Award-winning Chatsworth Schools entered the private schools group market in 2018 with a passion for schools as learning communities and a commitment to excellence. It strives to nurture and promote the learning and welfare of pupils and staff to enable outstanding futures for the whole school community. Recently recognised as Education Provider of the Year at the 2022 Education Investor Awards for the second year running, Chatsworth Schools has also just been named Most Outstanding Education Group 2023 – UK by Acquisition International magazine.
Founded by CEO, Anita Gleave, who is not only a qualified educationalist but someone who has over 30 years’ experience in schools as well as in corporate, Chatsworth Schools has a truly unique edge in the education sector. Having worked as both a teacher and in head office, Anita understands how schools operate, what teachers need to do their job, what parents want, and fundamentally, what the priorities for all children should be –namely, that learning should be at the centre of all actions and that the wellbeing of children should be the starting point of all conversations.
Chatsworth Schools is an education business, not a business that happens to be in education. Its’ belief is that world-class schools enable children to become world-and work-ready, confident, well-rounded individuals. Focused on learning, the group is committed to core values of integrity, resilience, and passion.
Having entered the private schools group market in September 2018 with its first acquisition, Hall School Wimbledon (HSW), Chatsworth Schools has since expanded to 15 schools and nurseries: Hall School Wimbledon, Benedict House Preparatory School, Crown House Preparatory School, Griffin House Preparatory School, Duchess Nursery Parsons Green, Pattison College, The Village Prep School, Swinbrook House Nursery School Marylebone, Highfield Preparatory School, Beech Hall School, and Broughton Manor Prep School. Most recent is Broughton Manor, with the group being delighted to have added this school to the Chatsworth Schools family in December 2022.
Unlike many groups, schools wishing to join Chatsworth Schools do not have to make a certain level of profit, they do not have to have a certain property ownership or footprint, they do not need to cover a certain age range, and they do not need to be “Outstanding”.
For Chatsworth Schools, the criteria for success is ‘enabling outstanding futures for all our children’. This is not a tick box exercise, but a constant journey of challenge and improvement. There are several ways in which Chatsworth Schools continue to work to meet this criteria everyday to enable extraordinary outcomes for their school communities.
Outstanding Exam Results
The Village Prep School – In February 2022, The Village Prep School in Belsize Park announced fantastic Year 6 results, including 10 scholarships from a class of only 13 girls, at an impressive range of leading day schools. The scholarships included two major academic scholarships, a performing arts scholarship, and a music scholarship.
Benedict House Prep School – In 2022, Year 6 pupils achieved the best ever 11+ pass rate in the history of the school, with 100% passing the Kent test and 80% passing the Bexley test.
Highfield Prep School – In the most recent Independent School Inspectorate (ISI) inspection report in March 2022, Highfield Prep was found to be ‘Excellent’ for every single element inspected by the ISI. The ISI found that “Throughout the school, pupils develop excellent knowledge in all areas of learning and acquire a high level of skill in literacy, numeracy, and ICT which they confidently apply across the curriculum, successfully meeting the school’s aims”.
Creation of the Chatsworth Schools Tapestry – Chatsworth Schools has designed a unique learning framework that ensures every one of its schools can deliver a truly bespoke education tailored to every child’s needs. This bespoke framework is called the Chatsworth Tapestry and consists of six strands: mindset, wellbeing, entrepreneurship, sustainability, global, and digital literacy. Each Chatsworth School is weaving these strands differently to adapt their learning to their children’s unique talents and needs.
Enabling Entrepreneurship – Chatsworth Schools recently launched an innovative partnership with international award-winning education company 8billionideas and in December 2021 appointed David Harkin, the founder and CEO of 8billionideas, to the newly created position of Director of Entrepreneurship and Innovation. The partnership is designed to help Chatsworth Schools staff and pupils share ideas for improving school life on a day-to-day basis, push the boundaries of innovation within education, and help pupils realise their entrepreneurial potential.
The Chatsworth Schools Jubilee Leadership Awards – As a part of the Chatsworth Schools Jubilee celebrations and through its work with the 8billionideas platform, in April 2022 it launched a new series of awards that celebrate leadership from its inspiring children across the Chatsworth Schools family. It launched these special awards to coincide with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, and Chatsworth Schools featured in the official Her Majesty’s Commemorative Platinum Jubilee Album.
Protecting and Nurturing Tomorrow’s Minds – Chatsworth Schools have partnered with Happy Space UK to support all its school and nursery pupils with their mental health and wellbeing. For every child that benefits from this mental health partnership at Chatsworth Schools, a child at a state school will be given the same access to resources and mental health support from Happy Space UK.
Commitment to Training and Funding
Commitment to Funding – Chatsworth Schools recently secured the future of Benedict House School in Sidcup on an enlarged site, more than double the size of the existing school and is now investing in a programme of refurbishment. This work will see the creation of new subject specialist learning rooms and improve the outdoor spaces at the school with the addition of a floodlit all-year synthetic turf pitch, a Forest School, and an extended play space including multi-activity areas and a jungle gym.
The Chatsworth Schools Foundation – The Chatsworth Schools Foundation, a registered charity continues to advance education for the public benefit and support of children of all abilities who may be disadvantaged or otherwise prevented or hindered from achieving their highest potential due to their personal circumstances or background.
Chatsworth Schools Leadership Programme – In this year-long programme, senior leaders are welcomed to Chatsworth Schools HQ on a monthly basis to cover a programme that introduces them to all aspects of school leadership with a keen focus on curriculum, pedagogy, coaching, compliance, HR, and operational management, as well as more holistic points around public speaking and a healthy approach to wellbeing. As part of the programme, leaders also design and implement a school-wide project that directly impacts on the experience of all children in their school.
Chatsworth Schools has continued to expand its international offer through its dedicated international school arm, Blenheim Schools, which is re-imagining international education for investors and school owners around the world.
Blenheim Schools has been established to support and assist schools outside the Chatsworth Schools group who find themselves in difficult situations and in need of support. This support can be light touch or in depth for as long or little as needed, as every school is different and requires an individual approach. Blenheim Schools is growing and looking to make the same impact on children internationally that Chatsworth Schools is doing for thousands of children at its UK schools already.
Ultimately, Chatsworth Schools believes it stands out for its innovation, creativity, dynamism, and most importantly for being child-centred and learner-led. All the schools in the Chatsworth Schools group are non-selective schools and by being non-selective, each child is able to strive for and be the very best they can in any given sphere of school life, whether that be on the sports field or in the classroom.
So, what’s next for Chatsworth Schools? Committed to enabling outstanding futures for all its children, it will continue to fulfil this objective in 2023. The group also has an active pipeline of future potential acquisitions for 2023, which Anita Gleave is leading on.