A Droitwich school has announced plans to merge with RGS Worcester.

Dodderhill - an independent school for girls from 4 to 16 years - will be merging with the RGS Worcester family of schools.

Dodderhill will remain at its seven-acre estate in Droitwich and continue to grow as a self-financing, girls-only school while at the same time sharing educational initiatives, resources and facilities with the other three schools in the group.

Dodderhill and RGS Worcester describe themselves as "friendly neighbours" and already collaborate in areas such as music, art, dance, textiles and digital learning.

Each year many girls from Dodderhill progress to the sixth form at RGS Worcester.

The headmistress of Dodderhill, Cate Mawston, said: “We are delighted to join the RGS Worcester family of schools - this is a natural development in our successful relationship.

"This partnership will enable us to continue to build on our strengths as a small school, by sharing the expertise and facilities of a larger school. For example, our girls can use the full-size all-weather sports pitches, hold events at the brand new RGS Worcester Performing Arts Centre, take part in joint musical productions and tours and benefit from an award-winning careers programme.”

Mrs Mawston will have day-to-day responsibility for the running of Dodderhill and will become a member of the RGS Worcester Strategy Group.

Following the merger, the RGS Worcester family of schools will continue to operate with a unitary governance structure, and the board, chaired by Quentin Poole, will welcome some of the current Dodderhill governors in order to provide continuity.

Mr Poole said: “We look forward to getting to know the Dodderhill community and offering the girls, their parents and staff, the security, stability and opportunities of being a valued member of our group of schools. Our partnership will retain all that makes Dodderhill unique, impressive and appealing as a highly attractive school providing an excellent all-round education for girls in Droitwich and the wider region.”

Headmaster of RGS Worcester John Pitt added: “This is a unique opportunity for Dodderhill and RGS to work together and I am excited about what the future holds for our community of more than 1,400 pupils across four schools. Both schools are known as centres of excellence and girls from Dodderhill already join our co-educational sixth form of around 200 students and achieve exceptional results. There will be new opportunities to enhance our already strong links. For example, we envisage some joint staff insets and training, sharing of best practice, extension of our bus network, and combined concerts at Worcester Cathedral.”