A SCHOOL is set to mark an 'exciting' milestone as it welcomes older boys for the first time in its history.

The extension of co-education at the Manor Preparatory School near Abingdon will start this week, with the first cohort of Year 3 boys (ages seven or eight).

Previously the school had only provided education for boys up to the age of seven, though girls were able to stay until age 11.

Shaun Forrestal, the school's chair of governors and parent of a former Manor School pupil, said: "We are delighted that we are now in a position to start welcoming boys to the age of 11.

"This is an exciting development in the school’s history and demonstrates our ongoing commitment to families.

"We are pleased to be able to better serve the community throughout our extensive catchment area whilst continuing to offer an education that is based firmly on meeting the needs of every individual."

Headmaster Alastair Thomas added: "These are incredibly exciting times for The Manor.

"The school has an exceptional record of success in ensuring its leavers move on to the next school that is perfect for them.

"We are delighted we will be able to extend this provision to boys and certain we will continue to achieve scholarships, awards and exhibitions across all areas."