Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 11°C

ESTD 1874 Search

School merger plan gets go-ahead

10:19 10 October 2006

‘GREATER STRENGTH’: From left, Gwyneth and Fred Rapsey, joint headmistress and headmaster of
Hillcroft School, with John and Sue Sinclair, principal and admissions officer at Finborough School

‘GREATER STRENGTH’: From left, Gwyneth and Fred Rapsey, joint headmistress and headmaster of Hillcroft School, with John and Sue Sinclair, principal and admissions officer at Finborough School

TWO of Suffolk's best-known independent schools are to merge, it was announced last night .

From January next year, Finborough School, near Stowmarket, and Hillcroft Preparatory School, in Haughley Green, will join forces.
‘GREATER STRENGTH’: From left, Gwyneth and Fred Rapsey, joint headmistress and headmaster of
Hillcroft School, with John and Sue Sinclair, principal and admissions officer at Finborough School

TWO of Suffolk's best-known independent schools are to merge, it was announced last night .

From January next year, Finborough School, near Stowmarket, and Hillcroft Preparatory School, in Haughley Green, will join forces.

They will combine on the Finborough School site, in Great Finborough, leaving Hillcroft open for re-development.

Finborough School has a total of 190 pupils, from age two-and-a-half through to 18, including boarding and day students. Hillcroft has 51 pupils, aged two-and-a-half to 13.

As a result of the merger, there will be 120 children in the prep school at Finborough and more than 240 in the whole school.

John Sinclair, principal of Finborough School, said: “We can see only positives; by combining forces, we will achieve greater strength and security for the future.

“We cannot escape the reality of the market - the birth rate has declined and there are fewer pupils out there, particularly in the lower prep school age range.

“The pupil numbers dovetail beautifully, giving us viable class sizes whilst still keeping the average class size below 12.”

Founded in 1911, Hillcroft is the longest-established co-educational day prep school in Suffolk. Its owners, joint headmaster and headmistress Fred and Gwyneth Rapsey, will continue their interests in the school.

Mrs Rapsey will become deputy head of Finborough and Hillcroft Prep School and continue as a special needs teacher, while Mr Rapsey will be a consultant and part-time teacher.

Mr Rapsey said: “We have been looking at the future for Hillcroft for the past 18 months because it was quite clear our numbers were gradually falling off.

“There have been many links between Hillcroft and Finborough over the years and we believe this merger is the best possible way forward.”

Teachers at both schools were informed of the merger yesterday . Some staff at Hillcroft may retire while others will be absorbed into the combined school. There will be no changes in the Finborough teaching staff.

0 comments

Christchurch Land and Estates' proposed development of 560 homes, community centre, extra care/assisted living facility, play areas, village green, shops and employment centre off Gulpher Road, Felixstowe.

Building a massive new estate in open countryside on the edge of Felixstowe would bring more benefits than the harm it would cause, according to the developers.

Stock East Anglian train picture.

A person has died after being hit by a train this morning between Ipswich and Cambridge.

Woodbridge appears affluent but even in towns like this there is hidden deprivation.

This week’s report on Hidden Needs in Suffolk has been seen as something of an eye-opener because it shows deprivation is not confined to the council estates of our largest towns, writes Paul Geater.

Corrie McKeague on CCTV outside The Grapes pub in Bury St Edmunds

The search for RAF serviceman Corrie McKeague enters its fourth day this morning after the 23-year-old was reported missing on Monday.

Mill Acre boat lake in Sudbury is in desperate need of repair

A 44-year-old landmark at a Sudbury beauty spot built in memory of a local family who perished in an air disaster in 1971 is in desperate need of repair.

Carl Giles.

Today marks the centenary of the birth of Ronald “Carl” Giles, a treasured Suffolk icon who became Britain’s best-loved cartoonist.

Police are investigating

Detectives are appealing for information following a burglary at a home in Blackberry Way in Oulton Broad.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24