Midhurst prep school confirms ‘exciting’ take-over

A preparatory school in Midhurst has been taken over by new owners in what has been called an ‘exciting development’.

Conifers School has been acquired by Quo Vadis (QV) Education, a firm established in 2014 to acquire and run independent schools.

“We will absolutely remain Conifers School, with Mrs Smyth and her team of excellent staff continuing in their roles and our own treasured identity,” a spokesperson said.

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“We remain extremely committed, with Quo Vadis Education’s full support, to continue offering a fantastic education to our pupils, albeit with what will be a greatly increased financial support.”

Nestled on the edge of Cowdray Park, Conifers is a ‘flourishing prep school catering for pupils aged two to 13 years.

Nestled on the edge of Cowdray Park, Conifers is a ‘flourishing prep school catering for pupils aged two to 13 years.

The spokesperson added: “This exciting development means that Conifers is now the second school under the QV Education umbrella, after Boundary Oak, a co-educational day and boarding school in [Fareham], Hampshire for pupils aged two to 16 years, which was acquired in 2014 and is now full with 350 pupils on roll.”

On its website, Conifers stressed that there were ‘no plans to grow’ the school to 350 pupils.

The acquisition means that Conifers School will come under the management of QV Education’s founders who have a ‘wealth of experience’ in successfully managing independent schools.

Quo Vadis (QV) Education is a firm established in 2014 to acquire and run independent schools

Quo Vadis is latin for ‘Where are you going?’ and its ethos is to prepare pupils for life, providing children with the resources and experience needed to help them reach their potential.

Its founders are Aaron Stewart (CEO), a former pupil at Conifers with two children who currently attend the school, and James Polansky who is also the headmaster of Boundary Oak School.

Mr Stewart said: “Throughout the process, it has been clear that Conifers, Boundary Oak and QV Education have a natural synergy and a common desire to provide our children with the highest quality education.

“Our mission going forward will be to enhance Confers School with new investment and oversight, whilst maintaining the previous community ethos of the school for pupils and parents alike.”

Conifers said the transition in ownership will ‘bring many benefits’, including being able to meet the challenges ‘that face all schools’ with a ‘deeper team of school leaders and oversight’.

The spokesperson said: “Financially, the school can be confident in its future and Conifers staff will have the opportunity to share best practice, further raise standards of achievement and expand the range of opportunities that we can offer our pupils.

“The transition in ownership will also mean new investment dedicated to improving the school. Conifers will also benefit from pooling resources such as marketing, HR and compliance and inspections functions.”

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