16 September 2023
Headington School Oxford and Rye St Antony School have announced today, Friday 15th September 2023, they will be merging to form a single, all-through school.
The new school will be known as Headington Rye Oxford, with a prep school for girls and boys aged 3-11 located on the 12-acre Rye site, and a senior school for girls aged 11-18 based on the adjacent 23-acre Headington senior school site. As well as enhancing the educational and extra-curricular options available to pupils in the senior school, this merger will respond to increasing local demand for a larger mixed sex prep school in the east of Oxford.
The transition will begin in January 2024 but there will be no significant changes for pupils and staff until September 2024, when pupils and staff join together in their new locations. All staff jobs remain secure as a result of the merger and all current pupils will have a place in the new school.
Headington Rye Oxford will be led by Headington Headmistress Caroline Jordan. Staff from both schools will work together to combine their wealth of expertise and experience to offer outstanding teaching to both boys and girls. This will allow pupils to thrive and reach beyond their potential.
Mrs Jordan said: “I am delighted to share this incredibly exciting news. We are curious, confident, ambitious schools which share a beautiful location and very similar educational and Christian values. We will take the best of both schools to create an exciting new school for both current and future generations of children.”
Ms Sarah Davis, Interim Headmistress at Rye St Antony said: “We very much welcome this opportunity to join together as Headington Rye Oxford which will allow us to continue to offer a truly outstanding education, facilities and co-curricular activities. Our beautiful grounds offer excellent new opportunities for the prep school within our tranquil 12-acre site. We are looking forward to the next exciting chapter for our school communities.”
Carol Oster Warriner, Headington’s current chair of governors, will chair the governing body of Headington Rye Oxford and Carla Stanley, governor at Rye St Antony and Kate Ringham, governor at Headington, will be Joint Vice Chairs. All governors from both schools will continue as governors on the new Board.
Mrs Oster Warriner and Mrs Shuna McGregor, the current Chair of Rye St Antony, issued a joint statement: “We believe this merger will make us stronger together, securing the future of both schools for generations and ensuring we can continue to offer the best possible educational experience for all pupils. It is anticipated that the merger will enable an even greater breadth of academic and vocational courses to be offered alongside enhanced extra-curricular activities and clubs.
We will work closely with all stakeholders, from pupils, parents and staff at both schools to local feeder schools and the wider community to help shape the new school whilst respecting the heritage, history and traditions of both schools as we plan for the future. “