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Prior Park Schools Expands to the Mediterranean
28th April 2015

Prior Park Schools’ Governors and Headmasters have much pleasure in announcing that the Prior Park Educational Trust will be opening a new Catholic independent senior school in Gibraltar in September 2016.

In making this exciting announcement, Prior Park is fully aware that it is the first independent school group in Bath and the first Catholic independent school group in the UK to embrace internationalism in this way.

Prior Park was selected by the Gibraltar Secondary School Parents' Group as the preferred bidder from a competitive field of UK school groups. The Parents’ Group said that they were impressed, not only with the performance, values and ethos as demonstrated amongst the UK based Prior Park schools, but with the depth of experience in starting up new schools amongst the senior leadership team.

Prior’s Executive Principal, James Murphy-O’Connor says that the new school will be the fourth school to come under the Prior Park umbrella which includes Prior Park College in Bath, Prior Park Prep School in Cricklade, Wiltshire and the Paragon Junior School in Bath; “Our schools have reaped the benefits from being forward thinking over the centuries, with Prior Park Prep School being established in 1946 to complement the College (established 1830), while The Paragon School joined Prior Park Schools in 2006.”

The new school will operate from the former Sacred Heart campus which is located in Gibraltar’s picturesque Old Town. Mr Murphy-O’Connor added that the benefits to the Prior Park Schools’ group would be many and wide-ranging; “Academic exchanges for our students, employment opportunities for our staff, along with tours as part of sports teams, choirs and CCF, summer school placements, and the sharing of Teaching and Learning initiatives between our staffrooms. The extraordinarily unique location of Gibraltar as a gateway to both Africa and the rest of Europe also opens up all sorts of linguistic and cultural possibilities for our community.”

Mr Murphy-O’Connor believes both the time and place are ideal; “Our Vision 2020, which was published two years ago, advocates developing Prior Park Schools with further educational opportunities as and when they present themselves both at home and abroad. Prior Park has long-held and much cherished links with Gibraltar dating back to the 1830s, with a number of distinguished alumni living there. This, along with the fact that it is a largely Catholic country, with many families looking for a Catholic/Christian independent senior school option, means this formalisation of our links has been a very organic process.

The time line for launching the school will see a Headmaster and Bursar appointed as soon as possible and the school opening to Years 8 through 10 in September 2016, with Years 11 and 12 introduced in September 2017 and full Sixth Form provision in September 2018. An application for the approval of the Director of Education will shortly be made to the Ministry for Education at HM Government of Gibraltar with whom we have already had preliminary discussions on this exciting project.


 

-       Prior Park College is one of the largest independent Catholic, co-educational boarding and day schools in the UK, with 600 students.

-       The College is situated within a picturesque 57-acre site overlooking the city of Bath.

-       The College received an outstanding report following an ISI inspection in November 2011 and a Boarding Inspection in 2014.

Prior Park Schools

Prior Park Schools comprises a group of four schools: The Paragon – Junior School of Prior Park College, Bath; Prior Park Preparatory School, Cricklade, Wiltshire; Prior Park College, Bath and Prior Park School, Gibraltar