King William’s College and The Buchan School have confirmed preliminary plans that will see the latter move onto the college’s land from its current site in Castletown.

The schools say following careful planning with a professional design team, multiple scenarios were explored and presenter to its governing body in April.

The school presented the plans to parents and staff at the fee-paying schools last week on the same day as its Summer Open Day.

It comes following the principal of King William’s College, Damian Henderson, described the school’s financial position as ‘delicate’ in February.

He has previously admitted there is a financial dimension to the proposed relocation of the Buchan School to the main college site adjacent to the airport.

The original plans to move the Buchan from West Hill in Castletown were announced in January this year.

In the preliminary plans, the boy boarders will be moved into the main part of KWC and their current accommodation Colbourne House repurposed and refurbished as modern classroom facilities for the Buchan’s 160-plus pupils.

The landscape general agreement of Buchan School moving on to KWC land.
The landscape general agreement of Buchan School moving on to KWC land. (King William's College )

The fourth form centre and maths classrooms in Stenning House would also be relocated.

The buildings could be ready as early as March next year and students could move in for the start of the summer term.

Damian Henderson, principal of King William’s College and the Buchan

Mr Henderson said: ‘We are thrilled to reveal the overarching vision of consolidating our school onto one site.

‘This marks the commencement of an extraordinary journey and, while there are technical details to be ironed out, we are eager to involve our community every step of the way. This consolidation represents an exhilarating new chapter for King William’s College and The Buchan School.’

King William’s College believe that centralising resources and activities the school can ‘cultivate a more enriching and holistic learning environment, including enhanced collaboration, access to specialised facilities and resources, expanded extracurricular activities and the fostering of an even stronger sense of community’.

Mr Henderson added: ‘The consolidation of King William’s College and The Buchan School onto one site represents our continued commitment to providing an exceptional educational experience for our students, while optimising resources and maximising opportunities for growth and collaboration.’

In February he said that King William’s College and the Buchan School merged back in 1991, and what they’re doing now is just ‘reconciling the campuses’.

He said: ‘The overwhelming arguments are in favour of moving and we haven’t had many people in all the plurality of voices we’ve had who have actually disagreed with the principle of having the two schools on one site.’

He insisted there was also a ‘massive’ educational advantage of having all the children aged from two to 18 on the same campus. ‘It is a very common model and we will effectively become a “through school” as they call them in the UK.’

The principal added that he was not aware of any legal barriers preventing the West Hill site being used for purposes other than education, including residential.