The Chorister School to merge with Durham School

The Chorister School, Durham is to merge with Durham School and operate under one single Foundation, to be known as the Durham Cathedral Schools Foundation, from September 2021. The move unites two historic schools which have a shared heritage stretching back over 600 years in the City of Durham.

The new Foundation will remain the choir school for the Choristers of Durham Cathedral and those pupils who are choristers will continue to be supported by the Cathedral and by the school in the fulfillment of those duties. It will continue to build on the long-established partnership work in the City of Durham, thus allowing more local pupils to become Cathedral Choristers. The target is a full complement of 48 choristers in the next five years. This will set the choral tradition at Durham Cathedral on a new footing and bring equality of opportunity to a broad and diverse base of gifted children.

In recognition of the history of all three schools, the Pre-Prep will be known as “Bow School”, the Prep as “The Chorister School” and the Senior school as “Durham School.” Together they will all form part of the new Durham Cathedral Schools Foundation.

Safeguarding the Choral Tradition

Announcing the merger the Very Reverend Andrew Tremlett, Dean of Durham said, “This is a wonderful opportunity which will offer outstanding academic, pastoral and co-curricular opportunities for all pupils and enhance the provision of independent education within the City of Durham.

“It will allow the schools to grow and develop in size and strength whilst continuing to provide a focus on the education of the individual, celebrating the unique talents of every child, nurturing and bringing out the best in them, values both schools have always shared.

“Furthermore, I am delighted that we will be safeguarding the choral tradition in the North East of England for the next generation.”

Chorister Opportunities

Welcoming the news, CSA Chairman Neil Chippington commented: “This is a clear move to strengthen the arrangements for choristers in and around Durham, giving a firm foundation for the future.  Together the new Foundation and Cathedral will ensure as many children as possible have the opportunity to enjoy the life-changing benefits that come from being a chorister.”

The Foundation will be governed by a new Board of Governors from both Durham and The Chorister School, including members of the Chapter of Durham Cathedral.  The Chair of Governors will be Robert Ribchester, currently Chair at Durham School, and the Vice-Chair will be the Very Reverend Andrew Tremlett, Dean of Durham.

Rob Ribchester said “This is an exciting opportunity for the pupils of both schools to benefit from an enhanced educational experience at every level. In particular, the merger offers more varied and extensive opportunities for pupils. There will be more chances to take part in competitive sports teams and greater opportunities to participate in musical and cultural events.

“We will be able to make greater investment in facilities and offer a more vibrant boarding experience. There will also be many social benefits associated with a larger school community. The merger offers a strong and vibrant future for both schools.”