Top 10 Boarding Schools In The UK – 2024 Guide

When it comes to providing an exceptional education, the United Kingdom has long been renowned for its prestigious boarding schools. These institutions offer a unique and transformative educational experience, combining rigorous academic programmes with a supportive and enriching environment for students. As we enter 2024, we will delve into the best UK boarding schools, showcasing the finest establishments known for their academic excellence, state-of-the-art facilities, dedicated faculty, and holistic approach to education. Whether you’re a parent seeking the best educational opportunities for your child or a student looking to embark on an educational journey that will shape your future, this one is for you!

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Table of Contents

Best Boarding Schools in the UK

1. Oxford International College

Oxford International College is synonymous with academic rigour and preparation for prestigious universities. Situated in the iconic city of Oxford, the college offers a unique educational experience that combines intellectual challenge with comprehensive support. With expert guidance from experienced teachers, students benefit from a wide range of subject choices, allowing them to pursue their academic passions.

The college prides itself on fostering critical thinking, independent learning, and strong analytical skills, providing students with the tools necessary to excel in higher education. Through its rigorous academic curriculum, personalised attention, and commitment to student success, Oxford International College equips students with the knowledge and confidence to thrive in their academic pursuits.

2. Queen Ethelburga's College

Queen Ethelburga’s College is widely recognised for its modern facilities and its commitment to fostering holistic development. The college prioritises both academic achievement and personal well-being, creating a nurturing environment where students can thrive. With a diverse range of academic programmes, state-of-the-art resources, and a dedicated faculty, Queen Ethelburga’s College empowers students to excel academically.

The college also offers a wide range of extracurricular activities, enabling students to explore their interests and talents beyond the classroom. By promoting a strong sense of community, individual growth, and a supportive learning environment, Queen Ethelburga’s College prepares students for future success and personal fulfillment.

3. Westminster School

Nestled in the heart of London, Westminster School epitomises educational excellence combined with a rich historical legacy. The school’s strength lies in its holistic approach, cultivating a vibrant community where students are encouraged to explore their academic, artistic, and athletic talents. 

With a strong emphasis on character development and the pursuit of knowledge, Westminster School offers a rigorous academic curriculum that challenges students to think critically and engage actively in their learning. The school’s commitment to fostering intellectual curiosity, creativity, and leadership is complemented by a wide range of extracurricular activities, ensuring a well-rounded education. By embracing tradition while embracing modern educational practices, Westminster School provides students with an unparalleled educational experience that prepares them for a lifetime of success.

4. Brighton College

Brighton College stands as a beacon of innovative education, combining academic excellence with a nurturing and inclusive environment. The college’s commitment to holistic education is evident in its diverse range of academic programmes, vibrant arts offerings, and extensive sports facilities. Brighton College encourages students to explore their passions and develop their talents in an atmosphere that values creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration.

With an exceptional teaching staff, state-of-the-art facilities, and a strong sense of community, Brighton College provides students with the tools and opportunities to excel academically and personally. By fostering a love of learning, embracing diversity, and nurturing individual potential, Brighton College prepares students to make a positive impact in the world beyond their educational journey.

5. St Michael's School

St Michael’s School is highly regarded for its exceptional pastoral care and nurturing environment. The school’s strength lies in its commitment to providing individual attention and support to each student. With a focus on academic excellence and personal well-being, St Michael’s School fosters a supportive community where students can thrive academically and personally. 

The school offers a broad curriculum, engaging extracurricular activities, and opportunities for personal growth and leadership development. Through its dedicated teaching staff, tailored support systems, and emphasis on student welfare, St Michael’s School provides a holistic educational experience that prepares students for future challenges and achievements.

6. Wycombe Abbey

Wycombe Abbey, an esteemed all-girls boarding school, is renowned for its unwavering commitment to academic excellence and empowering young women. With a strong emphasis on personalised learning, the school offers a wide range of academic subjects taught by passionate and dedicated teachers.

Beyond academics, Wycombe Abbey provides extensive extracurricular opportunities, including arts, sports, and leadership programmes, fostering holistic development. The school’s nurturing community encourages students to challenge themselves, develop resilience, and embrace intellectual curiosity. Through its supportive environment, Wycombe Abbey empowers students to become confident, independent thinkers, equipping them with the skills and values necessary for success in their future academic and professional endeavors.

7. Cheltenham Ladies' College

Cheltenham Ladies’ College (CLC), founded in 1854, stands as a distinguished independent girls’ school in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, renowned for its commitment to academic excellence and holistic student development. The school offers a comprehensive curriculum encompassing GCSEs and A-levels, emphasising not only rigorous academics but also a rich tapestry of extracurricular activities in sports, arts, and community service. With a diverse international student community, CLC provides boarding facilities, fostering a supportive residential environment either on a full-time or weekly basis. The school’s modern campus, inclusive atmosphere, and commitment to nurturing well-rounded individuals contribute to its esteemed reputation.

8. The National Mathematics and Science College

The National Mathematics and Science College (NMSC) is a distinguished sixth form college in England, recognised for its specialised emphasis on mathematics and science education. Catering to students aged 15 to 19, NMSC focuses on providing an advanced academic environment, particularly in STEM disciplines, preparing students for A-level examinations. The college stands out for its small class sizes, fostering a personalised learning experience, and aims to equip students for successful entry into top universities. This year, the school secured a whopping 16 Oxbridge offers!

9. Wellington College

Wellington College, established in 1859 in Crowthorne, Berkshire, is a renowned co-educational independent school celebrated for its commitment to academic excellence and holistic education. Emphasising character development alongside a rigorous curriculum encompassing GCSEs and A-levels, the college stands out for its dedication to fostering well-rounded individuals. Offering both day and boarding options, Wellington College provides a supportive and inclusive community that encourages personal and social growth. With an international student body, the school embraces a global perspective, contributing to a diverse and multicultural learning environment. The modern campus includes state-of-the-art facilities, reinforcing Wellington College’s reputation as a distinguished institution.

10. Bancroft's School

Bancroft’s School, founded in 1737 in Woodford Green, Essex, is a distinguished co-educational independent institution renowned for its commitment to academic excellence. Catering to students from ages 7 to 18 through its preparatory and senior schools, Bancroft’s offers a comprehensive curriculum that includes GCSEs and A-levels. With a rich history, the school embraces a co-educational environment, fostering a diverse and inclusive community where both boys and girls can thrive. Beyond academics, Bancroft’s emphasises the importance of extracurricular activities, encompassing sports, arts, and community service, encouraging students to explore and develop their interests. The school’s commitment to community engagement contributes to a supportive atmosphere.

Latest UK Boarding School League Table

RankSchool NameA*/ACandidatesFees (£)LocationBoarding Type
1Oxford International College90.1138£27,645OxfordshireBoarding
2Queen Ethelburga's College83.875£19,695North YorkshireBoarding
3Westminster School82.3199£34,389Greater LondonBoarding
4Brighton College80234£28,260East SussexBoarding
5St Michael's School79.147£14,490CarmarthenshireBoarding
6Wycombe Abbey74.398£36,000BuckinghamshireBoarding
7Cheltenham Ladies' College71.7147£33,900GloucestershireBoarding
8The National Mathematics and Science College68.931£14,997WarwickshireBoarding
9Wellington College67.3117£32,940BerkshireBoarding
10Bancroft's School66.2123£22,770EssexBoarding
11Ruthin School65.835£16,540DenbighshireBoarding
12Canford School65.7141£34,941DorsetBoarding
13Dulwich College64.8227£24,693Greater LondonBoarding
14The Faculty of Queen Ethelburga's64.341£19,695North YorkshireBoarding
15Oundle School62.9202£27,075NorthamptonshireBoarding
16St Catherine's, Bramley59.479£20,925SurreyBoarding
17Whitgift School58.8140£24,462Greater LondonBoarding
18Epsom College57.7195£30,909SurreyBoarding
19Burgess Hill Girls56.633£22,410West SussexBoarding
20Ardingly College56.389£28,875West SussexBoarding
21Abbey College Cambridge55.4113£27,900CambridgeshireBoarding
22Roedean School55.291£24,660East SussexBoarding
23The Leys School54.5100£27,600CambridgeshireBoarding
24Kingswood School53.3114£18,438SomersetBoarding
26The King's School, Canterbury52.8213£30,900KentBoarding
27Hurtwood House50.7164£32,388SurreyBoarding
28Talbot Heath School50.626£17,301DorsetBoarding
29The Royal School Dungannon50.276£9,150County TyroneBoarding
30Adcote School for Girls5018£14,838ShropshireBoarding
31Woodbridge School49.454£20,538SuffolkBoarding
32Cheltenham College48.6148£32,580GloucestershireBoarding
33Badminton School48.561£19,410BristolBoarding
34Ipswich School48.2146£19,704SuffolkBoarding
35St John's School48.2128£27,360SurreyBoarding
36Chigwell School48103£22,635EssexBoarding
37Loughborough Grammar School47.1113£16,170LeicestershireBoarding
38St George's School, Edinburgh46.711£16,359MidlothianBoarding
40CATS Cambridge43.827£18,990CambridgeshireBoarding
41Bedford School42.9116£21,945BedfordshireBoarding
42Gresham's School42.688£29,100NorfolkBoarding
43Brentwood School41.4150£21,783EssexBoarding
44West Buckland School4183£18,420DevonBoarding
45Kimbolton School38.899£18,015CambridgeshireBoarding
46Jersey College for Girls37.9103£7,404Channel IslandsBoarding
47Ryde School37.547£14,190Isle of WightBoarding
48Brockwood Park School and Inwoods Small School35.714£24,400HampshireBoarding
49The Mount School York35.520£20,910North YorkshireBoarding
50Saint Felix School34.823£19,305SuffolkBoarding
51Battle Abbey School34.350£19,782East SussexBoarding
52St Margaret's School33.328£19,269HertfordshireBoarding
53Stover School33.317£14,730DevonBoarding
54St Joseph's College31.948£18,063BerkshireBoarding
55Oakham School31.7141£26,100RutlandBoarding
56Ashford School31.660£20,358KentBoarding
57Wychwood School30.813£20,811OxfordshireBoarding
58Denstone College and The Prep at Denstone College30.691£19,749StaffordshireBoarding
59Thetford Grammar School30.527£15,495NorfolkBoarding
60Christ College30.456£22,005PowysBoarding
61Loretto School30.281£25,155East LothianBoarding
62Read School308£14,289North YorkshireBoarding
63Durham Cathedral Schools Foundation29.162£16,794DurhamBoarding
64Royal Hospital School28.8110£22,239SuffolkBoarding
66Leighton Park School28.264£28,230BerkshireBoarding
67Kingham Hill School26.941£23,325OxfordshireBoarding
68St Edmund's School Canterbury25.548£24,360KentBoarding
69Plymouth College25.455£19,929DevonBoarding
70Box Hill School24.726£23,745SurreyBoarding
71Elmhurst Ballet School23.516£20,436West MidlandsBoarding
72Rochester Independent College23.5109£22,800KentBoarding
73Rye St Antony School22.220£20,250OxfordshireBoarding
74Buckswood School20.929£16,350East SussexBoarding
75Tring Park School for the Performing Arts20.661£25,755HertfordshireBoarding
76Kensington Park School20.537£27,350Greater LondonBoarding
77Mount Kelly18.475£20,970DevonBoarding
78Glenalmond College14.173£25,275Perthshire and KinrossBoarding
79Padworth College04£18,645BerkshireBoarding

If you are interested in boarding schools for your younger children, we also have a list of the best schools according to the latest GCSE results

Frequently Asked Questions about the Top UK Boarding Schools

No, UK boarding schools welcome students from around the world. They embrace cultural diversity and often have a significant international student population. Attending a UK boarding school provides an opportunity for students to engage with different cultures and form global connections.

UK boarding schools can vary in terms of tuition fees, which typically cover academic instruction, accommodation, meals, and certain extracurricular activities. Additional costs may include uniforms, textbooks, and optional activities. It’s important to research and consider the financial aspects before applying.

Yes, most UK boarding schools facilitate regular communication between students and their families. This can include phone calls, emails, visits during designated weekends or holidays, and increasingly, the use of digital communication platforms to stay connected.

Apply To The Top Boarding Schools In The UK Today!

Speak to us today for free application assistance and education advice. Our expert consultants are more than happy to help.

Apply To The Top Boarding Schools In The UK Now!

Speak to us today for free application assistance and education advice. Our expert consultants are more than happy to help!

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