Hurst Lodge and Hawley Place schools to merge in January 2018

9th January 2018

Victoria Smit, Principal at Hurst Lodge School in Ascot, announced on Friday 15th December that Hurst Lodge has purchased Hawley Place School in Blackwater and the two schools will merge as HawleyHurst on the Blackwater site from January 2018.

The merger will see two successful schools with a very similar ethos and outstanding pastoral care combine their respective strengths.  Hawley Place has an enviable reputation for excellence in academics and sporting achievements, whilst Hurst Lodge has excellent strengths in environmental education, a strong A level offer, support for those with additional needs and an exceptional creative and performing arts programme.  From September 2018 a two-strand entry will be available in the Senior school, which will allow students to follow either an academic or vocational pathway.

Hurst Lodge will be relocating its students and staff to the new site.  Victoria Smit said that any child already registered for a place at Hurst Lodge will be given an automatic place at HawleyHurst whether or not they have already commenced at the school.

Multiple new bus routes will be available for students, for parents’ convenience. These will start from Maidenhead, Windsor, Ash Vale and Wokingham, with many stops along the way.

HawleyHurst will be fully co-educational and will accept children from 2 to 19, incorporating an Outstanding nursery, a bespoke sixth form, and further education programmes. HawleyHurst is linked to the Lost Gardens of Heligan and the Eden Project through the Smit family who are the school’s directors.  The school is a member of the Independent Schools Association and Victoria is the National Chair of Arts for the Association.

Victoria Smit said, “Hurst Lodge moved to its present site 20 years ago from Sunningdale and has now found a permanent home in Blackwater where it can develop its wide ranging educational progammes. This is an exceptional opportunity for us to expand and extend our current practice so praised in the most recent ISI inspection of the school. We are all very excited to have an opportunity to own our own premises and combine the talents of our combined staff and the enthusiasm of our students.  We look forward to welcoming our present and prospective students to our new school.  Any queries should be addressed to