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Barrow Hills and King Edward's Witley Schools Announce Merger

Published Thursday 19th of March 2015 10:49:45 AM

The Governing Bodies of King Edward's Witley and Barrow Hills School are delighted to announce a merger of the two Witley Schools' foundations with effect from September 2015.

The decision to merge the respective charities makes formal a close relationship that has been forged between the schools over many years and opens the way for closer ties in the future. Despite assimilation under a joint foundation, Barrow Hills will remain as an independent Roman Catholic prep school for children aged 3-13, while King Edward's Witley will retain its position as a leading independent senior school providing boarding and day education for children aged 11-18.

The merger of Barrow Hills and King Edward's Witley represents a natural working partnership, which will give Surrey parents an all-through choice when seeking out an excellent yet affordable independent education delivered with a strong family ethos. Whilst both schools operate with a similar philosophy, centring on educating the whole child and developing core values, the merger acknowledges that Barrow Hills and King Edward's Witley will continue to offer differentiated offerings designed to suit the needs of local children and their parents.

Key benefits of the merger include:

- The opportunity to maintain the affordability of an excellent independent school education against the backdrop of rising costs in the independent school sector
- The ability to benefit from economies of scale without compromising the 'family feel' that permeates both schools
- Enhanced sharing of resources which includes after-school care, sports and performing arts facilities and extra curricular activities
- The ability to provide boarding capability (including flexi boarding) to Barrow Hills pupils
- The potential for parents and children to benefit from a seamless independent co-educational school education experience from the age of 3-18

Commenting on the decision, Matthew Unsworth, Headmaster at Barrow Hills said, 'For some time we have been considering how best to preserve and develop the long term future of Barrow Hills in the context of considerable changes in the independent sector over the last few years. Joining forces with King Edward's Witley represents the natural choice to ensure the continued evolution of our School and brings with it many benefits whilst still preserving the superb education and family ethos which have always been the hallmarks of Barrow Hills'.

John Attwater, Headmaster at King Edward's Witley said, 'Finding a way to extend our educational ethos to a wider age group without compromising King Edward's supportive community and focus on the individual has been an item on the management team's agenda for many years. King Edward's has always enjoyed a great working relationship with Barrow Hills and I believe that by formally recognising the bond that exists between us we can consolidate our core strengths to present a choice of two exceptional independent co-educational schools for the Surrey area.'
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