I couldn't face the compulsory boarding at Caldicott. The school seemed fantastic at open day though. I would have used it like a shot if it wasn't for the boarding issue.
Not sure how the change of Head will affect Beacon. I haven't been to look as it was always going to be a bit too far for us but DH taught boys from there and said they had clearly had an excellent education.
I have had two sons go through Caldicott. The school is exactly as it appears. But it is like this because it doesnt muck around with boarding/non boarding. Even if you live over the road you will required to board at 11. The boys have a ball tbh. They have been day boys for 4 years and then into the senior part of the school. The confidence they get is great.
However there are a few parents who try and 'fight' the boarding. They dont expect it to work and often it doesnt.
There have been a few boys who have taken the 11+ and they then leave before the boarding starts. Two of my son's friends although they got into RGS cried on their last day at Caldicott.
What some parents look at doing is allowing the boarding for the last two years and then moving to a day school. I better warn you though. I have only known two parents who did this. All the other boys moved onto the big private boarding schools and that is where Caldicott really excels. It gives the boys effectively a 'go' at boarding and they might just surprise you!
If you want to PM I will promise to answer truthfully. You look at them at say 6 and cannot believe they will end up boarding but they do and I have two very different boys...