Emanuel is undergoing a period of rapid change and development. Emanuel’s Assistant Head – Registrar, John Benn, gave me a tour of the school, which is co-educational for ages 10+ to A-Level.
The school represents terrific value for money. Fees are £15,245 per annum, which for a high-ranking, central London day school with rigorous academic and pastoral standards and first class facilities is extremely good value. Not surprisingly, the school is heavily oversubscribed, with about 600 children applying for 85 or so places at 11+ each year. The campus is thriving, with several new buildings planned or under construction. Academic standards are also climbing – although Emanuel doesn’t quite match St Paul’s or Westminster.
A strong sibling policy is operated and entry points are rigid. All children are interviewed and the school takes children it feels will really be a good fit (rather than children who are lucky enough to perform well on a standardised entrance exam). Parents are advised to start the application process at least one year in advance, though occasionally places do become available throughout the year.
I was very impressed by the school’s alumni. There are wall-to-wall celebrity actors, writers and directors (and also the inventor of the internet). This mirrors the occupations of the school’s current parents, which tend to be professional, media and self-employed. The new theatre is named after the husband of the school’s foundress, George Fiennes, Lord Dacre. The school’s social makeup reflects its prosperous South West London surroundings. Traditional sports like rowing, netball, rugby and cricket are popular and the students I met seemed to be extremely happy, relaxed and respectful – without a hint of stuffiness or arrogance.