Adam Scott

‘We instinctively felt [Benenden] was right for our daughter,’ says a current parent. The staff, who are an amazing asset, are ‘dedicated to the girls’. And, as always, it has been an incredibly busy year for the latter: from 14-year-old pupil Claudia appearing on Good Morning Britain to talk about the negative side to social media, to two of the school’s STEM ambassadors organising and hosting a discussion evening with three scientists who were involved in the development of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine (such a success that it was streamed to hundreds of students at several other schools). Benenden has a brilliant relationship with Tonbridge, with every girls’ house partnered with a boys’ house for joint activities. And the already diverse student body can only become more so with the Be The Change campaign aiming to triple the number of 110 per cent bursaries the establishment can offer by the end of its centenary in the 2023/24 academic year. What’s more, for the first time ever, it has welcomed day girls. A stunning new music school features a 750-seat concert space, a 150-seat recital hall, 20 classrooms and practice rooms, plus a beautiful atrium. And the latest series of Junior Bake Off was filmed here – a huge credit to the beauty of the grounds.

Location: Cranbrook, Kent TN17 4AA


Head: Samantha Price, MA, since 2014; previously Head at Godolphin

Pupils: 560 girls: 10 day, 550 boarding

Ages: 11–18

Term fees: Day £10,883; boarding: £14,501

Oxbridge: 4%

Admission: ISEB Pre-Test, CE or school’s own exam, interview and previous school’s report

Alumni: HRH The Princess Royal, Baroness Shackleton