Two independent schools are to merge.

Handcross Park School will become part of the family of Brighton College schools, governors confirmed on Wednesday.

The partnership between the schools will allow Brighton College to provide boarding for Year 7 and Year 8 pupils.

Brighton College’s own prep school in Walpole Road does not offer boarding but many pupils from Handcross Park go on to study at its senior school in Eastern Road.

Brighton College’s chairman of governors, Lord Skidelsky, said: “Handcross Park is ideally located, close as it is to the A23 and to Gatwick Airport.

“It already has good boarding accommodation which we intend to improve and expand as part of a major programme of investment in the site.

“Above all, we believe that Brighton College and Handcross Park share a very similar ethos, a focus on the individual, a belief that children enjoy a challenge and a commitment to creating a community that is happy, purposeful and respectful of difference in others.”

Handcross Park parents will also benefit from reduced fees, bringing the school in line with Brighton College Prep School.

The school’s chairwoman of governors, Emily Hutchings, said: “This merger will give us the strengths and means to take Handcross Park to the next level.”