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About us

Meet our new Head, Dr Sarah Essex

"We are delighted to announce the arrival of Dr Sarah Essex as the new Head of The Pilgrims’ School."

"Dr Essex brings outstanding gifts and skills to lead our school with care, vision and confidence into its next stage,” says Chair of Governors, the Very Revd Catherine Ogle, Dean of Winchester Cathedral. “An experienced educator, she will continue the school’s long-standing commitment to achieving excellent academic outcomes for all our boys, while nurturing character, kindness, and self-belief. Her enthusiasm, energy, and determination to offer the best possible education for boys are plain for all to see.

Sarah received a first class Honours degree in Natural Sciences and was awarded a PhD in Theoretical Inorganic Chemistry from Trinity Hall, Cambridge. Before joining the teaching profession, Sarah enjoyed a successful executive career as a strategy consultant. She has been instrumental in the successful development and management of two thriving London prep schools, The Hall in Hampstead, and Fulham School, where she was Deputy Head Academic of Fulham Prep.

“The Pilgrims’ School has an outstanding reputation as one of the leading boys’ prep schools and Cathedral choir schools in the country. From my very first day in the school I have been impressed by the easy confidence of the boys, their energy and ambition, their curiosity, and their thoughtfulness. There is no such thing as a typical Pilgrims' boy.

This is a kind school, where the individual character of each boy is treasured and nurtured, and where endeavour is rewarded. The progress of each boy, and the scholarships and awards won each year are testimony to the talent and dedication of the teachers whose passion and commitment inspire the boys daily."

Sarah grew up in the cathedral city of Worcester and is excited by the exceptional musical tradition of the school and of Winchester. Sarah enjoys both singing and the theatre, and, as a recreational runner who practises Pilates, on her holidays Sarah enjoys scuba diving and mono skiing. 

"The Pilgrims’ School has a strong future based on academic excellence, the commitment to a broad and deep curriculum and co-curriculum for all the boys, excellent pastoral care for boarding and day pupils, faith-based values and a strong and highly interconnected community. I will work hard to uphold and grow these values in the next stage of the school’s development."

Dr Sarah Essex








Our Location

We are blessed with a truly idyllic location. Just an hour south of London by direct train, with easy access to all the major travel hubs, and yet we are surrounded by the stunning countryside of the South Downs National Park. The school is tucked away  between Winchester Cathedral and Winchester College, within the secure and secluded Cathedral Close. Moments from our front door is the heart of the historic city of Winchester, or step through our back gate to find water meadows, countryside, and the South Downs Way.