Shrewsbury’s newest school to double capacity in less than a year

Shrewsbury’s newest school which was rated ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted just weeks after it welcomed its first pupils in September of last year, is on track to double its student numbers less than a year after opening.  It has also been given Department for Education approval to officially increase its overall capacity to 20.

Shrewsbury Prepatoria opened its doors to pupils in Reception and Year One with a vision to build on the success that had been achieved by the nursery and pre-school of the same name.  It brought with it an entirely new curriculum and radically different approach to education and has proved a hit with parents and children alike.

Founder and Principal, Jane Smalley, comments:

“To have twelve children confirmed on the school roll a year after we launched is incredible and we’ve already got names down to join in September 2020.  However, that would push us beyond the capacity originally agreed when we applied to establish the school.

“Further growth was always in our sights, but we didn’t want to jeopardise our commitment to maintaining small class sizes and favourable staff to pupil ratios as these are vital to the special ethos that we offer at the Prepatoria.

“We, therefore, decided to apply for an increase to 20 pupils as this will allow us to provide three comfortably-sized classes within the school.”

As part of the application to expand up to 20 pupils, Shrewsbury Prepatoria was re-inspected by Ofsted with the results again reinforcing the ‘outstanding’ status that the Prepatoria has become known for.

Shrewsbury Prepatoria’s school is unique within the UK.  Not only does it deliver an entirely new curriculum, but it is open for 48 weeks of the year to provide a level of flexibility not seen elsewhere.  It has been a combination of these factors that have appealed to parents as Jane Smalley explains:

“During the planning process that led us to establish the Prepatoria school, we knew that there were strong levels of parental demand for an alternative approach to schooling in the local area.  However, often when considering an independent school, parents are solely focused on the academic offer – often in isolation to other factors.

“What parents coming to us have so strongly embraced is a combination of the educational philosophy that we offer, the family-centric ethos of the school, the quality of our teaching and, of course, the flexibility to holiday as a family at a time to suit them.”

The school at Shrewsbury Prepatoria boasts two qualified teachers who work with the pupils throughout Pre-school, Reception and Years One and Two, and with one of the teachers qualified and experienced in KS2 as well as KS1, the pupils are well-prepared for their next step once they leave the Prepatoria.

Such is the demand for the alternative approach being offered by Shrewsbury Prepatoria, that Jane Smalley and her team have needed to introduce monthly Saturday open mornings to ensure all interested families are able to visit the school.  She concludes:

“Whereas most schools run a couple of open days per academic year, complimented with ad hoc visits, we’ve already scheduled in monthly Saturday open mornings for the coming year, purely so that all the parents who are keen to find out more are able to do so.

“We’re often asked if we’ll expand further to also cater for Key Stage 2.  That’s not currently on our radar but we are committed to doing all we can to effectively outreach to other schools in the area, both maintained and in the independent sector, so that our pupils comfortably transition on to their new education settings.”

Further information on the School’s unique offering, along with details on how to enrol and the school’s next open day can be found by visiting or call Jane Smalley on 01743 460 199.