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Should parents in London who value rural childhoods be considering boarding, flexi-boarding, relocating or putting their child on a bus?


Colin BatyColin Baty is Head of Bedales Prep School, Dunhurst. He has returned to Bedales where he started his career in the UK as Housemaster in 1999. Previously he was Deputy Head of Moreton Hall Prep School in Suffolk and Headmaster of Great Walstead Prep School in Sussex.

Colin holds the National Professional Qualification of Headship, Professional Practise in Boarding from the Boarding Schools Association and studied Education at Waikato University NZ. Colin is a passionate advocate for Boarding schools and values the added experience that the wrap around care provides for families in the 21st century.

Boarding is not what we remember from Tom Brown school days. Today it is based around the highest pastoral care, family community and an excellent way of giving children a ‘home from home’ experience with staff who are caring for boarders like they would their own children.

Colin has ‘Prep school boarding’ running through his veins and he and his wife, Debbie are committed to giving the children in their care a childhood to remember.

Rory JohnstonRory is the Headmaster of Hanford, a prep school for girls in the beautiful Dorset countryside, which he joined five years ago from Horris Hill where he was Head of Classics and a Houseparent.

Before becoming a teacher, Rory spent nearly twenty years working in the City. He is a staunch advocate of the benefits of boarding while also aware that families are looking for greater flexibility. He and his wife, George, have two children who at different times in their school careers have been day, flexi-, weekly and full boarders. In his free time, Rory is a keen long-distance walker, an enthusiastic triathlete, an aspiring Roman cook and an avid birdwatcher - and he loves to share these interests with his pupils.


Tom BunburyHeadmaster since 2004 Tom Bunbury was educated at Woodcote House and then Millfield before heading off to read law at Durham University. After two years as a criminal solicitor, Tom saw the light and returned to Woodcote House to try his hand at teaching.

Finding it was to his liking, he completed his PGCE at Homerton College Cambridge before joining Papplewick in 1993 as a maths teacher, and has remained there ever since.

His route to Headship included spells as Head of Maths, Director of Studies and Deputy Headmaster. Tom lives on site with his wife Sallie, and four children Harry, Mollie, Lily and Archie plus their cocker spaniel Bertie.

Phillip EvittHeadmaster of Highfield, Phillip studied History at Cambridge. He taught History and English at Monmouth School, then moved to Dulwich College, where he taught History, latterly as Head of Department. He left Dulwich in 1999 when he became Head of Highfield.

During his Headship the school has undergone major redevelopment and growth and is one of the leading co-educational boarding and day preps in the country, with a distinguished record of academic and all-round success and thriving boarding numbers.

Emma TaylorWarden of Dean Close, Emma Taylor graduated from New College, Oxford with a BA, and subsequently an MA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics. Having trained to teach at Westminster College, Oxford, she took up her first teaching post at Stowe School as a member of the Economics, Politics and RS departments.

Having run a Sixth Form girls’ boarding house, she moved to Canford to take on the leadership of a brand new 13-18 girls’ house as part of the school’s transition to coeducation. She subsequently served as Senior Mistress and Admissions Tutor at Dean Close School, before taking up her first Headship, at Christ College, Brecon. Mrs Taylor took up her role as Warden and CEO of the Dean Close Foundation in 2017. The Foundation consists of 5 schools and 5 nurseries, with its headquarters in Cheltenham.

Having been a Forces boarder herself from the age of 8, she is an advocate for the benefits of modern boarding and for coeducation, and has contributed regularly on educational matters to BBC Radio and TV in Wales and to numerous journals and publications. Her interests include rugby, travel, reading and tackling the Times crossword.


Emily TurnerEmily Turner is one of the founding Editors of angels & urchins. She started life in children’s book publishing before qualifying as a solicitor. She left the world of law on the arrival of her daughter and has been with a&u ever since.

She writes on a range of topics including travel, what’s on and education. She has four children who have all gone to different schools so, when it comes to finding the right school for the right child, she has certainly practised what she preached!