DOWNSEND School in Leatherhead will experience a change of leadership in September.
The current headmaster, Floyd Steadman, has announced that he will step down from the prep school at the end of this year for personal and family reasons.
Ian Thorpe, who has held the headmaster role at nearby Chinthurst School in Tadworth since 2009, will be making the switch to Downsend for the new academic year.
He said: "I am truly delighted to be taking over the headship of this progressive and dynamic school.
"As a local head, I am well aware of Downsend's standing as one of the leading preparatory schools in the country. I am extremely excited about the challenges that lie ahead."
Mr Thorpe became deputy head at Caterham Prep School in 2001, before joining City of London Freemen's School in Ashtead in 2005 as head of the junior school.
Speaking about leaving Downsend after five years, Mr Steadman said: "This has been a tremendously difficult decision for me.
"I have been extremely happy here and have built up a very good rapport with all of the children."
Geraint Jones, director of education for the Cognita Schools Group which owns Downsend, said: "Mr Steadman is an excellent head and I would like to thank him for the tremendous contribution he has made.
"I am delighted that Mr Thorpe will be joining us."