St Joseph’s College takes ‘Independent School of the Year’ at the prestigious 2015 TES Independent School Awards
St Joseph’s College in Reading has won the ‘Independent School of the Year’ award at the prestigious 2015 TES Independent School Awards, as well as winning the key category of ‘Financial/Commercial Initiative of the Year’.
St Joseph’s implemented a courageous strategic and financial plan that appeared counter-intuitive in reducing fees and increasing investment. Yet the decision was a successful one that not only paid dividends for the school but set an example to the rest of the sector.
Pupil numbers have risen and the school is now a role model for other schools. Indeed, it will make many other schools reconsider their approach to increasing fees.
The judging panel, which included Sir David Bell, Vice-Chancellor of Reading University, said the school demonstrated “outstanding initiative that shows there is always hope if you have a strong vision and stakeholder support”.
“There are signs that other schools in the sector are beginning to follow suit in cutting their fees: a trailblazing approach.”
Andrew Colpus, Headmaster of St Joseph’s, is thrilled that the school’s bold strategy and its subsequent success have been recognised.
“It was a real leap of faith for our Governors to reduce the fees, and to pair this with significant investment was something that had not been seen previously in the sector. However, as a team we had huge conviction that it was the right thing to do, and this has been proven in the significant and consistent rise in pupil numbers across the school, from Early Years pupils aged three right up to our Sixth Formers aged 18.”
“And our journey isn’t over yet. Our investment programme is ongoing, and pupil numbers are continuing to rise. Our fees are still modest compared to other schools in our area, and I am delighted that St Joseph’s is able to open its doors to many who would not otherwise consider independent education to be an option.”
The awards ceremony was a black-tie event in at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London, hosted by Michael Portillo, where over 400 attendees celebrated all that is outstanding in independent schools across the UK.