The foundation turns ancient history into an exciting future of independent education


If you stand in The Quad at the Durham School Center at 8am each morning, your ears are rewarded with the most beautiful vocals raised in song. Rehearsals for the junior section of the Durham Cathedral Choir are in full swing.

Such angelic chanting is just one part of the many benefits brought by the merger this year of Durham School and Chorister School. The merger brings together over 1,200 years of educational history to form the Durham Cathedral Schools Foundation.

Lottie Holmes, Headmistress of the Durham School, at the dedication service for the new Durham Cathedral Schools Foundation

It combines the strengths of the two schools in an independent educational path from 3 to 18 years old for boys and girls who can benefit from a day or boarding environment.

The move allowed for greater musical capacity with a dedicated music director, instrumental music conductor and assistant music director supported by more than 20 traveling music teachers.

The merger also created 48 heavily subsidized places for local children who successfully audition to join the Cathedral Choir.

On the sports field, we have extensive coaching expertise up to the level of Great Britain, encouraging students to perform at their best in our core sports of cricket, hockey, netball, rowing and rugby. The Foundation is also home to the Great Britain Pentathlon Academy Hub in the North.

The Foundation’s academic results continue to excel, with this year’s Durham School graduating cohort hitting 62.1% A * -A and 83.7% A * -B. A total of 63% progressed to Russell Group universities and other high-profile universities including Lancaster, Loughborough and St Andrews.

The mental health and well-being of all our students remains of paramount importance and our work in this area has been recognized with a prestigious Wellbeing in Schools Award by the National Children’s Bureau and Optimus Education.

This high quality education is based on a strong value system.

MARK – Moral Integrity / Ambition / Responsibility / Kindness – is the foundation of what motivates every individual of the Durham Cathedral Schools Foundation. We want DCSF to leave its BRAND on the students and our students to leave their BRAND on the world.

To find out more about the opportunities Chorister School and Durham School can offer your child, contact

Our next open house morning will take place on Saturday October 9 and you can register on


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