From education to employment

South London’s award-winning school looks ahead to an exciting 2024

St Dunstan’s College is celebrating another successful year as 2023 comes to a close. The south London school was included in the recent Sunday Times Parent Power Top 100 schools list, which brings together the top senior independent and state schools in the country. The listing comes just months after the school was ranked 59th in the country in the Telegraph’s top independent schools for A Level results.

Speaking about the news, Head Nick Hewlett said:

‘We are delighted to be included in the Parent Power Top 100 list this year, moving up 50 places from last year, and just months since the Telegraph’s listing. It is a testament to the incredible journey the College has been on in recent years, and I pay tribute to everyone who’s been a part of that journey, our staff, pupils and parents.’

This summer, St Dunstan’s celebrated record-breaking A Level results, when compared to non-Covid outcomes, with 86% of all grades achieved being A* – B, and 58% A*- A. Earlier this year, the school was also named ‘Most Progressive Independent School in London’ at the Private Education Awards 2023, after having been awarded ‘Independent Senior School of the Year’ at the Tes Schools Awards in 2022 and ‘Coeducational School of the Year in 2020’ at the Independent Schools of the Year Awards.

In January, the school made national news for its forward-thinking Stuart Curriculum, which looks at relationships, skills for the future and critical thinking. Stuart lessons have tackled the rise of toxic masculinity and individuals such as Andrew Tate. Speaking about the lessons, St Dunstan’s Deputy Head Academic, Jonathan Holmes, explained: ‘As well as having the confidence to react to specific examples such as Andrew Tate, it is important that our teaching is predominantly proactive and enables students to independently understand when views are harmful and dangerous, and how they can protect themselves from being exposed and influenced by them online.’

St Dunstan’s also brought together educational leaders in June for a groundbreaking conference to tackle the growing teen pornography crisis. More than 100 educational leaders attended the ‘ Let’s Talk About… Porn, Sex and Educating for the Difference’ event at Mansion House, which included keynote speeches by Cindy Gallop, Chanel Contos and Justin Hancock.

‘Our world is changing at breakneck speed. A truly globalised future dominated by AI and biotechnology will require different skills and attributes from the young people we are educating today,’ Nick Hewlett explains. ‘Our social values are more precious to us than ever before, and so are they under threat, as we inhabit a society where the art of rhetoric has diminished and the polarised, entrenched view has consumed us, amplified as it is through the platform of globalised cyber-space. We have a duty to respond to this in the curriculum we offer.

‘I’m proud to lead a school at the forefront of not only education, but one that is brave enough to tackle head on the issues many of our young people face and will continue to do as society moves ahead.’

St Dunstan’s award-winning senior school curriculum builds on the legacy of its founding heads. Students enter the school embarking on a Renaissance education, studying a deliberately wide range of academic subjects whilst proactively developing skills and thinking that will support them for life, and committing to a variety of co-curricular activities in a programme that is embedded into the timetable and structured around the College’s values.  

Looking ahead to the year ahead, Nick Hewlett adds:

‘The opening vision of the school in 1888 was to be ‘in advance of present time’ and more than 130 years later it is still true. St Dunstan’s never stands still, and we’ve got a lot more planned for 2024. Just watch this space…’

Related Articles