PARENTS were taken aback by news that an independent school will merge in January, with transport laid on for students. 

Hurst Lodge school, in Ascot, will be merging with Hawley Place, in Blackwater. 

The merger will see two schools with similar ethos combining, and all staff and students will be relocated. 

The two schools will instead be relocating to the site in Blackwater as HawleyHurst school.

The school will begin in January 2018, and students from Hurst Lodge will automatically be given a place at HawleyHurst, whether or not they've already started at the school. 

HawleyHurst will be fully co-educational and will accept children from 2 to 19, incorporating an Outstanding nursery, a bespoke sixth form, and further education programmes. 

Victoria Smit said, “Hurst Lodge moved to its present site 20 years ago from Sunningdale and has now found a permanent home in Blackwater where it can develop its wide ranging educational programmes. This is an exceptional opportunity for us to expand and extend our current practice so praised in the most recent ISI inspection of the school. 

"We are all very excited to have an opportunity to own our own premises and combine the talents of our combined staff and the enthusiasm of our students. We look forward to welcoming our present and prospective students to our new school. Any queries should be addressed to"

Multiple new bus routes will be available for students, for parents’ convenience. These will start from Maidenhead, Windsor, Ash Vale and Wokingham, with many stops along the way.