Future king's first day of school: George to walk through gates with parents

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Prince George will pass a major milestone next week when he attends his first day at school, Kensington Palace has announced.

George, the future king, starts at Thomas's Battersea next Thursday and will be joined by his parents the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge when he walks through the school gates.

A school guide published last week described the institution as "busy" and "slightly chaotic" and highlighted how 19 different languages are spoken in pupils' homes.

Thomas's Battersea in London
George will attend Thomas's Battersea in London (Jonathan Brady/PA)

The school, where fees cost from £17,604 a year, was reviewed as: "A big, busy, slightly chaotic school for cosmopolitan parents who want their children to have the best English education money can buy. That is what they want and, to a large degree, that is what they get."

The assessment by The Good Schools Guide added: "Plenty of opportunities for pupils to excel but withdrawn types might find it all somewhat overwhelming."

Like George, new headmaster Simon O'Malley starts at the school in September. An Aberdeen University graduate, he has taught in Kenya and previously was headmaster of Wellesley House School in Kent, a post he held for 11 years.

Prince George
George will be accompanied by his parents through the school gates (Chris Jackson/PA)

The Good Schools Guide, which describes itself as offering "unbiased and candid school reviews" on its website, praised Mr O'Malley, describing him as: "Ambitious and enthusiastic; generated an energy and buzz about his previous school. Much-liked and respected by parents."

The school, a selective establishment, has 560 boys and girls aged from four to 13, with around 20 in each class. It is described in the guide as having great facilities, from its science labs to gym.

The guide, which said 19 languages are spoken in the homes of pupils, added: "School celebrates and appears to make the most of this range of different cultures."

It also said: "Academically, teaching deemed pretty good, though lots of coaching still occurring in the last years. 'Just as insurance,' say the parents. We did feel that this was definitely more about anxious and ambitious parents than inadequately taught children."