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News > School News > Our Strategic Plan: Destination 140

Our Strategic Plan: Destination 140

In the lead-up to the school’s 140th anniversary in 2025, we are delighted to be able to share our strategic plan with you. From September 2025, we will extend our offering for boys to 16 by opening a senior section at Alleyn Park encompassing Years 9, 10 and 11, thereby giving families the additional choice of staying with the school to GCSE. 

In making this change, we want to emphasise our continuing and wholehearted commitment to our current and future pupils and their families to support the transition to senior schools at 11+ and 13+, as we do now. The purpose of extending the age range of the school is to provide an additional opportunity for our families and not to limit our current offering. 

Over the last few years, several changes have occurred across the Independent Schools landscape, particularly in London senior schools. Some have transitioned to only taking pupils at 11 years or to test (Pre-Test) boys at 10 years old for places taken up in Year 9, and some schools have moved or intend to move to become co-educational. Others have an all-through school model but exit children at 7, 11 and 16, where the pupil’s academic standards are not strong enough to remain.  

Dulwich Prep London has embraced these changes and is successful in securing schools of choice and meeting parental expectations. The school supports and manages transition to senior schools in Years 6 and 8. Significant numbers of boys sit senior school admission exams in Year 6. The majority stay with us until the end of Year 8, and around 95% of our boys achieve their first choice after Year 8.  

We have successfully placed boys in 50 different senior schools over the last five years, including local day schools such as Dulwich College, City of London, Trinity, Westminster, and Whitgift, and further afield, such as Eton College, Harrow, King’s Canterbury, Tonbridge, and Winchester College. In addition, since 2020, our boys have been awarded over 250 scholarships. 

While these outcomes remain as strong as ever, some parents and boys find the exam process highly pressured and distracting from their continued education. On average, each boy will apply to at least four schools in Year 6, which may, if successful, be accompanied by several subsequent interview processes before making a choice about whether to enter senior school in Year 7 or Year 9 and further exams in Years 7 and 8.   

We recognise that boys mature at different times. For some families, as expressed in the December 2020 parent survey, there is a desire to reduce or remove the pressure of exams and the feeling of dislocation at the crucial ages of 11 and 13 and to have the security and continuity of a familiar environment where their sons are known.  

Most boys will still leave at 11+ or 13+, and we will continue to support them to do this, as at present. However, opening a senior section will extend choice for our families and the wider community. The school will continue to support, as strongly as ever, the most comprehensive set of options and choice of senior school, and we pride ourselves on being experts in guiding families towards the right school for each child. 

Our vision will see us continue to support families to find the right senior school or sixth form at the right time for their son. We will continue to provide an outstanding, Values-led, and academically excellent all-round education in the boys’ best interest whilst maintaining the widest choice of the best senior schools in the country. We firmly believe this offers families the best of all worlds.

We hope, like us, you are excited about our future, and we very much look forward to celebrating 2025 as we open our senior section and mark the school’s 140th anniversary. 

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