Vinehall School

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Coordinates: 50°57′29″N 0°29′31″E / 50.958°N 0.492°E / 50.958; 0.492

Vinehall School
Motto To do our best for the benefit of others
Established 1938
Type Independent school
Religion Christian
Headmaster Richard Follett
Location Robertsbridge
East Sussex
TN32 5JL
Students 294 (approx.)[1]
Gender Mixed
Ages 2–13
Houses 4
Former pupils Vines

Vinehall School is a co-educational day and boarding school located near the town of Robertsbridge, East Sussex. It takes children from ages 2 to 13.[2] The school received an Intermediate Inspection of the Early Years Foundation Stage and of Boarding by the Independent Schools Inspectorate in January 2015.[3] The School was judged to be 'Outstanding' in every single EYFS category area. Vinehall School was also judged to meet all the requirements for the National Minimum Standards for Boarding.

Prior to this, Vinehall School was inspected by Ofsted in 2011 and given an overall quality rating of "outstanding".[4] More recently, the school received a full inspection by the Independent Schools Inspectorate in February 2012, achieving the highest possible grading in all areas.[5]


Vinehall is a country house with a central building constructed in the late 1830s. When Lady Ashton died in 1938, the estate was sold and Vinehall started its life as a country preparatory school, opening with six local children. The first headmaster was Robert Jacoby.[6]

During the Second World War, the school was evacuated to Killerton Park in Devon along with a local girls’ school. The school returned to Robertsbridge after the war and in 1946 was bought by Major Tom Stuart-Menteath and his wife Kitty. He ran the school until 1957, at which point it was handed down to his stepson, Richard Taylor and his wife Patricia. With the help of his assistant headmasters H.S. Bazire and Tom Gilbart, the school went from strength to strength. Several new buildings were added, including a new classroom block, science labs, theatre, and indoor swimming pool. Much of the school's culture dates from that period.[6]

Richard and Pat Taylor handed the school over to their son-in-law David Chaplin in 1977. He and their daughter Sally remained until 2002. During their stewardship the school (which was already a charitable trust) took ownership of the whole estate and a major period of growth occurred. Pupil numbers rose throughout the years and many exciting developments followed, making Vinehall one of the best-equipped prep schools in the country. In the recent past, the purpose-built Pre-Prep was added as was a theatre, sports hall and in 2000, the magnificent Millennium Library and classroom complex. In 2002, the Chaplins handed over a thriving school to Mrs Julie Robinson, who was Head until summer 2010. Richard Follett is the current Headmaster, taking up post in January 2011.

In more recent years the school theatre has been refurbished and re-opened as the 'Chaplin Theatre' in honour of David Chaplin, who became headmaster on Richard Taylor's retirement.

Notable alumni[edit]


External links[edit]