Two leading independent schools are coming together to build firm foundations for the future and provide more opportunities for pupils today and tomorrow.

Governors have decided that South Yorkshire’s Birkdale and the Peak District’s S. Anselm’s will join forces from the start of the new academic year in September, and build on both school’s traditions, dating back to 1888.

Birkdale School, based in Sheffield, celebrates its 120th year in 2024. It is a day school for boys and girls, with children aged between 4 and 18 while S. Anselm’s, part of the community in Bakewell since 1888, is a day and boarding school for boys and girls from age 3 to 13.

S. Anselm’s will become part of the Birkdale family but there will be no day-to-day changes for pupils, families or staff at either school as we design the details, together, of the new opportunities the coming together will bring at both schools.

The leadership of both organisations will explore opportunities for both school communities building on a shared ethos of academic excellence that is grounded in a nurturing and caring environment.

Paul Houghton, Chair of Governors of Birkdale School, said:

“We believe this is an exciting opportunity for both our school communities to come together during a time of rapid change in the world in general, and the independent education sector in particular.

“Both Birkdale and S. Anselm’s have continuously evolved in their long histories to provide the best, rounded education to every pupil, and this move will ensure we can build on the ethos both schools share, work collaboratively to extend opportunities for our pupils now and long into the future.

“We truly believe Birkdale Prep, Birkdale Senior, Birkdale Sixth Form and S. Anselm’s will thrive as part of an expanded Birkdale family which exemplifies the belief that runs through everything we do, that we are stronger together.”

Richard Bowker, Chair of Governors of S. Anselm’s School, said:

“S. Anselm’s will become part of the Birkdale family, but there will be no day-to-day changes for pupils, families or staff at either school other than the exciting opportunities afforded over time by the sharing of best practice, facilities and resources.

“Our combined entity will be far more than the sum of the individual parts and lead to much greater choice and flexibility for all families and children at both schools.”