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The not for profit volunteer run community radio station covering central-southern Dorset

Dorset school highlighted as a ‘Rising Star’ in the UK education sector

Bryanston School near Blandford has been highlighted as one of the top ‘Rising Stars’ in a new report that assesses the role played by a school and its teachers in helping to determine future high achievement of pupils.

Significantly, the report from Keystone Tutors, entitled ‘Does alma still matter – The schools educating the nation’s elite’, looks beyond sanitised exam league tables and academic selectivity to present a new angle on the way state and independent schools across the UK add value to the personal development of their pupils. The findings have placed Bryanston as the country’s second highest ‘rising star’.

The new report delivers a fascinating insight into the role played by UK schools in shaping young men and women who go on to make a significant national impact in all walks of life. The report’s author, Harriet Blomefield, analysed historic and current references to schools featured in ‘Who’s Who’ and ‘Who was Who’ – publications widely regarded as an indicator of an individual’s eminence and achievement across all areas of the arts, science, business, sport and politics. Among the new findings, there was a significant increase in the number of female high achievers and, although boarding schools are still leading the way, there has been a notable increase in the level of representation of state schools spread across the country.

Bryanston’s status as a rising star reflects the number and influence of high achiever alumni despite the school being noted as having pupils with a broad range of academic abilities. Ms Blomefield suggests the analysis “indicates that academic excellence is not the primary driver in achieving great things beyond school and university and it could imply that a holistic, all-round education and childhood is just as important in enabling future success.”

“Bryanston has always sought to support the personal development of pupils by providing individual attention, support and encouragement as well as the opportunity to explore and develop their own ideas, talents and strengths,” says Mark Mortimer, Headmaster of Bryanston. “This new report takes an interesting and enlightening approach to illustrate what really matters in a child’s education, so I’m delighted that Bryanston features so prominently. It really does show the enormous value of the School’s ethos in helping to inspire and give young men and young women every opportunity to succeed in their chosen field.”

The diverse careers of alumni are evidence of the School’s focus on each pupil and an active and rounded education rather than imposing a prescriptive, restricted or selective form of education. Sir Terence, Jasper and Sebastian Conran, Professor Kwame Anthony Appiah, Coco Fennell, Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, Sir Mark Elder, Emilia Fox, Charlie Ewels, Lucian Freud, Frederick Sanger, Sir Howard Hodgkin, Ben Fogle, Mark Wigglesworth and Sir John Eliot Gardiner, for example, have all gone on to achieve considerable success and acclaim in their respective professions.

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