Dear Knightonians, Parents, Staff and OKs,
Today we are announcing the merger of Knighton House with our neighbour Bryanston. From 1st September 2021, Knighton House is becoming part of the Bryanston family and will thenceforth be known as Bryanston Knighton House.
Knighton pupils have always benefited from the close proximity to Bryanston and a good proportion of them have always gone on to senior school there. Last year’s purchase of Knighton’s freehold site by Bryanston has already led to closer cooperation between the schools, across facilities and resources.
The ethos of both schools has long been aligned, but the move of Knighton House to being a co-educational school at the beginning of this year has made this even more apparent. At a time when there is a wave of consolidation in the independent education sector, a merger between our schools, next door neighbours and both part of the old Bryanston estate, offers clear benefits for the new combined entity.
The aim is very simple: every Knighton House pupil will gain from being part of the wider Bryanston community, benefiting from the knowledge and talent in the Bryanston common room and access to the world-class facilities, while Knighton will in turn offer the very best preparation for life at Bryanston and other senior schools. The essence of independent education is choice and Knighton pupils and parents will continue to have complete freedom around their choice of senior school, advised by the team at Knighton.
Knighton House will continue to offer girls and boys the same proven, confidence-building start to their education. But this new era also brings a substantial opportunity — to further develop our unique KED curriculum to create a better and more seamless transition from years seven and eight into years nine and ten. This will be an important part of Knighton’s distinctive new offer. We anticipate that over time, more parents will choose Knighton as the ideal preparation for Bryanston.
The new Bryanston Knighton House will be led by Will Lockett, as announced in the Spring. Will was previously the Head of Abberley Hall in Worcestershire (there he led Abberley’s successful merger with Malvern College) but many in Dorset will also remember him as a popular Housemaster of Shaftesbury House at Bryanston. Will is already working closely with Helen Dominey and Charlotte Weatherley and with Mark Mortimer and the Bryanston SLT on aligning the curriculum, using facilities, as well as sharing marketing and other resources.
This is an exciting moment for both Knighton House and Bryanston. Knighton will continue to be a unique, indeed a magical prep school but now part of the wider Bryanston community — with all that can bring to the pupil experience here. The transition from Knighton to Bryanston will deliver a superb educational journey for girls and boys and create a compelling new proposition in the market.
As a board, we have long believed that finding a partner is essential to the next phase of Knighton’s development. But it had to be the right partner: with Bryanston we already share this beautiful place and so much else in terms of ethos and spirit. All that Bryanston can bring to Knighton will further enhance the educational experience here.
We are both delighted and excited about this new chapter in Knighton’s story and look forward to talking to you all about what it will mean for this and future generations of Knightonians.
Paul Slight and Iain Weatherby
Joint Chairs of Governors