Schools To Champion A Countryside Education

15th December 2023

Six prep and senior schools are joining forces in the new year to extol the virtues of a country education.

Senior figures from leading prep schools Highfield and Brookham, Ludgrove and Hanford will be joined by top senior schools Marlborough College, Radley College and Downe House at the Educating Outside London event at Beaufort House in Chelsea.

It will be held on Wednesday 7th February, from 6.30pm-8.30pm.

A representative from each of the six schools will give a brief talk on the positive benefits of being educated away from the capital. Topics will include the importance of keeping schools mentally healthy, the arguments for and against co-education and single-sex schools, the advantages of having plenty of outdoor space in which to learn and play, and whether boarding or day attendance is right for your child.

Highfield and Brookham, which is set in 175 beautiful acres on the rural borders of Hampshire, Surrey and West Sussex, is a co-educational nursery, pre-prep and prep school for children aged 2-13 whose children regularly move on after Year 8 to Marlborough, Radley and Downe House, as well as other leading senior schools across the country. Included among them are a healthy number of scholarship recipients each year.

Over the years, many parents have cited Highfield and Brookham’s vast natural outdoor classroom as a big factor in their decision to choose the Liphook-based school for their children’s education; a sentiment doubtless shared by parents of children at Hanford, based at Blandford Forum in Dorset, and Ludgrove, which occupies 130 acres in rural Berkshire.

Suzannah Cryer, Head of Highfield and Brookham, said: “Being blessed with such big and wonderful grounds, outdoor learning naturally plays a big part in our everyday curriculum. From building dens at forest school to tending our vegetable plots and from undertaking science experiments to painting among the daffodils, our children gain so much from being outside.

“The fact that the children have the time and space to learn, to play, to think and to breathe in such a safe and nurturing setting is truly wonderful for their wellbeing and their mental health, and we find that it pays handsome dividends back inside the classroom.”

And she added: “We’re delighted to be joining forces with such prestigious schools in February to fly the flag for rural education. We all have a common link; we all have the health, happiness and wellbeing of our children at the heart of everything we do, and we look forward to meeting city-based parents who might be considering the switch to a countryside education for their children.”

The Educating Outside London event, which has been running successfully since 2015, is primarily aimed at parents of children aged under-10 who are considering a move to a rural school. Places are limited. To RSVP, visit