New owners for Dolphin School

The Dolphin School is to become a pre-school and nursery after being taken over by new owners.

The independent primary school in Raddenstile Lane was put up for sale after head teacher of eight years, Bill Gott, announced his retirement.

Now, professional childminder Mellissa Bartlett, 31, and her husband Paul, 33, have agreed a deal to take over the school, which will reopen in August as the Dolphin Pre-School and Nursery.

Although the deal secures the future of the school for pre-school children, the school’s primary age pupils will be forced to find new schools.

The school’s existing nursery set up will be retained, with Mr and Mrs Bazeley carrying on in their teaching roles.

Bill Gott said: “I’m very pleased the school is going to a local couple who are going to continue with the same family ethos that the school has now.

“There were three parties interested, and it wasn’t necessarily on price that Mr and Mrs Bartlett came out on top, but the fact that they were local and experienced childminders.

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“It’s a shame that Exmouth cannot support an independent primary school, but the demand is there for younger children.

“I have had a very enjoyable eight years here and I leave with many happy memories of the pupils and staff.”

Although two of the school’s existing members of staff will have to leave, the new owners are planning to take on around 13 to 15 nursery staff, and say they are excited about the future.

Mellissa Bartlett said: “I’ve been a childminder for a few years and we’ve been looking for the right premises to expand the business, so when the Dophin School came up for sale we thought we’d take it on.

“You’re never sure if you’re going to get the numbers, but, so far, the take-up of places has been really good, and we’ve had loads of interest.”

“We’re really excited about it.”

Parents interested in finding out more about the Dolphin Pre-School and Nursery can log on to or call (01395) 278257.