The oldest secondary school in Stroud is Marling school, founded in 1887. Named after one of its benefactors, Sir Samuel Marling, a local cloth manufacturer and MP for Stroud from 1875 - 80.
In 1882, Marling offered £10,000 (a huge sum for its time), towards the building of the school. The school also inherited a number of endowments from The Red Coat School, St Chloe School (Amberley) and other Charity Schools in the district.
By comparison, Marling's sister Grammar school, Stroud High School for Girls, was not established on its current site until 1912. At this time, it is suspected that less than half the children in Stroud received secondary education.