The Foundation

The Dean Close Foundation is a growing, vibrant and diverse family of independent schools and nurseries, uniting around a shared vision and set of values. These spring from the origins of Dean Close School, which was founded in 1886 in memory of Dean Francis Close, Rector of Cheltenham and educational philanthropist. The Christian ethos of that original school continues today where the aim is that every child should be given the opportunities to flourish, underpinned by our core values of courage, contribution and love which are the guiding principles behind our educational vision.  

The Foundation currently has five schools and six nurseries within its group, creating a strong community that can share best practice, ideas, resources and a secure future: 


Dean Close School

Dean Close Preparatory 

Dean Close Pre-Preparatory 

Dean Close St John’s

Dean Close Airthrie 

Little Trees Nurseries 

The Foundation brings many benefits to each school and nursery and to each child and staff member within them, with the main three explained below. 

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This gives us breadth of educational vision.  It makes our schools more sustainable and gives us a broad perspective and a longer view.  

Financial security

The diversity of activities in the Dean Close Foundation portfolio has strengthened the financial position of its members and thus our ability to improve facilities, keep fees manageable and offer the very best to pupils of all ages. 


With centralised Foundation business functions, the schools and nurseries can concentrate on looking after their pupils and delivery the best education possible to each and every one.