MOVING FORWARD TOGETHER

BRADFIELD COLLEGE AND ST ANDREW’S SCHOOL

We are delighted to announce that St Andrew’s School will be joining with Bradfield College to establish the Bradfield Group on 10th December 2021.

MOVING FORWARD TOGETHER BOOKLET

Bradfield and St Andrew’s are excited to be entering a new era for both schools in December 2021 when, following over 12 months of due-diligence and talks, they will join to found the Bradfield Group. This merger will enable us to share expertise as we build upon a common vision of an all-round education through which children enjoy school, learn, grow in confidence and make a positive contribution to society.

Our schools have shared close ties since St Andrew’s was established just two miles away from Bradfield (formally St Andrew’s College, Bradfield) in 1934. Both schools enjoy beautiful locations, extensive grounds, excellent facilities, and a proud heritage. Both have generated strong momentum in recent years, establishing reputations for educational excellence within a nurturing environment characterised by family values and outstanding pastoral care.

Partnership offers us opportunities for sharing strategic thinking and developments in teaching and learning, for enhanced curriculum and professional development, for the improvement and better use of facilities, and for delivering cost efficiencies through economies of scale. It will further strengthen both schools as we look towards the future.

St Andrew’s and Bradfield will each retain their individual identity, character and traditions, and will continue to be run on a day-to-day basis by their own leadership teams, overseen by a single, combined Governing Body and its Committees. Each school will continue to develop its own provision whilst building upon the links that exist between us.

Sophia Bergqvist
Warden, Bradfield College
Felicity Rutland
Chair of Governors, St Andrew’s School
Dr Christopher Stevens
Headmaster, Bradfield College
Ed Graham
Head Master, St Andrew’s School

 

 

A common ethos

 

St Andrew’s and Bradfield know that a great education relies upon strong relationships THROUGHOUT OUR COMMUNITIES.

 

The ethos and approach of both schools are very similar, emphasising the importance of all-round individual development helping all pupils, whatever their ability, to flourish academically. Both believe that enjoying school is fundamental to personal growth whilst seeking to stretch their pupils to fulfil their potential.

Bradfield and St Andrew’s have had an increasingly close connection over the years, notably through shared pupils. The schools also have many common features, including the cross of St Andrew on their crests. Both are housed in buildings originally designed by great Victorian architects that have been enhanced and developed as the schools have grown.

St Andrew’s and Bradfield know that a great education relies upon strong relationships throughout our communities: between pupils, staff, parents, alumni and friends. Both are very much people places with a firm commitment to all our stakeholders. Moreover, as charitable trusts, we recognise our duties to wider society borne out in public benefit activity, means-tested bursary assistance and a forward-looking environmental strategy.

Strength through collaboration

 

A combined focus on curriculum and professional development will enhance teaching and learning in both schools.

 

St Andrew’s and Bradfield have forward and outward looking educational philosophies and will benefit from shared expertise in strategic planning. Governance will be assured through a single Council incorporating St Andrew’s Governors as well as dedicated committees. The Heads will be in regular communication whilst continuing to be in full charge of daily operations in each school along with their Management Teams.

A combined focus on curriculum and professional development will enhance teaching and learning in both schools. There will be opportunities to collaborate on the key transitional years of Key Stage 3 (Years 7-9) and the adoption of new technologies.

Bringing together our wide experience in pastoral care and support for young people throughout their educational journeys will enable sharing of best practice, notably with regard to the developmental years of early adolescence.

Co-curricular possibilities from the merger include shared coaching expertise and facilities. St Andrew’s pupils will be able to enjoy some new activities and Bradfield pupils to develop leadership and mentoring skills.

We expect the strong flow of boarding and day pupils from St Andrew’s to Bradfield to be maintained but St Andrew’s will continue to prepare pupils for entry to a wide range of senior schools. Pupils joining Bradfield will still need to pass formal assessments.

What will Bradfield retain following the merger?

 

Bradfield will continue to draw pupils from a wide range of feeder schools and expect all applicants to complete the same entrance assessments.

 

For Bradfield pupils, as for St Andrew’s pupils, daily life will not be affected by this merger. Both schools have a clear vision and strong ethos which are mutually compatible and supportive, but the schools will maintain their individual and independent character.

There will be no change with regard to admissions. Bradfield will continue to draw pupils from a wide range of feeder schools and expect all applicants to complete the same entrance assessments.

Bradfield will continue to be led by its own dedicated management team and the overwhelming majority of staff will only work in one school. In areas where it is mutually beneficial for educational or financial reasons, some staff may work in both schools and this is expected to develop over time.

What will St Andrew’s retain following the merger?

 

We are committed to helping children move on to the right school for the individual, where they will continue to flourish and develop.

 

Families choose St Andrew’s as it has a strong track record of nurturing children and achieving outstanding results within a non-pressurised, family environment. The School is proud of its distinctive identity and culture and these will be preserved.

St Andrew’s will maintain its own day-to-day autonomy, senior leadership team and site; it will also keep its uniform and manage its own admissions process.

Although a steady stream of St Andrew’s pupils make the two-mile trip to Bradfield annually at the end of Year 8, this will not be an expectation on families. Parents will continue to have the freedom to choose any senior school for their children and the Headmaster will aid this by maintaining outstanding relationships with a wide range of schools. We are committed to helping children move on to the right school for the individual, where they will continue to flourish and develop.

How does this merger benefit St Andrew’s?

 

Through joining the Bradfield Group, St Andrew’s can offer enhanced opportunities to its children, as we make use of Bradfield’s extensive facilities, access to further specialist teachers and sports coaches. This partnership will inject additional energy into the academic life of the School; we will develop an exciting 21st century curriculum, which takes advantage of the most current developments in technology, and St Andrew’s pupils will be able to participate in new subjects and activities, from performing in Bradfield’s open-air Greek theatre, to workshops in the Blackburn science centre. There will be opportunity for increased provision across the curriculum in art, drama, music, and design and technology, as well as additional depth and breadth in the co-curricular life, from clay shooting and golf coaching, to leadership training, squash and fives.

Happy, well-cared for children are our highest priority and there will be opportunities for collaboration on pastoral care and mental health as we negotiate these increasingly complex issues. In an unpredictable market, St Andrew’s pupils will also benefit from additional investment; there are plans to transform the Old Hall into a contemporary, performing arts centre, and develop our boarding provision. In addition to all St Andrew’s already provides, this partnership will result in a truly outstanding educational offering for current and future pupils.

How does this merger benefit Bradfield?

 

In addition to opportunities for collaboration and shared expertise in professional and curriculum development, there will be some immediate and direct benefits for Bradfield pupils who will be able to use St Andrew’s astroturf, sports hall, courts and pitches for busy block fixtures on Saturdays. Additionally, older pupils will benefit from leadership, coaching and mentoring opportunities through some combined activities.

The offer of an all-through education is attractive to both schools. As well as providing additional educational benefits, it offers a potential entry point for pupils ultimately destined for Bradfield aged 13. In particular, Year 7 transition to St Andrew’s, and therefore the Bradfield Group, will work very well for some families with children in schools that finish in Year 6.

Bradfield College Enterprises, who run the commercial side of the College’s activity including summer camps and courses, will be able to extend this activity to work with St Andrew’s and generate additional revenue for the Group.

KEY QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Why are Bradfield and St Andrew’s merging?

The ties between Bradfield College (formally St Andrew’s College, Bradfield) and St. Andrew’s School, are close geographically, historically, culturally, and educationally, and have existed informally for many years. Both Governing Bodies believe that formalising this relationship will enable us to offer an exciting educational journey in a beautiful setting, with outstanding pastoral care and a family-friendly approach.

The merger will provide opportunities and benefits for our current and future pupils and offers exciting opportunities for sharing strategic thinking, developments in teaching and learning, enriched professional development and maximising the benefits of facilities. This will enhance the strength of both schools as we look towards the future.

The decision to merge has been taken after significant detailed discussion, consultation and due diligence by Bradfield College Council and St Andrew’s Governors, the Headmasters and Senior Management Team members of each school.

Are the reasons for the merger financial?

Both schools are on a strong footing and financially secure. This merger will enable us to face the future with even greater confidence. There are also potential business advantages, as we look to benefit from economies of scale through the sharing of educational and operational resources.

The fee structures of the two schools will not be affected.

How will this affect the strategic direction of both Schools?

Over recent years Bradfield College has undertaken an exciting capital investment programme which has enabled it to grow in size and develop outstanding facilities. Coeducation is fully embedded and pupil numbers and demand for places are at an all-time high. Like many similar senior schools, we are now creating a formal link with a thriving and established prep school which shares a similar ethos. This merger is a platform for long-term mutual strategic benefit.

St Andrew’s has a strategic development plan which prioritises capital projects in the coming years. The development of the Old Hall into a contemporary, performing arts centre, further development in the integration of technology into teaching and learning and the improvement of boarding provision have already been identified as key areas of development. The merger will enable some investment to help St Andrew’s to deliver the best educational experience and further these strategic aims.

Will there be significant changes for pupils, staff and parents?

It will be business as usual for both schools, which will maintain their distinctive identities. The respective Heads and Management Teams will be fully in charge of the day to day running of each school.

What will the new Governance structure look like?

A single Bradfield Council, incorporating members of the current St Andrew’s Governing Body, will have overarching responsibility for both schools with relevant Committees, including one dedicated to St Andrew’s incorporating current St Andrew’s governors. The Headmasters of each school will be in regular communication.

Will this affect admissions?

Admissions to each school will continue to be run independently at all stages of entry.

St Andrew’s will prepare pupils for entry to a wide range of senior schools. Parents will still have the freedom to choose any senior school for their children and the Headmaster will aid this by maintaining outstanding relationships with a wide range of schools. St Andrew’s is committed to helping children move on to the right school, where they will continue to flourish and develop.

Bradfield will continue to welcome pupils from many different schools, maintaining close ties with feeder schools locally, nationally and internationally. A steady stream of St Andrew’s pupils joins Bradfield annually and there are currently over 60 former St Andrew’s pupils at the College, but this will not be an expectation. St Andrew’s pupils applying to Bradfield will be expected to take the usual assessments.

How will pupils benefit?

The most exciting aspect of forming the Bradfield Group is the enhanced opportunities it will generate for current and future pupils by providing greater depth and breadth in academic offerings, co-curricular life and pastoral support; this move will enrich the children’s educational outcomes.

A combined focus on curriculum development and professional development will enhance teaching and learning in both schools. There will be opportunities to collaborate on the key transitional years of Year 7 to Year 9 and to work together to pursue an innovative digital strategy.

Bringing together experience and expertise in pastoral care and support for young people will improve our ability to help pupils thrive and enable the sharing of best practice, especially regarding the early adolescent years.

Co-curricular possibilities from the merger include shared coaching expertise and facilities. St Andrew’s pupils will be able to enjoy some new activities and Bradfield pupils to develop leadership and mentoring skills.

Is St Andrew’s looking to grow in size?

Numbers at St Andrew’s are buoyant and we are not looking to grow for growth’s sake. However, the Governors are committed to St Andrew’s offering the best possible pastoral care and educational experience from Nursery to 13+ years, which includes developing the boarding provision in Years 7 and 8.