History of the School

Father Patrick Byrne, Parish Priest of Beckenham, founded the school on 4th May 1950. It is accommodated in the historic building known as Shortlands House – the oldest building in Shortlands.

When founded in 1950, the school continued to be known as Shortlands House.   In 1958 the name of the school was changed in honour of Bishop Richard Challoner (1691–1781), Vicar Apostolic of the London District, who was the leading figure in the Roman Catholic Church in England during the 18th century.

The school's coat of arms consists of a combination of the cross of St. George and the arms of Richard Challoner, with the motto 'Quantum Potes Tantum Aude'.

The school started as a junior school but quickly grew. In 1956 a senior wing was added. More classrooms and an assembly hall/gymnasium followed in 1963. The Art block was opened in 1968 and another block – now the Junior Block – was opened in 1980. Challoner became co-educational in the Junior School in 1992, later extending into the Senior School. At the same time a Nursery was opened.

In 2013 the school became a company limited by guarantee and registered as a separate charity (having previously been part of the Catholic Archdiocese of Southwark). The voting members of the company are the Trustees who are responsible for the oversight of the school. They are assisted by others who may attend meetings such as The Head Teacher, governors, a teacher representative and others drawn from the school community. The Trustees have to uphold the constitution of the school and maintain its catholic nature. Two of the Trustees are appointed by the Archbishop of Southwark as representatives of the local Catholic Parishes- St Edmund's, Beckenham and St Joseph's, Bromley.