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The Trustees and Governing Body of the Hellenic College wish to notify all our current and prospective parents and pupils that, with effect from 1 September 2006, the ownership and operation of the Hellenic College will be transferred to a limited company called Knightsbridge Place School. The School will retain our traditional aim and mission of ``A classical education for the modern world'', while offering the enhanced National Curriculum, a high level of pastoral care, a greater focus on modern languages and a broader range of co-curricular opportunities.

The Heads of Agreement were signed on March 31st and the contract is due for signature on 24' April 2006 with the limited company which will continue the operation of the college. The intention of the new owners is that they will run it as 2 - 13 preparatory school but they have committed to make provision for those of our pupils who will be in senior years (9 - 11) in September 2006 -- so the education of all pupils currently at the college will be assured.

The only alternative to a transfer of ownership was to close the school in July 2006.

We must be realistic in our understanding of the current market for a school that is modelled on the original vision of the 1980s. Although there is still a certain limited demand among Greek families resident in England for an Anglo/Greek education, the balance has changed significantly and there are fewer overall numbers. The school could not continue on the present model. This reality was underscored by the work of our marketing consultants. During their exhaustive marketing programme last year they consistently found that there was little interest for our particular offering from potential parents, who deemed it too specialised and narrow compared with our competitors.

Schools are no different from other organisations: they must keep pace with changes in the demographic balance and in market requirements. Overwhelmingly, we are aware of a very strong demand in Central London for excellent preparatory education for children aged 2-13. Of its nature, this form of education prepares children to move on to much larger senior schools that offer a wider range of academic education, sports and games, co-curricular activities and other opportunities than our present school can provide.

The School's survival during the last few years has been due to very generous donations from certain benefactors. But for this generosity, the school would have closed 5 years ago as the fee income has sufficient to sustain the overheads or the quality of bi-lingual education we have been able to provide for your children. The deficits for the last few years have been over £5m.

But funding is only one of the considerations. We must also respond to your aspirations for your children. Nowadays, for most parents, this means providing a school that is full, and one that prepares children for the very wide programme of academic, cultural and other opportunities they will have at their senior schools, in due course. We must become resourced so as to help children discover their talents in modem languages, art, drama, music, public speaking, public reading, sports, games and all the other activities that children so much enjoy. Our present teachers are excellent, but we need more of them, teaching a greater number of children, in order to generate the vibrant school community that brings families to schools such as ours.

At this stage I must pay tribute to the magnificent contribution of our teaching staff who have sustained the Hellenic College during the last twenty-five years.

This is evident in our ISI inspection of November 2005, which we passed with flying colours. The inspectors praised our clearly defined ethos, the balance of our curriculum, the behaviour of our pupils and the care they show for each other, the monitoring of their work and progress, the performance of our staff, the excellent standards achieved and the leadership of the school as a whole. We take this opportunity to express our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to Franciska Bayliss and all her staff for their dedication and success.

These factors have been the background to confidential discussions that have been taking place during the last two months with a number of well-qualified organisations who have expressed a keen interest in taking over and building on all that has been achieved to date. From this very strong field we have chosen the Knightsbridge Place School Group, who have laid out for us a vision that is closest to the one we believe will best serve the aims of our current parents and pupils, staff and the broader community in this part of London.

Introducing the Knightsbridge Place School Group

Knightsbridge Place School Group is a prestigious group of education professionals and investors who share a profound belief in the English day preparatory school system, enhanced by a focus on modern languages and a classical education. They also share our belief in the vital necessity of high academic standards and strong pastoral care. The education professionals are:

Magoo Giles

Magoo is currently Headmaster of Garden House Boys' School. He was educated at Eton College before being commissioned in the Coldstream Guards. During his military career Magoo served in the UK, Belize, Cyprus and Germany, and was latterly adjutant to the regiment in Bosnia leading a troop of 1,100 men. He was Aide de Camp to Lieutenant General the Hon Sir William Rous for two years, and Personal Equerry to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for two years.

Magoo is now aged 41, a keen sportsman and sports fan, and lists his other interests as ``children, travel, public speaking, writing and his family''. He is married to Priscilla and has one son, Otis, who is seven months old.

Penelope Penney

Penelope was a Headmistress for twenty-five years, successively at Prendergast School (1980-87), Putney High School GDST (1987-1991), and finally at Haberdashers' Aske's School for Girls (1991-2005), when she retired.

Penelope is a former President of the Girls' School Association and on her retirement from headship was elected an honorary member of the GSA. She is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Art and of the Chartered Management Institute, a member of the Institute of Directors and holds the freedom of the City of London. On her retirement from Haberdashers' Aske's School for Girls she became a liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers. She is currently Secondary Schools Advisor to the London Diocesan Board of Schools, working with sixteen maintained secondary schools and a growing number of academies within the diocese, across the North London area. Her role will be as retained education consultant to the Knightsbridge Place School Group.

Franciska Bayliss

Franciska is well known to you all for her outstanding and dedicated leadership of the school over the last two academic years. She has been a Headmistress for twenty five years. In her mid twenties in the 1970's she helped found Unicorn School, Kew, followed by a short period as Head of Surbiton High Junior School, before becoming Headmistress of Ibstock Place School (1984 - 2000). She retired in the millennium year. However, as you know, she returned to a headship three years later at Prospect House School, Putney prior to her appointment as Headmistress of Hellenic College in 2004.

Franciska is currently Chairman of the National Froebel Foundation; Chairman of the International Froebel Society; ISI Inspector; Trustee of PHET an Educational Trust and Governor of King's House School. During her time as Headmistress she served on several national and regional educational committees including the Executive Committee of the Independent Schools' Association, of which Hellenic College is a member school. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Art.

We are delighted that she has now accepted an invitation from the KPS Group to stay on and become the school's Principal for at least a further year in order to provide continuity during this important transition period and to ensure that the excellent foundations already set will be built upon in the future.

The group of private investors who will fund the school is co-ordinated by Hugh Warrender. Hugh is the Chief Executive of Williams Trading Europe LLP, a partnership involved in the investment management business. Hugh's wife, Beatrice Vincenzini Warrender is equally committed to this project. She is Managing Director of Co and Bear Publishing Ltd and Scriptum Editions publishers of high quality illustrated books. Her family is the significant shareholder in the Italian-based de Agostini Group, a large publishing and media conglomerate that also owns controlling stakes in Antena 3 Television, in Spain, Lottomatica SpA and Toror Assicurazione SpA in Italy. They are joined by William Russell, a former Managing Director of Merrill Lynch Securities who is currently an investor in a number of private businesses.

Other members of the investor group will be announced in due course.

The next section of this paper describes the vision for the School which, under the current proposals, will be re-named Knightsbridge Place School.

The School

It is proposed that the new school will operate from the same buildings as at present.

The school will be non-denominational and will provide a full English day preparatory education. This will be enhanced by a specific focus on Modern Languages including Modern Greek, in addition to a Classical Education that will broaden the children's understanding of the ancient world and fire their imagination with stories from the history, legend and mythology of Ancient Greece and Rome and the science and philosophy of that period.

The school will operate a five-day week with a wide range of educational visits, after-school activities, sports, games and cultural and further opportunities for the children at the weekends, if they and their parents so wish.

Academic standards will concentrate on breadth and quality but this will not be a ``hot-­house'' school. Additional assessment and remedial teaching will be provided for any child who has special educational needs.

The school will welcome staff and children from many different cultures and creeds to enrich and again, broaden our culture.

The new owners are considering introducing additional language options which might include Latin , Classical Greek, Italian and Russian as further options.

School structure

The Principal and senior management team intend to build the school up to 260 pupils aged 2-13. This is 12 year groups of about 20 pupils with certain year groups being doubled. Class sizes will not normally exceed 20.


It is proposed to form a team from those existing members of staff who continue their employment and additional staff will be recruited as classroom teachers, assistants and specialist language teachers.


The school will provide a vibrant and stimulating environment enabling each child to discover and develop his or her talents. The guiding principles will be self-respect, respect for others, respect for property and respect for the environment. Children will be encouraged to be individuals, to think for themselves, to become independent learners, to explore their talents, to strive for excellence, to participate actively in all areas of school life, and to reach their full potential.

The staff will work with children and their parents together to achieve these aims. Special needs will be supported. There will be the level of investment in staff and facilities necessary to achieve these aims.

Educational focus

As indicated above, the main points of the School's educational focus will be the National Curriculum, enhanced by languages, a classical education, physical education and outdoor pursuits.

Management team

Mrs Bayliss has agreed to stay on as the Principal of the school to ensure continuity, especially for senior pupils who wish to complete their courses.

Magoo Giles will be the Headmaster responsible for growing the new school with the assistance of the senior management team.


Knightsbridge Place School will be a proprietary school which is not eligible for charitable status. The Directors and Heads will nonetheless be accountable to the Department for Education and Skills, the Independent Schools' Council and Ofsted for the quality of education and pastoral care, to the local authority for child protection procedures, and to the staff, parents and pupils for health and safety, school standards and communication.

An independent Board will be established in lieu of a governing body, who will provide advice and will form a statutory complaints panel or appeals' panel should these ever be required.


The Trustees and Governors believe that these proposals create a tremendous opportunity for our current families and also for new pupils coming to the School. The Knightsbridge Place School Group has our complete confidence and will have our ongoing support in ensuring continuity and enhanced opportunity for your children.

The Trustees and Governors invite you to meet with the Headmistress and Governors at a number of meetings that will be arranged early in the first week of term for this purpose. We hope very much that you will welcome this development and we look forward to hearing your views and sharing your thoughts with us.

In addition, senior members of the KPS Group would like to meet with all the parents and present their own plans for Knightsbridge Place School. You will receive proper notification of the date and arrangements for this event.

Finally, you may wish to know that the Hellenic College Trust will remain in existence. It will provide continuity and offer its full moral support to the Knightsbridge Place School Group. Consideration will be given to offering means-tested bursaries and scholarships for Greek children living in London.

Michael Chandris
Chairman of Governors