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The Return to Boarding School

Wednesday 15 July 2020 
10:30am - 11:30am

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Starting at boarding school is always a big event. The transition from living at home to living at school after extended lockdown raises new challenges.

This online event is designed to help British and international parents prepare their children to return or start at boarding school this autumn. It will also cover how schools are handling admissions.


  • Grace Moody-Stuart, The Good Schools Guide
  • Ben Evans, Head Elect, Windlesham House School
  • Julia Harrington, Headmistress, Queen Anne’s School


  • The re-opening of UK boarding schools
  • How to prepare your child this for the return to school
  • Safety and guidelines for pupils & staff
  • How quarantining will work
  • How admissions are working - virtual open days, deadlines, interviews & assessments

The Parents Forum brings together the brightest thinkers from education, finance, property & law, alongside the most respected independent school leaders to help parents as they plan their child’s educational journey.

The Good Schools Guide Parents Forum is organised by the Independent Schools Show in partnership with The Good Schools Guide.


Grace Moody-Stuart - The Good Schools Guide

Grace has worked for the Guide for over 14 years. She has extensive experience of advising parents about schools and education. With four school age children of her own, all at different kinds of school, Grace understands the pressures and anxieties that parents experience surrounding decisions about the education of their children.


Ben Evans takes up the headship of Windlesham House School this September. Founded in 1837, Windlesham was one of the first prep schools in the UK and the first to go co-ed. Windlesham children have that rare combination of excellence, happiness and aplomb. We believe that children only truly achieve if they are happy in their environment. This permeates the school with a big emphasis on pastoral care, making sure the school becomes a genuine ‘home from home’.

Devonshire born and bred, Ben Evans spent a large part of his childhood on Dartmoor where his mother now breeds Dartmoor ponies. He enjoyed lots of riding across the moor and worked at a trekking centre for many years during the holidays, plus broke horses to harness – quite a dangerous occupation at times.

After graduating from the University of Exeter his first appointment was at Bramdean School (3-18 independent school) where he was a resident Housemaster and Head of History. He moved on to Brighton College as Head of History and continued to coach games and swimming.He then went back to Bramdean as Deputy Head.

His next move was further afield – this time to Sri Lanka to be the Deputy Head at The British School in Colombo (he was also KS2 co-ordinator and Year 5 teacher). After two years he took over as Head. He met his wife, Alexandra, whilst in Sri Lanka and they married in 2008. Their son Edward was born in 2011, followed by Thomas in 2014. Ben joined Edge Grove in 2012 and has overseen the growth of the school from 320 to 528 pupils.

Ben is currently an elected Councillor for Aldenham Parish Council, a Director of the Spiral Partnership Trust (a multi-academy trust of six primary schools) and a member of the Board of Reference for St Peter’s Prep school in Devon. In his spare time he enjoys all sports, has run 4 marathons, the most recent in 2017 and 2019, and spending time with his young family.


Julia Harrington is Headmistress of Queen Anne’s School in Berkshire, an independent boarding and day school for girls aged 11 – 18.

An Exeter University graduate in History and Government and Politics, Julia’s first job was at the Independent Television Companies Association. Following the birth of her three children, Julia trained as a history teacher. She joined Prior’s Field School in 1996 and was appointed Deputy Head in 2003. Julia joined Queen Anne’s School as Headmistress in 2006.

Julia, who has also trained as a psychodynamic counsellor, has always been interested in neuroscience. In 2013, she established BrainCanDo (BCD), an educational neuroscience programme which she introduced into Queen Anne’s School. She believed that the knowledge gained from research into how the brain learns, and its potential - as well as its vulnerability - during adolescence, should be fed into the education system and translated into programmes for schools, using neuroscience, psychology and motivational skills.

Working with academics at the Universities of Reading and Goldsmiths (University of London), BrainCanDo has undertaken research into a number of areas including emotional contagion; the effect of music on sporting and academic performance; the value of self-affirmation; how to deal with anxiety and stress, especially in preparing for exams; how memory works; sleep and bio-rhythms, and has developed resources for teachers to develop their own expertise and bring evidence-based teaching practice into the classroom.

Queen Anne’s School is part of the United Westminster and Grey Coat Foundation, which includes four other schools (independent and state).


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