Subscribe to our free fortnightly newsletter and stay ahead with the latest news in independent education
John Attwater, Justine Voisin, Chair Barrow Hills Govs, Peter Estlin, Chair King Edward’s Govs, Matthew Unsworth

Surrey independent schools merge

Barrow Hills and King Edward's Witley Schools have announced that they are to formalise their close working relationship

Posted by Dave Higgitt | March 18, 2015 | People, policy, politics

The governing bodies of King Edward’s Witley and Barrow Hills School have announced 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 evolved between the schools over the course of recent years. Despite the merger, however, Barrow Hills will remain an independent Roman Catholic prep school for children aged 3-13, while King Edward’s Witley will retain its position as an independent senior school providing boarding and day education for children aged 11-18.

The governing bodies say that the merger represents a natural working partnership and a sharing of a common philosophy. Announcing the merger, they identified its key benefits as: 

• the opportunity to maintain the affordability of an independent school education against the backdrop of rising costs in the sector

• the ability to benefit from economies of scale without compromising the ‘family feel’ of both schools

• enhanced sharing of resources including 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 

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.”

Subscribe to our free fortnightly newsletter and stay ahead with the latest news in independent education

Related stories

Duke of Edinburgh success for King Edward's Witley pupils

State-of-the-art school catering with Brookwood

Supporting a nutritious education

Keeping your school safe online

Kit out your sports team for next season

Give your site a touch of Italia from Canopies UK

Planning for Cloud in 2017

Rural broadband access - is it still an issue?

Keeping IT safe and secure

Food for thought: what is a school lunch like today?

Market place - view all

Student COM

UK supplier, designer and installer of network cabling solutions. ...


NEC Corporation is one of the world's leading providers of Internet...

Meru networks

Meru began with a vision that sooner rather than later most enterpr...

Fitness Warehouse

If you are searching for high quality commercial gym equipment, loo...


Sparkol makes tools to engage your audience. They're like nothing y...

Jamf software

Solutions for education. Power the digital classroom with Apple an...