Development & the Foundation

The Downe House Foundation exists to link past and present members of the School community through events, communications and fundraising and also powers the School’s development activities.

Ten Year Vision

It is our aim to ensure that Downe House moves forward and remains at the forefront of boarding education. Our girls are preparing for an increasingly demanding future and we want them to have the very best preparation for life and the maximum range of opportunities, so that they can develop as rounded individuals and leave us ready to make a significant contribution to society. It is also our hope and aspiration that Downe House should, as our Founder intended, continue to be a thriving community so that the girls benefit from strong parental involvement, the support of our alumnae and, of course, the highest calibre of staff.

As part of our strategy to achieve this, the School has focused on strategic projects such as the recent refurbishment of Holcombe and Darwin, the building of the new Lower School Houses and improvements made to the dining facilities and surrounding area on the ground floor of Willis House. Our new Murray Centre has now been added to this list of achievements.

We want our alumnae to benefit from supporting each other pastorally and professionally as well as have access to the School’s ongoing support. We also hope that our past parents will continue to lend their support.

Enhancing, expanding and developing our facilities in an ambitious but measured way makes up part of our plan, but ensuring we can recruit and retain the best staff is key too.

Mrs Emma McKendrick, Headmistress

Key Development Projects

  • Bursaries and Legacies to broaden access to a Downe House education
  • A new Music School – significant improvements to the facilities for our talented musicians and staff
  • A new facility for Maths teaching and learning – creating a learning hub for this core subject
  • A new Creative Arts Centre – bringing together Art and Design in an inspirational setting

The Murray Centre

Following a fundraising appeal which raised £6.5million from the Downe House community, the Murray Centre became the most significant new building project that Downe House has undertaken in its history. The stunning Murray Centre houses inspiring key spaces for learning and day-to-day activities: a state-of-the-art library, multi-purpose auditorium, seminar spaces, a café, the school shop and more. Find out more about the school’s journey to the opening of the Murray Centre.


Support us

Learn more about the different ways you can support Downe House.

Support Us

Foundation Supporter Charter

The Downe House Foundation works to keep the spirit and ethos of the School at the heart of all that we do. By promoting an atmosphere where all community members benefit from initiatives which are designed to be informative, enjoyable, valuable and inspirational – we embrace the principles of our founder, Olive Willis.

The Foundation welcomes offers of donations of all sizes. Philanthropic gifts from individuals, trusts and foundations and corporate donors play a vital role in School life and such support enables Downe House to provide bursaries and to enhance facilities for pupils, staff and the wider Downe House community. Downe House accepts philanthropic gifts in accordance with the Fundraising Regulator’s Code of Fundraising Practice.

Downe House pledges to treat its supporters with the highest level of care and respect. The School has compiled its Supporter Charter to assure supporters of the integrity and accountability of its development programme.

The Downe House School Supporter Charter

The Downe House Foundation Office is a member of The Institute of Development Professionals in Education (IPDE).

Tours & Open Mornings

The best way to find out more about Downe House is to experience it for yourself. Book a personal tour or join us at one of our Open Mornings, available throughout the year.

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