The School was founded by three sisters, the Vines, in 1905. It was named Bronte School, in memory of Admiral Nelson, who had once stayed in the then school building on Parrock Street. (One of Nelson’s titles was Duke of Bronte, conferred to him in 1799 by the King of Naples, in gratitude for Nelson’s assistance in relieving the French naval blockade of the city.) 1905 being the centenary of the Battle of Trafalgar, one can speculate that the School’s founders were keen to create a Nelson link, something entirely appropriate of course, given Gravesend’s strong maritime tradition.
The Vine family remained proprietors for a remarkable 73 years, until 1978. At that stage, the School was struggling financially and was facing closure, even though there remained a core of loyal families who valued the School’s traditions. One such family, Peers and Susan Carter, and their three daughters, resolved to acquire Bronte and build it up again This they did, and over the following years the School grew and flourished, a tribute to the investment and commitment of the Carters and to the leadership and dedication of successive Heads and staff.
After over three decades, the Carters approached retirement, as did Richard Dyson, the School’s Headmaster since 2002. A new Proprietor and Headmaster, Nicholas Clements, took over Bronte in 2014, following a career and headships in senior education. The Advisory Board was also established at this time to support the governance of the School and the Nursery, its membership including former headmaster Richard Dyson.
In April 2017, Emma Wood moved from her role as Deputy Head to become Headmistress of Bronte School and Director of Bronte Nursery, Nicholas Clements remaining as Proprietor, concentrating on governance, finance and strategy.