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‘Excellent results’ and ‘forward thinking’: Tonbridge features in Tatler Schools Guide

Tonbridge has been praised in the Tatler Schools Guide 2022, which was published at the start of September.

Tatler selects what it considers to be the best 250 independent and prep schools in the UK to feature in its Guide.

The latest review highlights, for example, Tonbridge’s Sixth Form curriculum – “inspired by the most valuable skills for the future” – as well as its widening access agenda, exam success and its record of leavers attending high tariff universities. 

Tori Cadogan, Tatler’s Education Editor, adds: “Schools are not just chosen for their league table busting results or their world class facilities (although these are closely looked at), but to go into the Tatler Schools Guide they must offer the whole package – holistic pastoral care, a focus on character education as much as pure academics and the ability to accommodate and nurture all their pupils resulting in well educated, but most importantly, happy children.” 

Tonbridge’s latest Tatler Schools Guide review is as follows: 

Despite having much to shout about, Tonbridge is refreshingly low profile. The school consistently produces excellent results, and 2020 was no exception. GCSEs were the strongest on record with 95 per cent grades 9, 8 and 7, and an incredible 22 boys achieved a 'clean sweep' of the top grade. The same at A-level: 21 boys were awarded straight A* grades, while 70 per cent of all grades were A* or A. 

The recently rolled-out new Sixth Form curriculum is inspired by the most valuable skills for the future as identified by the World Economic Forum, which includes critical thinking and creativity. 

One parent describes Tonbridge as ‘modern and forward-thinking compared to traditional boys’ boarding schools’. Twenty per cent of pupils are BAME, and widening access is a cause close to Head James Priory's heart. To this end, the school is striving towards doubling the number of boys who receive means-tested fee assistance. No wonder he is so well-loved by pupils, who tell us he is able to ‘perfectly balance a professional and effective management of the school’. 

Excitingly, Tonbridge has merged with The New Beacon Preparatory School in Sevenoaks, just seven miles down the road, solidifying an already strong relationship between the schools. 

Boys eat in-house and one tells us we would be hard-pressed to find better school food in England. Leavers emerge 'decent, considerate and beautifully house-trained’ and go on to Oxbridge, Russell Groups and abroad to the likes of Berkeley, Columbia and Penn. 

Below: Tonbridge boys pictured at the start of the new Michaelmas Term.