St Joseph’s College in Reading has won the ‘Independent School of the Year’ award at the prestigious 2015 TES Independent School Awards, as well as winning the key category of ‘Financial/Commercial Initiative of the Year’.
St Joseph’s implemented a courageous strategic and financial plan that appeared counter-intuitive in reducing fees and increasing investment. Yet the decision was a successful one that not only paid dividends for the school but set an example to the rest of the sector.
Pupil numbers have risen and the school is now a role model for other schools. Indeed, it will make many other schools reconsider their approach to increasing fees.
The judging panel, which included Sir David Bell, Vice-Chancellor of Reading University, said the school demonstrated “outstanding initiative that shows there is always hope if you have a strong vision and stakeholder support”.
“There are signs that other schools in the sector are beginning to follow suit in cutting their fees: a trailblazing approach.”
Andrew Colpus, Headmaster of St Joseph’s, is thrilled that the school’s bold strategy and its subsequent success have been recognised. “It was a real leap of faith for our Governors to reduce the fees, and to pair this with significant investment was something that had not been seen previously in the sector. However, as a team we had huge conviction that it was the right thing to do, and this has been proven in the significant and consistent rise in pupil numbers across the school, from Early Years pupils aged three right up to our Sixth Formers aged 18.”
In addition, Bredon School won the “Marketing/Communications Campaign of the Year”. This is a prestigious award and is very good news.
David Ward, Headmaster of Bredon School was delighted and very proud. “It has been made in recognition of our large public open day, the Bredon School May Day Country Fair, and therefore shared with all staff, parents, friends and exhibitors that made the event possible.”