College News

Ed Hester To Take On New Dedicated Foundation Head Role

Princethorpe College Headmaster, Ed Hester, is to take on a new dedicated role as Head of the Princethorpe Foundation. Mr Hester has been Headmaster at the College since 2009, with the dual role of Senior Foundation Head. 

This forward-thinking decision by the governing body comes after a review of the overall management and leadership of the Foundation, which comprises senior school, Princethorpe College, prep schools, Crackley Hall and Crescent School and Little Crackers Nursery.  

Separating the two roles will mean that Mr Hester will move away from the day-to-day running of the senior school and be able to dedicate more time to the strategic direction of the Foundation as a whole. He will work in partnership with the Board of Trustees, the Senior Management Teams and staff across all the Foundation schools to develop an ambitious vision and strategy for the next exciting stage in the Foundation’s evolution.  

Comments, Liz Griffin, Chair of Trustees, “The Foundation has evolved significantly over the last ten years. As a result of mergers and the popularity of our schools we have grown from 800 pupils to over 1,400 today and we have over 250 members of staff, what’s more our schools are operating in a complex and ever-changing political, legal and economic climate. We are ambitious for the Foundation and the creation of this new dedicated role will ensure that we continue to develop and flourish.

She continues, “Ed, with his proven leadership and strategic skills, is uniquely placed to fulfil this role. He has done an outstanding job as Headmaster of Princethorpe College, and I am delighted he is taking on the new role.  We understand how important it will be to find the right person to take over from him as Head of Princethorpe College and the recruitment process is already underway, with a view to having his successor in post within the next twelve months. Of course, Ed will ensure a smooth transition and successful handover to the new Head, who will be supported by the excellent Princethorpe Senior Leadership Team.”

Consultants, RSAcademics, are assisting the Foundation with the search for and appointment of the new Head of Princethorpe College. More information can be found here.

Green Light Given For Princethorpe’s New £8 Million Science Centre

Trustees of the Princethorpe Foundation have given the green light for work to commence on Princethorpe College’s new £8m Science Centre.

The Science Centre, which features 10 brand-new, state-of-the-art Science laboratories, will ultimately transform the College’s entire campus allowing other areas to be redeveloped and departments clustered within the main school building.

The project, the College’s largest and most ambitious to date, has undergone a comprehensive and lengthy design, planning, costing and tendering process over the last five years. The contract for the main build has been awarded to Trendgrey Construction Limited, based in nearby Stockton. Headed up by MD Nick Henderson, who has been with the company for twenty-two years, Trendgrey is well-known to The Princethorpe Foundation having completed the Sixth Form Resource Centre at Princethorpe in 2014, The Gables at Crackley Hall in 2016 and the Horton Centre at Crescent School in 2021.

Preparatory work will now begin, before the contractor moves onto site over February Half Term. The construction is estimated to take around 14 months with the building expected to open its doors for teaching in September 2023.

Comments Liz Griffin, Chair of Trustees, “The Trustees are delighted to give approval for work to commence on the Science Centre at Princethorpe. This really is a landmark decision in the strategic development of the College and is testament to the strong position the Foundation finds itself in today. Many congratulations to Trendgrey on being awarded the contract after a very competitive tendering process.”

She continues, “Our thanks go to all the donors who have contributed so generously to the fundraising for the project, our Science Campaign Board, the Science Working Group, our professional advisors, AT Architects, Ainsleys, Richard Strauss Associates and Couch, Perry and Wilkes, and of course the Senior Leadership Team for all their hard work.”

Headmaster, Ed Hester, adds, “It is fantastic that our vision for the future of Princethorpe will now become a reality. This announcement is great news for the Princethorpe community; the Science Centre project brings with it so many exciting campus-wide benefits and these cutting-edge teaching and learning facilities will inspire generations of Princethorpe pupils and staff for years to come.”

Comments, Trendgrey’s Managing Director, Nick Henderson, “It is a great privilege to have been awarded this prestigious contract by the Princethorpe Foundation. We are looking forward to working in partnership to deliver what promises to be an exceptional educational facility and state-of-the-art building.”

Members of the Princethorpe community interested in supporting the project through personal or corporate naming rights, sponsoring an engraved paver, wall brick or Periodic Table element in the new Centre should contact the Development Office for more information at

To view a fly through of the Science Centre please visit the school website here.


How is the project being funded?
The project will be funded through a combination of generous philanthropic support, fee income and a bank loan.

What will the Science Centre provide?
At nearly 1,800 square metres the Science Centre will provide four Biology laboratories, three Chemistry and three Physics laboratories, two staff bases, two preparation areas, an office, a breakout and study area and additional toilet facilities. The Physics laboratories will be sited on the ground floor, the Chemistry laboratories on the first floor with two Biology laboratories on both the ground and first floor. All laboratories will be fully accessible, with an induction loop system and there will be a passenger lift between the two floors.

When will the Science Centre open?
The build is estimated to last 14 months and it is hoped that the building will be handed over to the school in April 2023, in readiness for it to open its doors for teaching in September 2023.

Where will the Science Centre be sited?
The Science Centre will adjoin the north end of The Limes and will link with the existing building at ground and first floor levels. The main entrance will front onto the Lime Walk.

What are the other campus-wide benefits?
Geography, Economics and Business Studies will be able to move from the outside temporary classrooms into permanent homes in the main building; History and Politics will be clustered in the East Wing; Mathematics, Latin and Technology will gain more space and Sixth Form students will benefit from more extra quiet workspaces for private study. There will be Tuck Shop improvements and we will ultimately gain new additional multi-use outdoor courts for Tennis and Netball.

What about the construction of the building?
The building is of traditional construction, using blockwork infill around a steel frame, wooden trusses with a slate roof, precast staircases and concrete floors. Architectural details mean that The Science Centre will be very distinctive and modern, but will harmonise with the existing built environment at Princethorpe. The building will require in the region of 71,000 bricks, 22,000 blocks and 10,000 roof slates.

How will the construction be managed safely on site with the school in session?
The health and safety of all our pupils and staff is our number one priority. Over February Half Term a secure compound will be established on site. Once term recommences deliveries and construction traffic will come onto site at carefully managed times, accessing the construction area via the road that was put in place for The Limes, near the entrance to the Orchard and behind the Tennis Courts.

Pupils and staff will be given clear instructions as to areas that are out of bounds due to the construction.

How ‘green’ and sustainable is the new building?
This will be an ‘intelligent’ building, driven by an integrated digital Building Management System to optimise heating and ventilation; there will be underfloor heating throughout and it will also have the latest standards of insulation. Infrastructure will be put in place to allow a progression, in time, to Ground Source Heat Pumps, likely to combine gas/hydrogen redundancy for reliability. There will be LED illumination throughout, with presence sensors and daylight sensors to control light levels. Photovoltaics on the roof will have a panel area of 137m2, generating 21.821MWh annually with a Carbon offset of 6.8 tonnes/annum.

An energy performance monitor in the ground floor circulation area and visible to all will give a real-time picture of the building’s energy performance. Locally employed labour and materials suppliers helps to keep commuting miles and transport miles to a minimum, to mitigate our carbon footprint.

How will this affect employment opportunities in our area?
One of the real strengths of engaging a local contractor employing its own labour force for many aspects of the project means that many of the trades will live nearby. Involving local suppliers, too, such as steel fabricators and mechanical and electrical engineering contractors, helps to support the local economy. At the height of the construction phase there could easily be in excess of ten trades and fifty personnel on site.

How can I find out more about supporting the project?
Members of the Princethorpe community interested in supporting the project through personal or corporate naming rights, sponsoring an engraved paver, wall brick or Periodic Table element in the new Centre should click on this link or contact the Development Office for more information at

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New Sister Boniface Mysteries Coming Soon On UKTV Drama Channel

Our North American Old Princethorpians were the first to see the new Sister Boniface Mysteries when it premiered on Britbox on Tuesday 8 February. The spin off of the popular Father Brown series, was filmed at Princethorpe over the summer and follows the adventures of Sr Boniface, a Vespa-driving, crime solving, Cotswold-dwelling nun.

Teaser photos from the series can be seen on the link below and the eagle eyed amongst you may spot glimpses of the Chapel and the corridors around it in the shots. 

We have it on good authority that the UK launch will be on (UKTV) Drama on Friday 11 March. Can't wait to watch!

For more information click here.

Cambridge Offers For High-Flying Princethorpe Sixth Formers

Two Princethorpe College Sixth Form students are thrilled to have received offers for places at Cambridge University.

Head Girl, Caitlin Mason, will be reading Psychological and Behavioural Sciences at Magdalene College, Cambridge while Sixth Form prefect and Fisher House Captain, Greg Burford, will read Music at Girton College, Cambridge.

Oxbridge places are always oversubscribed and increasingly competitive, and these talented students have faced a tough selection process consisting of pre-tests, intensive scrutiny of their academic and personal achievements and rigorous interviews.

Their success is not achieved without a great deal of hard work, as well as hours of dedicated support and encouragement from their teachers and parents who have provided individual guidance and support over the past few months.

Princethorpe College Head of Sixth Form, Ben Collie, commented, “Caitlin and Greg have earned this success. During their time at Princethorpe College they have not only applied themselves to their academic studies but also to developing themselves as confident and mature young people. Applying to Oxbridge is an extremely rigorous and character-testing experience that seems to get tougher every year. We were delighted to support them with their applications and are exceptionally proud of their achievement.”

We are very proud of them both and of all our Upper Sixth students applying to study at university next year, the majority of whom have now received offers through the UCAS system with many receiving offers from all five of their university choices.

Campus Changes Mark First Signs Of The Science Build Commencing

The first signs of the Science build commencing are afoot, with last Friday 4 February marking the formal end of lessons in the portacabins. The Geography, Business and Economics departments and Tutor groups AEG, FMT, FHB and MSD have now all relocated to new homes as the College prepares for the construction of the new Science Centre.

The Grounds team have been getting ready for the build for a while, working hard to relocate all the beech hedging that surrounds what we affectionally know as the ‘huts’ or ‘the Limettes’. With pupils helping, as part of their Outdoor Education lessons as they worked towards their John Muir Award, the hedging has been replanted on the Orchard Walk, the Nut Walk and up next to Switzerland.

Over the next two weeks the portacabins will be stripped by our Estates Team before being handed over to Trendgrey, the construction company. Then during half term a segregated construction compound will be erected around the site and the access road for the construction traffic behind the tennis courts will be reinstated, before the real work begins.

After nearly twenty years it is the end of an era here at school for the portacabins, but it is not the end of their lives as the lead contractor, Trendgrey Construction, is planning to use two of them as site offices during the build.

We went out to take some last photos today for the archives and popped into the classrooms. Head of Geography, Mike Taylor has enjoyed being based in the portacabins, amidst the Warwickshire countryside, for the last eight years. He is pictured here with his Year 7 geography class.

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Inspirational Prize Giving Celebrates What Makes Princethorpe So Special

Another exceptional year of achievement, progress, creativity and contribution was celebrated at Princethorpe College’s annual Prize Giving Ceremony at the Butterworth Hall, at Warwick University’s Arts Centre on Friday 19 November. Last year’s Prize Giving was held virtually, so to have this year’s ceremony able to take place once again in person felt all the more special.

Before the ceremony, the Old Princethorpians Committee hosted a special Drinks Reception for the returning Class of 2021 and their parents, providing a welcome opportunity for last year’s cohort to get together and catch up.

Chair of Trustees, Mrs Liz Griffin, opened the proceedings, warmly welcoming parents, friends of the College and Princethorpians old and new to the occasion and then Father Alan Whelan MSC then led the assembled community in an opening prayer.

In his formal address, the Headmaster, Ed Hester, gave thanks to all those who make Princethorpe the special place it is. His warm words paid tribute to all that is done by so many in support of the College, the kindness, the compassion and the values that underpin the success stories of so many of our pupils and not just those who received prizes on the evening. He congratulated last year’s Year 11 and Upper Sixth on their resilience and tenacity over the course of the last two challenging years and applauded them all.

All evening the atmosphere was joyful and celebratory and there were superb musical interludes from the school String Orchestra, Concert Band and the Year 7 Choir, whose performance of It Must Be Love was both enthusiastic and uplifting.

Then it was time for the presentation of the awards. Listening to the citations was truly inspiring and humbling. The talent in evidence, the grit and determination, the passion, enthusiasm and commitment were all applauded and honoured.

Finally, we came to the main award, the Princethorpe Shield, the oldest and most prestigious College award presented annually to the student who is seen to embody the spirit and ethos of the College in many facets of their school life. It was a very popular decision this year, with the audience cheering a delighted and surprised former Head Girl, Abbie O’Carroll-Bailey and former Head Boy, Jack Neale who were thrilled to jointly receive the Shield in recognition of their sterling service throughout the course of the pandemic.

Then to close the proceedings the current Head Girl, Caitlin Mason, and Head Boy, Anthony Convey, gave an eloquent vote of thanks. They were joined by Abbie and Jack on stage who added their thanks to the College community for all they had done.

The evening came to a close with the singing of the College Hymn, Here I Am Lord.

The full list of Prize Winners can be found in the Prize Giving Programme here.

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2021 Tower Review Is Available Now

The latest edition of the College’s magazine, The Tower Review, has just been published.

It tells the story of the school year, term by term, reflecting on the whole host of activities, achievements and successes that pupils from Year 7 through to Upper Sixth took part in. It includes highlights such as Prize Giving and the College production as well as reviews of sporting events and House competitions.

2020/21 was an incredible year filled full of challenges, but there were still plenty of wonderful and memorable moments to reflect on. The magazine has been mailed to parents and the Leavers of 2021 and an electronic copy can be found on the school website here.

If you would like to receive a copy please email with your name and address.

Princethorpe's Wonderful Winter Landscape

There is nothing like a landscape shot to engage our alumni community. We know you can never get enough and whatever the weather, we get outside with a camera to capture the seasons as they pass.

Just before Christmas we had a real treat when the snow started to fall and your Old Princethorpian Secretary got her wellies on and ventured out into the cold winter wonderland to capture the beauty of it all.

If you missed it at the time then take a look at the gallery for a second chance to enjoy this super snow story!


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Train To Teach At Princethorpe Through School Direct

Thinking of becoming a teacher? Then why not consider training with the Princethorpe Foundation.

Whether you are a new graduate or contemplating a career change, we have a wide range of opportunities available across the subjects but particularly in Maths, English, History, Geography and PE.

Though our association with the Lion Alliance, we offer a year’s training as part of the School Direct scheme, leading to Qualified Teacher Status. Placements would be at Princethorpe and also at other schools within the Lion Alliance. Our training is supported by Warwick University, Birmingham City University, Coventry University and by our experienced mentors here at the Princethorpe Foundation.

You can preview the courses on offer here: by searching the database using the details: 1K1 – The Lion Alliance

Our Assistant Head for Teaching and Learning, Dr Liz Pyne is also happy to offer advice about the different routes into teaching and what Princethorpe can offer you. Please email Dr Pyne at

Further information about the Lion Alliance can be found at