Mergers of independent schools have always happened, and while they may well increase as the economy continues to struggle, they need not be "painful" and can be a good thing when managed well. It takes courage to initiate the conversation for a merger but the decision should be a strategic one. It is a wise school that looks at the area it serves and determines that, being absolutely objective, competing local schools will be better placed to meet the needs of the community and secure their long-term future if they combine. Winning the hearts and minds of all those who will be affected and inspiring confidence in the management of the process are essential to success.
David Hanson, Chief executive, Independent Association of Prep Schools.