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Why is St Philip's expanding?

St Philip's is one of the only prep schools in London that offers education for boys between the ages of 7 and 13 only. In the recent past, other boys' prep schools have responded to a gradual shift in market conditions by adding to their offering, usually creating classes to cater for pupils from 4 to 13. At the same time, the pre-prep schools that hitherto educated boys up to the age of 7 or 8 have extended their provision to cater for boys aged 4 to 11 or 13.

Noting this trend, St Philip's has been seeking the small amount of space near to its foundation site that would allow it to adapt to the changing market, and to cater for pupils aged 4 to 13.

How large will you expect the school to become?

If the school is successful, we expect the numbers to reach approximately 150 to 160 pupils. 

How will you accommodate the new pupils?

Since the 1930s, St Philip's has operated successfully from 6 Wetherby Place as a school for 110 pupils. Since the 1950s, the building at 5 Wetherby Place has operated as a school for approximately 55 pupils. Through careful management of the spaces at 5 and 6 Wetherby Place, St Philip's is confident that it can accommodate around 160 pupils comfortably in the combined space.

Will St Philip's increase in pupil number affect the local community?

Firstly, it is important to point out that while St Philip's is widening its provision, it is not converting a building into a school in order to do so. It is using a building that is an existing school, and will not add to the numbers of school children in the local neighbourhood.

Secondly, the school is developing an active traffic management plan - including but not limited to incentivising parents to walk to school and/or use public transport - to minimise both the safety risks for its pupils and potential disruption to the local community.

Thirdly, the age of the new intake is important. The new classes will be for children between the ages of 4 and 6 which necessitates comprehensive adult supervision as they move to and from school. 

How will St Philip's pupils cross the road safely?

As a school that has operated in the middle of London for almost 100 years, St Philip's is well-accustomed to moving its pupils around the city safely to other strategic assets of the local community such as libraries, churches, and museums.

The basis of this is a thorough and regularly reviewed assessment of risks associated with such movement and a clear protocol for the supervision of pupils beyond the school buildings.

When will the expansion take place?

St Philip's will phase its new intakes slowly from September 2024. One Reception class will open in September 2024, one Year 1 class will open in September 2025 and one Year 2 class will open in September 2026.

Will an expanded St Philip's lose its local identity?

Unlike many schools in London, which have become commercially owned and draw their intake from across the city, St Philip's will remain an independent charitable trust dedicated solely to the provision of education to its pupils. Initially set up to serve the families local to the Brompton Oratory, it will remain a local school and will continue to serve the local community as it has for decades. Many of its pupils live in the roads surrounding the school, and the school is committed to remaining an important asset to the local community.

Any other questions?
Contact here us if you would like any other questions answered.

Thank you for taking the time to ask.

We will look at this and get back to you.

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