Bournemouth Collegiate School was established in 1899 in Poole to provide non-denominational education for young ladies with a strong Christian ethos (and with links to the United Reform Church). It was originally called Bournemouth Collegiate School, but after its move to much larger and grander premises at Wentworth Lodge (the former home of Lord Portman) in 1923, it gradually came to operate as Wentworth School, and fully met its target of offering a broad and high-quality education to a growing number of day and boarding girls. The boarding facilities are built around the old Wentworth Lodge, in which Wentworth College was housed and which were once part of the Portman Estate. The house, built in 1872, was used by Viscount Portman as a summer residence for around six weeks every year.
The school was evacuated to Wales during the Second World War, and then returned to Bournemouth to continue its steady growth.
In 1960, the Milton Mount Trust (the foundation behind Milton Mount School in Sussex, founded 1873, closed 1960) transferred its support to Wentworth, and the new school was formally named Wentworth Milton Mount School, though over the following years it became known informally as Wentworth College. In 2008, having just become coeducational, Lloyds TSB suddenly called in a £750,000 loan and - to avoid closure - it joined the United Church Schools Trust (now United Learning).
Under the UCST, Wentworth College then merged with Uplands School (Lower Parkstone) in September 2009 taking the new (old) name Bournemouth Collegiate School (BCS).
The old Uplands School on the site in St Osmunds Road began as the Bourne School for Girls in the old Sandecotes Manor as a select girls boarding school. They built School House, which was completed in 1895 and this building today houses the Prep hall and the classrooms above it. In 1900, Lord Wimborne bought Bourne School and it became Sandecotes School, and in 1903 a sister school was opened in St Leonards-on-Sea in Sussex which was called Uplands. At both schools pupils were trained to be practical, refined and cultured and were encouraged to enter universities, medical schools and hospitals. The Schools continued through the First World War, raising funds for the Red Cross and entertaining wounded soldiers, but at the break of World War Two it was decided to take Uplands away from the danger threatening our channel ports by moving to Monmouthshire.
Meanwhile in Parkstone, the Sandecotes School was struggling and the Church Education Corporation decided to close it rather than evacuate it to another area. During the war the School was occupied by the 2nd Battalion the Grenadier Guards and also by American soldiers as they prepared for the D-Day landings. In 1946 it was decided to move Uplands from Monmouthshire to the vacated Sandecotes buildings. The School continued as a girls boarding and day school, but in 1973 the old buildings were proving too costly and the School faced closure until Edith Cooper Dean very kindly stepped in to support it. The top site was sold off and new school buildings were built. The School became co-educational and also started a Prep School, laying the foundation for joining UL and merging with Wentworth College in 2009 to form the new Bournemouth Collegiate School (BCS).