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New head Oliver Blond sprung from chart-topping state school Henrietta Barnett and the girls we met said he’s ‘a breath of fresh air’. He’s tight-lipped about his plans but says that the flexi-boarding, introduced by his predecessor Frances King, is a ‘revelation’. Its aim is to entice more London and South East families; about half of the girls here are international students, though that number drops lower down the school. The boarding houses should be temptation enough – a huge £10m refurbishment project is almost complete and the results are stunning and very chic. We’re told that the bathrooms were akin to a spa hotel.
They had great A-Level results last year – 83% A*-B. Girls told us they feel they have ‘the opportunity to take the lead’, whether it’s climbing the national tennis rankings, studying at the Royal Academy of Music or being accepted into Mensa. It’s enrichment programme with local schools (more football and chess, fewer awkward discos).
The girls aren’t always looking super-smart, but we’ll blame that on the famous ‘Roedean hair’ – that cliff top setting may be majestic but it does leave one’s barnet to the mercy of the elements.