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St. John's on-the-Hill join forces with Dean Close

Published Tuesday 16th of June 2015 02:25:20 PM

Senior schools like Dean Close really need there to be a strong preparatory schools sector across the country. Parents need excellent local schools for their young children, even if they might be willing to look further afield when their children reach the age of 13, and we need Heads of those schools advising families on suitable destinations. St John’s-on-the-Hill has a hugely loyal following, among old pupils, parents and staff, and this isn’t surprising. It is a place where generations of children have grown up and been well educated; it is respected in the locality for its standards, its sporting success and its links to good senior schools. It is small enough to feel very secure and nurturing, it’s a flagship for co-education and with its day care nurseries it fits into family life from the very beginning. The snag is that this is a very tough proposition financially. Small schools up and down the country feel the pressure of regulation and compliance, like all small businesses. In addition they often have to maintain historic buildings, to provide high-quality IT infrastructure and new facilities, all within limited budgets. So perhaps the long-term answer lies in the sort of arrangement that St John’s and Dean Close have come to. St John’s gets Dean Close’s financial backup, sharing of exciting resources and people, and the scope to develop joint projects. Dean Close gets St John’s trusted knowledge of the locality, some excellent pupils moving on at 13+, and a more secure base for the future. It really is a win-win.
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