DAME Bradbury’s School, an independent prep school based in Saffron Walden, has announced plans to merge with the Stephen Perse Foundation in Cambridge.

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From September 1, Dame Bradbury’s will be part of the Foundation’s family of schools which comprises two mixed Stephen Perse pre-prep schools, Perse Girls Junior and Senior Schools and the mixed Stephen Perse Sixth Form College. The Foundation is one of the most highly-regarded educational establishments in the country.

At the same time, the Foundation has announced that it will be accepting boys into its existing Cambridge Junior School from 2014, and, in 2018, it will also be adding single-sex education for boys aged 11-16.

Chair of Governors, Dr Jo Burch, said: “This merger offers Dame Bradbury’s the opportunity to continue to improve on the high educational standards currently being achieved, which were acknowledged in our recent outstanding inspection report.

“We had been seeking to expand our educational provision still further, and so we welcome the approach by the Foundation, inviting us to join them. Becoming a member of the Foundation will enrich further the opportunities for all Dame Bradbury’s pupils.”

Tricia Kelleher, principal of The Stephen Perse Foundation, added: “We have long been aware of the excellence of Dame Bradbury’s and the strong similarities between its ethos and curriculum and that of the Foundation.

“Both Dame Bradbury’s and the Foundation demonstrate leading-edge commitment to the development of teaching and learning, with inspirational teachers who instil in their pupils a lifelong love of learning.”

The day-to-day management of the cchool, by headmistress Jane Crouch, will continue.

Dame Bradbury’s School will not change its name and it will remain on its current site in Ashdon Road. It will also “remain a non-selective school and retain its distinctive ‘family atmosphere’, based on the school community’s moral and educational ethos and values”, said a spokesman.

“The school’s historical commitment to education in Saffron Walden is specifically preserved in the terms of the agreement with the Foundation,” she added.

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