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Two private schools set to merge

By Plymouth Herald  |  Posted: March 17, 2014

By CHIARA GIORDANO Herald Reporter @CGiordanoHerald

  • Kelly College in Tavistock

  • Mount House School in Tavistock

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TWO prestigious independent schools have announced a merger for the new academic year.

Kelly College Foundation and Mount House School in Tavistock will unite in September 2014 to form the Mount Kelly Foundation.

The decision to form a single foundation, providing education for 550 children and young people aged three to 18, follows several years of discussion between the two governing bodies.

Commenting on the merger, current Headmaster of Kelly College, Dr Graham Hawley, said: “I am thrilled that these two excellent schools are merging.

“Combining the best of both schools will provide even greater opportunities for all the children.”

Kelly College, Kelly College Preparatory School and Mount House School will be governed under new Headmaster, Mark Semmence, who will be Foundation Principal and CEO.

Mr Semmence was appointed last December from Rugby School and takes up his post on September 1.

Patrick Savage, Headmaster at Mount House School, will share the role of Head of the Mount Kelly Preparatory School with Matthew Foale, who is currently Headmaster at Kelly College Preparatory.

Mr Savage said: “This marks an exciting and important development for current, and prospective, Mount House families.

“We are extremely excited about the merger and very much look forward to welcoming new pupils for the 2014 academic year.”

Mr Foale said: “This is a very exciting time and a wonderful opportunity for all of the children.

“Mount Kelly will offer our children outstanding opportunities and they will benefit from some quite superb facilities, in a thriving and ambitious environment”.

The union of the two neighbouring schools combines 270 years of academic and sporting excellence, which has produced Olympians, politicians and other public figures.

Kelly College was founded in 1877 by Admiral Benedictus Marwood Kelly as a boarding school “for the sons of Naval Officers and other gentlemen”.

Mount House School started in 1881 as a small school at Alton House, Tavistock Hill in Plymouth, and in 1900 moved to larger premises at Mount House on Approach Road.

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  • reallybusybee  |  March 17 2014, 7:44AM

    Kelly College has been rapidly declining in numbers for years and has been hugely concerned over viable funding for the new swimming pool, as for Mount House, their struggles became evident when the school week was restructured in a cost saving effort which also saw staff leave, since then they have gone from two boarding houses to one - it was inevitable neither school could survive much longer on their own. As for merging though, the two schools are so very different and attract different families. One school attract normal families from normal backgrounds and the other attract families from the top of the SW earners some of whom move in high profile circles. Mount House will no doubt make all the decisions in regard to the two schools combining - you only have to look at the two governing bodies to see who the decision makers are - already we are told the Mount House site is staying. This sounds like a merger to save Mount House from a landslide and I for one am glad my children have all left now. It was once a prestigious school but is now a sinking ship.

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