How important is the prep or primary school environment, and how does it affect your child's chances of future success?

Do selective schools set your child on the right academic path from the outset, or do the non-selective alternatives give your child more chance to enjoy their childhood?


Mark Hartley

Mark Hartley

Mark is Headmaster of Forres Sandle Manor School (FSM), a thriving pre-prep and prep school for girls and boys in Fordingbridge, Hampshire, situated on the northern edge of the beautiful New Forest National Park.

Following a number of years in industry and before becoming Headmaster of FSM, he taught at Fowey Primary School in Cornwall, Mount House Prep School in Devon and Winchester House School in Northamptonshire where he was Deputy Head. As well as teaching Maths and Science, Mark was a Housemaster at Mount House School where he also started and ran the school’s ‘Shackleton Award’ which encompassed everything from raft building and orienteering, open fire cooking and shelter building through to community work such as helping restore community gardens in the local area. His work at Winchester House included being Head of Boarding while his wife, Beth, ran the Junior Boys boarding house. Mark moved to Forres Sandle Manor in September 2010 and the school has gone from strength to strength under his leadership, having been rated as ‘excellent’ in all areas at its most recent ISI inspection in May 2017.

Emma Goldsmith

Emma Goldsmith

Emma is Head of Winchester House School, a thriving prep school for girls and boys in Brackley on the Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Northamptonshire borders. The school was nominated as Tatler’s Best Prep School 2017. Before becoming Head of a prep school, she taught at Oakham, Rugby and Bloxham School where she was Deputy Head. Before that she was Housemistress at Bloxham where she led the successful transition of the school to co-education and set up the first girls’ boarding house. She has also been a Governor at Winchester House and a parent. Emma is actively involved with national associations; the Boarding Schools Association, IAPS and is an active ISI inspector. She is also a Governor at Cheltenham College.

Her breadth of experience including prep and senior school, co-ed and single sex has given her a great understanding of the needs and demands of schools in the 21st century.

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