Prince George to attend school where best friends are 'banned'

Prince George will start school in September.
Prince George will start school in September. Photo: Getty Images

It is a far cry from the strict schooling endured by male royals of previous generations.

Prince George's formal education is to begin at a private day school in which the first rule is to "be kind" and children are discouraged from picking a best friend in case of hurt feelings.

Prince George, aged three, will join Thomas's, Battersea, in September, as he begins his journey into full-time formal education.

The young Prince will attend the mixed-sex day school, which costs £5,653 ($9,281) per term and has a focus on the arts, sports and the importance of outdoor activities.

The decision means that, unlike his father and grandfather, Prince George will join a class alongside four-year-old girls rather than the all-boys environment traditionally favoured by royal and upper-class families.

Thomas's School said it was honoured that its aims and values "reflect those that Their Royal Highnesses would like for Prince George's education".

Principals of the school, Ben and Tobyn Thomas, informed parents of their new pupil yesterday, pledging that the school would not change as a result of Prince George's attendance. In a message, they told parents: "The Duke and Duchess ... would like, as far as is possible, for him to enjoy the same education that all of our pupils receive and for them to join the school community as all of our new parents do."

Security and communication strategies have already been closely examined ahead of the announcement, as teachers and parents brace for the increased attention.

The school's website details how its most important rule is to "be kind", with a teaching framework based on enjoyment just as much as learning.

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It states: "Whilst we are proud of our record of senior school entrance and scholarship successes, we place a greater emphasis on a set of core values, which include kindness, courtesy, confidence, humility and learning to be givers, not takers."

Thomas's facilities include a quiet garden, ballet studio, theatre, pottery room and two libraries. It also has an "active anti-bullying committee" run by pupils and a policy of "It is right to tell" a teacher if they are unhappy.

Ben Thomas, the headteacher, has previously spoken of how he hoped pupils would have "lots of good friends" rather than one best friend, in a bid to avoid possessive and hurt feelings.

The school's ethos appears to fit closely with the Duke and Duchess' views on parenting. The Duchess has previously said: "My parents taught me about the importance of qualities like kindness, respect, and honesty, and I realise how central values like these have been to me throughout my life.

"That is why William and I want to teach our little children, George and Charlotte, just how important these things are as they grow up.

"In my view it is just as important as excelling at maths or sport."

The Telegraph, London