Saturday, 14 December 2019

Head says switch will help school

THE head of the Oratory Preparatory School in Goring Heath says joining a larger group will allow it to invest in staff and resources.

The independent co-educational Catholic school is now part of Bellevue Education, which runs 19 private schools in Britain and two more overseas.

Headmaster Rob Stewart said the partnership would boost its profile as parents were becoming increasingly selective due to economic uncertainty surrounding Brexit.

He said it would enable teachers to take part in more training courses and allow more spending on resources for subjects like IT.

The school explained its decision to parents at a meeting last week where the group’s chief executive officer Mark Malley gave a presentation.

Mr Stewart said: “Our pupil numbers are high but independent schools in general must increasingly justify their value as parents are paying a lot of money at a time of political uncertainty.

“Nationally, all schools face similar challenges so being part of a bigger group makes us stronger. For us it was key not to lose our autonomy or identity and we felt Bellevue understood this and shared our values.

“This will enable more investment and allow us to develop our staff in all sorts of ways. It is more a case of enhancing what we offer rather than making significant changes.

“A lot of the parents see the advantages and have a positive view.”

The school is not longer linked to the Oratory School, near Woodcote. It opened at Emmer Green in 1925 and moved to its current home in 1968.

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