowment for that purpose.  In 1991 the Charity Commission agreed to a scheme which allowed for the application of the trust’s income for charitable purposes in order to benefit the inhabitants of 9 London boroughs which had been responsible for the roads and thus John Lyon’s Charity was born. Today, John Lyon’s Charity is a major grant giving charity, dispensing grants with an aggregate value of approximately £10 million per annum.

Not only did the founder of the School exemplify an altruistic spirit but also alumni have followed, such as Lord Shaftesbury (Harrow School 1813-16), a great social reformer and philanthropist of the Nineteenth Century

In a similar vein, Mr Daniel Chiu of Hong Kong provided financial assistance to the fledgling Harrow International School in Bangkok when it started out in the midst of the 1997-8 financial crisis in Asia. His ongoing investment ensured that the School was able to move to a brand new facility on a 34-acre site in Bangkok and that the schools in Beijing and Hong Kong were established with world class facilities. In the context of this history, the vision of the Harrow International Schools, Leadership for a better world, has been well exemplified by its benefactors.