HALSTEAD Preparatory School for Girls and St Andrew’s School, Horsell, are forming a partnership to create a new school. 

Halstead St Andrew’s School will open in September 2023.

The partnership school will be co-ed, extending to Year 11, and aims to educate around 500 pupils aged 2 to 16 across the two schools’ current sites.

Pupils in Nursery to Year 2 will be based at Halstead’s site, to be known as Woodham Rise, and pupils from Year 3 upwards will be based on the St Andrew’s School site, to be known as Church Hill House.

It is to be an equal partnership, with St Andrew’s and Halstead staff represented on the senior leadership team. 

Dominic Fitzgerald, current head of St Andrew’s School, will be head of Halstead St Andrew’s. Simon Brookhouse, Halstead’s current chair of governors, will lead the new governing body, which will be made up of equal numbers of governors from the two schools.

In a joint statement, Sharon Maher, headmistress at Halstead Preparatory School, and Mr  Fitzgerald said: “We are both very aware that this is an important and significant juncture in both our schools’ histories. 

“Together, we have over 200 years of educational experience and our vision for the new school is to build on the current successes of both schools, develop the already outstanding provision we offer and preserve the well-known and well-loved family atmosphere that we both provide.

“Importantly, together we will be even more robust and stronger to face the future.”

Mr Fitzgerald added: “I am extremely honoured and enthused by the prospect of leading Halstead St Andrew’s School. Whilst the partnership creates a new and exciting opportunity, the core values that pupils and parents have invested in will remain central to the new school community.”

Mr Brookhouse said: “This is an exciting and significant development for independent education in Woking and the surrounding area. 

“Building on the shared resources, facilities and expertise of both schools, Halstead St Andrew’s will be offering a complete and compelling educational offering for children aged 2 to 16 years. I am certain that both current and future pupils at the school will benefit from the inspiring educational experience that we will offer.

Halstead Preparatory School provided a royal carriage photo booth for pupils to mark the Queen's 70th year as monarch. The school is to create a partnership with nearby St Andrew's School. (Halstead Prep)

 “We are in the process of sharing our vision for the future with our parents, pupils and staff. We will be able to share more details about Halstead St Andrew’s with our wider communities in due course.”

In terms of pupil logistics, in September, Nursery to Year 2 will be at the Woodham Rise site (Halstead) and Year 3 to Year 8 will be at the Church Hill House site (St Andrew’s) with the teaching and learning environments on each site appropriate for the different age groups. However, the numbers of pupils at each site will be the same.

The school plans to extend its provision to Year 9 in 2026, with the first cohort entering Year 11 in 2028.