The new academic year has seen a 29% rise in admissions at Highfield and Brookham Schools.
Seventy-one pupils have joined the South Downs-based schools, the highest figure in the last six years. The admissions department attributes much of the rise to an increasing number of families moving to the area from London.
While admissions enquiries in general have surged by 167% in the last six months, those from London-based parents are up 300%. Although families moving from the capital to the surrounding countryside are hardly a new phenomenon, the pandemic appears to have accelerated the process, with parents making the switch while their children are younger.
It is, perhaps, no coincidence that Highfield and Brookham have seen a five-year high of pupil numbers in nursery, year three and year five.
We are thrilled to be welcoming back our existing pupils and look forward to getting to know each of our new pupils – Phillip Evitt, head, Highfield School
When the schools asked one London parent why they had opted to put their children in their care, they were told: “We were very interested in three schools locally, but Highfield and Brookham became our preferred choice for a number of reasons.
“We felt that they offered pastoral care on a level very different to other schools, and saw education as a ‘whole child’ approach. The facilities really are incredible and readily available. Finally, they have an ingrained ambition of securing the right school for each child after they leave.”
Phillip Evitt, the long-serving head of Highfield School, is delighted that the new school year is upon us. “Despite the different circumstances surrounding the start to this academic year, we are as excited as ever, if not more so given all we have been through in recent months,” he said.
“We are thrilled to be welcoming back our existing pupils and look forward to getting to know each of our new pupils.”