Tonbridge School and The New Beacon Preparatory School are merging from 31 August this year.
Tonbridge is an independent boys’ schools in Kent teaching more than 800 boys, a blend of boarders (60%) and day pupils (40%).
The New Beacon Prep School is in Sevenoaks, approximately 10 miles from Tonbridge. It is a independent day and boarding prep school for boys aged four to 13 with 325 pupils, including a nursery for boys and girls.
The governors will align the schools in terms of overall strategy, however each will retain its own teaching and support staff, its own leadership and management teams, and its own uniform and site.
James Priory, headmaster of Tonbridge School, said: “There has always been a strong relationship between our schools and I am delighted that we will be combining our experience and expertise to provide an educational pathway for boys from three to 18. We have a shared ethos and believe that the merger will bring considerable benefits to both schools whilst respecting our separate identities.
“Tonbridge is a determinedly selective school. We already welcome some 20 boys from the New Beacon every year. Our rigorous recruitment process will remain the same for New Beacon applicants as it does for boys from every other prep school, all of whom we will continue to welcome and support.”
Mike Piercy, headmaster of The New Beacon, added: “This merger will strengthen our long connection with Tonbridge and will expand our access to the expertise of its senior school staff and facilities. I am also delighted that we will be working with Tonbridge to develop further our intellectually creative academic curriculum to align Years 7 to 9. This will support the boys in preparing for entrance assessments and transition to senior school, not just academically but also in terms of confidence and life skills – benefits which will, of course, apply to all boys, whichever their preferred senior school destination.
“We have always worked closely with individual families in choosing the senior school which is best for their sons – over the last five years we have sent boys to 21 senior schools. We will continue to provide that bespoke service.”
Date published: 19 May 2021