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Established in 1905 by Miss Hanson, Arnold House started with nine pupils.

During those early days, Miss Hanson would borrow a carriage from a well-known St John’s Wood doctor so that she could be seen driving around the neighbourhood in order to bring herself to the notice of prospective parents. 

Just after the turn of the century, Miss Hanson's real task was to demonstrate that a headmistress could prepare boys for Public School as well as any Headmaster could, her success in competing against her male counterparts was evident and the school flourished.

In 1937, Miss Hanson was joined by Mr George Smart who succeeded her as Head two years later, leading the school as Head for thirty years, retiring in 1969 having been instrumental in making the school an educational charitable trust in that same year.

Of this accomplishment Mr Smart said:

This was in line with the policy of many other preparatory schools which thus escaped the charge of being run for profit. Much more importantly it meant that schools were no longer dependent on the policies of one man alone and provided a surer guarantee of continuity to parents. 

Mr John Pepys (1969–1977) and Mr Jonathan Clegg (1977–1994) oversaw the general expansion of the school and were responsible for continuing the traditions established by their predecessors.

Mr Nicholas Allen took over from Jonathan Clegg in 1994 and during whose time the school underwent many changes. Pupil numbers increased overall and, to accommodate this expansion, the school undertook a major building and refurbishment programme before Mr Allen moved on to Newton Prep School, Battersea, in 2006.

Mr Vivian Thomas took over as Headmaster in September 2006 returning to Arnold House after having previously worked at the school as Head of Mathematics and Deputy Head, leaving in 2001 to take the Headship of Keble School in Winchmore Hill.

With balance and breadth being the school's watchwords the school thrived in all areas and Arnold House continues to send about half its pupils on to boarding schools with the remainder going to leading London day schools.

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