For months, it has been reported that William and Kate would send George to the prestigious Wetherby. That’s why it came as a surprise when the Palace announced that the young royal would go to Thomas’s Battersea instead – a school that focuses on being kind above all.
When it became public that the couple would relocate to Kensington to prepare for George’s formal schooling, many believed Wetherby was the apparent choice of the young royal’s parents. After all, the significant men in his life – Charles, William, and Harry – all went to the West London pre-prep school.
Despite the rumored difficulty parents face during the application process, George won’t have to experience the same. Since his father went there, he would be given an automatic slot, but why did William and Kate choose a different academic path for their first born?
Thomas’s Battersea educates more than 500 students from ages four to 13. The preparatory school accepts both boys and girls as opposed to the all-boys school Wetherby. Headmaster Ben Thomas previously told Tatler,”We are about so much more than getting children into their next school.”
The school’s most important rule is “be kind,” that’s why the school concentrates not only on the students’ academics, but also their attitude. The first school was established in 1971.
In 2013, Thomas’s Battersea made headlines for it reportedly discourages its pupils to have best friends. The headmaster clarified that while the school has no official policy about it, he wants students to have many friends.
“There is sound judgment behind it. You can get very possessive friendships, and it is much easier if they share friendships and have a wide range of good friends rather than obsessing too much about who their best friend is. I would certainly endorse a policy which says we should have lots of good friends, not a best friend.”
The school’s curriculum has three stages: Lower, Middle, and Upper. Each lasts three years and groups the child’s educational journey into “enjoyment, learning, and achievement.” The institution believes that above all things, “praise is the greatest motivator.”
Thomas has been the school’s headmaster since 1999 and is described by parents as “the most wonderfully involved headmaster ever.” People working for the school want Thomas’s Battersea to be known as a nurturing institution and not an “exam factory.” Everyone contributes to make the school fun and welcoming that a pupil would rather attend the school fair than visit the South of France for an extravagant holiday.
After Kensington Palace announced that the “Royal Highnesses are delighted to have found a school where they are confident George will have a happy and successful start to his education,” the school’s headmaster said that they are “honored and delighted.”
William and Kate did not divulge the exact reasons behind their choice, but the school’s emphasis on character appears to be the driving factor. After all, the mother-of-two previously said how important it is for her to build her children’s characters first.
“I realize how central, values like these have been to me throughout my life. That is why William and I want to teach our little children, George and Charlotte, just how important these things are as they grow up. In my view it is just as important as excelling at maths or sport.”
Kate considers herself “very lucky” for having a family that allowed her to grow and learn in a nurturing environment. She credits her parents, Michael and Carole, for showing her examples of kindness at a young age.
It is her aspiration for other kids to grow up having the same type of support system. This dream is the reason why she works so hard for charities addressing the mental health of both kids and adults.
With the Kate and William’s determination to raise their kids as grounded members of the community, it isn’t surprising why the philosophy of Thomas’s Battersea appealed to them.
[Featured Image by Andrew Chin/Getty Images]