Gabbitas was established in 1873 as an agency for the recruitment of schoolmasters to English public schools. Still a leader in educational recruitment, Gabbitas today offers a wealth of expertise on all aspects of education in the UK.
Our name comes from our founder, Mr John Rosewell Gabbitas, who ran the firm from the 1870s until his retirement in 1904. His co-partner for some years was Mr Charles Henry Meredith Thring, hence our original name, Gabbitas-Thring, by which the firm was known until the mid-1980s. We were briefly called Gabbitas, Truman and Thring, with our name changing simply to Gabbitas Educational Consultants in 1993 to reflect the ever-increasing scope of our activities.
Among those seeking teaching posts through Gabbitas were many individuals destined to become household names, including Evelyn Waugh, HG Wells, Sir Edward Elgar, Amy Johnson, and Sir John Betjeman. Gabbitas has been alluded to by writers and poets throughout the 20th century. The following words were penned by WH Auden in his poem "A Letter to Lord Byron", first published in 1937:
"The only thing you never turned your hand to
Was teaching at a boarding school.
Today it's a profession that seems grand to
Those whose alternative's an office stool;
To many an unknown genius postmen bring
Typed notices from Rabbitarse and String."
The colourful history of Gabbitas has been the subject of several national press features as well as a BBC Radio 4 documentary.
By 1923, when Gabbitas celebrated the 50th anniversary of the firm's foundation, over 120,000 vacancies had been negotiated and no less than 50,000 parents had sought advice.
Gabbitas in print
Soon after the half-century celebrations, records show that Gabbitas published its first reference book for parents seeking independent schools – this was simply entitled Schools. Year on year since 1924, Gabbitas has released a definitive independent schools guidebook. Gabbitas continue to publish school reference books, with The Independent School Guide and Schools For Special Needs being released annually.
Gabbitas remains one of the most respected educational consultants in independent education. Not only do we offer consultancy advice to parents looking for a suitable school or college for their child, we also offer a comprehensive range of other services including:
In 2008, Gabbitas was acquired by the Prospects group, an £80m turnover company, specialising in education, events, recruitment and advice. The acquisition has given Gabbitas the opportunity to expand and grow its business and will help to retain our status in the independent education sector.