When Prince George heads out to class for the first time in early September, he will get some of the best education “money can buy” from a “slightly chaotic” school for cosmopolitan families.
That’s the view of Thomas’s Battersea in London by a recently published review of schools in England.
The $23,000-a-year establishment, which is about four miles south of the family’s Kensington Palace home, is “a big, busy, slightly chaotic school for cosmopolitan parents who want their children to have the best English education money can buy,” the latest The Good Schools Guide says. “That is what they want and, to a large degree, that is what they get.”
There are “plenty of opportunities for pupils to excel but withdrawn types might find it all somewhat overwhelming,” the review adds.
George, 4, will be among a wide variety of international families as “19 different foreign languages spoken at home,” the guide adds.
Like George, the school’s headmaster is also starting fresh next month. The new headmaster is Simon O’Malley, who the guide describes as “ambitious and enthusiastic.” He “generated an energy and buzz about his previous school. Much-liked and respected by parents,” the reviewers at The Good Schools Guide, which calls itself the leading, independent source of information on schools in the U.K., add.
The move to school for George has come as the family is largely relocating to live more in London as Prince William has ended his part-time job as an air ambulance pilot and will dedicate his time to fulltime royal duties and his charities.
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Sporty parents like William and Princess Kate may have been partly attracted to the school by the amount of physical activity – sports take up 20 percent of the curriculum time.
And there is a lot of emphasis placed on drama too. It “is outstanding with huge productions by each year group being put on over the year,” the review reports. “‘Only drawback’, said one parent, ‘is that they are always musicals. Not much use if your child can’t sing.’ School assures us there’s always something for everyone.”
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There’s a new music center, an orchestra, bands and choirs while “two great art studios and two pottery rooms with their own kiln” add to the creative mix.
George’s parents have vowed to take him to school whenever they can. But, the guide notes, that the school owns a “fleet of buses,” some of which bring pupils from Kensington.