Rupert House to Join Wishford Schools Group

The Governors of Rupert House School – the independent Pre-Prep and Prep School for boys and girls aged 3-11 years which sits in the heart of Henley – have announced that the school is to join the Wishford Schools Group.

2024 marks the 100th anniversary of Rupert House and the school has experienced a successful transition to being fully co-educational and growing pupil numbers in recent years with 211 pupils currently attending. An exciting vision and development plan is in place for the school’s long-term future including a major upgrade to the school’s facilities.

In order to realise that development plan, the school needs greater access to capital, expertise and scale beyond the capabilities of a standalone charitable foundation. The Governors therefore engaged with third party experts to conduct a strategic review of the school’s opportunities. As a financially healthy school with an outstanding academic record and a strong brand, the Governors received interest from numerous parties which has enabled them to choose the best partner to take Rupert House confidently forward into the next 100 years with the benefits of scale.

Wishford is a medium sized schools group, a specialist in prep schools including St Edwards Prep in Reading and has an impressive track record of capital investment and community involvement. It educates 2,250 pupils and employs 650 staff. Each of its schools achieved the highest possible grading of ‘excellent in all areas’ from the Independent Schools Inspectorate in the most recent inspection cycle.

Charles Lowe, Chair of Governors commented “We are delighted to have found a partner in Wishford who can fully realise our ambitions for Rupert House and that will enhance the already outstanding education we deliver to our pupils. They share our values and are keen to support and develop our close links with the wider Henley community. Wishford brings the scale, back-office expertise and financial clout that will see Rupert House looking forward to its next 100 years with confidence.”

Nick Armitage, Headteacher at Rupert House School said, “We started looking at finding a partner in January last year. Wishford took on their last school in 2018 so we’re very privileged that they wanted our school. We considered different models and different parties and we discounted some.  We chose Wishford as partner as we thought they had the best synergy with ourselves.   They are keen for us to keep our individuality and build on our community relationships as well as sharing what we do with other schools in the group.  By joining Wishford we will receive financial support with our development plan, help with development of our staff, increase our buying power and help with burden of compliance which takes not only time but money we have to spend.  We’re really excited to continue to realise our development plan whilst preserving our character and celebrate our own school.”

Sam Antrobus, Chief Executive of Wishford Schools said “We are very selective about the schools that we bring into our group and Rupert House is the first to join since 2018. We only work with schools when we believe that there is a strong match in ethos and beliefs. Rupert House will retain its strong identity and approach and all of the staff will continue to be employed on their existing terms. Nick Armitage and his Senior Leadership Team will continue to drive the school forward and Wishford will be able to add expertise in all of those disciplines required to continue to support and expand the delivery of a first-class education. We are very excited to have Rupert House joining the Wishford family.”

Rupert House is celebrating it’s centenary year this year and has a number of initiatives and events.  If you are part of the Alumni, the school would love you to get involved.  Go to https://www.ruperthouse.org/community/our-centenary to find out more

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