Best Girls Boarding Schools In The UK – 2024 Guide

Are you a parent searching for the perfect boarding school in the UK to provide your daughter with an exceptional education? Look no further. In this article, we have curated a selection of the best boarding schools for girls in the UK. Each of them offers a nurturing environment that promotes academic excellence, character development, and independence. Join us as we explore the top boarding schools in the UK, guiding you toward the ideal institution that will unlock your daughter’s potential and shape her future success.

girls boarding schools

Table of Contents

What is a Boarding School?

A boarding school is an educational institution where students reside on campus, typically away from their families, and receive both academic instruction and other forms of support. Unlike day schools, where students commute to and from school each day, boarding schools provide a complete residential experience. Students live in dormitories or houses under the supervision of resident staff members and follow a structured daily routine.

Boarding schools offer a comprehensive educational programme that includes academic subjects, extracurricular activities, and often emphasise character development and personal growth. They typically provide a range of facilities and resources to support students’ academic pursuits, such as libraries, laboratories, sports facilities, and arts spaces. Additionally, boarding schools often have dedicated staff to offer guidance and support, fostering a sense of community and providing a holistic educational experience.

The boarding school environment also promotes social interaction and the development of life skills. Students learn to navigate a community of peers from diverse backgrounds, fostering independence, resilience, and interpersonal skills. Boarding schools often offer a wide range of extracurricular activities, clubs, and sports teams, allowing students to explore their interests and talents beyond the classroom.

Why Choose a Girls Boarding School?

There are several advantages in choosing a girls’ boarding school: 

For starters, girls boarding schools often provide a specialised learning environment that caters specifically to the needs and learning styles of girls. Research suggests that single-sex education can offer unique benefits, such as promoting academic engagement, reducing gender stereotypes, and encouraging girls to pursue traditionally male-dominated fields like STEM subjects.

Girls boarding schools can also foster a supportive and empowering atmosphere, where girls can develop their voices, build self-confidence, and take on leadership roles without the presence of gender biases or stereotypes. This can create a more inclusive and empowering environment for girls to thrive academically, socially, and personally.

In order for that to happen, these schools typically have a faculty and staff composed predominantly of female educators, mentors, and role models. This can provide girls with a strong support network and inspire them to pursue their aspirations, breaking barriers and challenging gender norms. On top of that, they will be surrounded by peers who share similar experiences and challenges.

Best 5 Girls Boarding Schools in the UK

Here are the best girls boarding schools in the UK entering 2024.

1. Wycombe Abbey

Wycombe Abbey is a distinguished independent girls’ boarding school located in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, offering an outstanding education exclusively for female students aged 11 to 18. Renowned for its academic excellence, the school provides a comprehensive curriculum covering various subjects at both GCSE and A-levels. With a history dating back to 1896, Wycombe Abbey boasts a blend of historic architecture and modern facilities. The school emphasises a well-rounded education, promoting extracurricular activities in areas such as sports and the arts. As a boarding school, Wycombe Abbey attracts students from around the world, fostering a diverse and enriching learning environment.

2. Cheltenham Ladies' College

Cheltenham Ladies’ College is a prestigious independent girls’ school located in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England. Established in 1853, it is known for providing a high-quality education for female students aged 11 to 18. Cheltenham Ladies’ College offers both day and boarding options, and its academic reputation is characterised by a diverse curriculum covering various subjects, including A-levels. The school is recognised for its commitment to academic excellence, extracurricular activities, and fostering an inclusive and supportive learning environment.

3. St Catherine's, Bramley

St Catherine’s, Bramley is an independent girls’ school located in Bramley, near Guildford in Surrey, England. St Catherine’s is known for providing education to girls aged 4 to 18. The school offers both day and boarding options, allowing for a diverse student body. St Catherine’s places a strong emphasis on academic excellence, providing a comprehensive curriculum that includes GCSEs and A-levels. Additionally, St Catherine’s, Bramley is recognised for its pastoral care, extracurricular activities, and commitment to fostering a supportive and inclusive environment. The school’s ethos often includes a focus on developing the character and well-being of its students alongside academic achievement.

4. Burgess Hill Girls

Burgess Hill Girls is an independent day and boarding school for girls, located in Burgess Hill, West Sussex, England. It provides education for girls aged 2 to 18, covering both the preparatory and senior school levels. Furthermore, the school offers a well-rounded education with a focus on academic achievement, personal development, and extracurricular activities. Burgess Hill Girls has a reputation for academic excellence, offering a range of subjects including GCSEs and A-levels. The school’s boarding facilities contribute to a vibrant and inclusive community, and it often attracts students from different parts of the world. Beyond academics, Burgess Hill Girls emphasises a holistic approach to education, encouraging participation in sports, arts, and other enrichment activities.

5. Roedean School

Roedean School, established in 1885 in Brighton, East Sussex, is an independent day and boarding school for girls aged 11 to 18. Renowned for its academic excellence, the school offers a comprehensive curriculum, including GCSEs and A-levels. With boarding options available for both UK and international students, Roedean fosters a supportive and inclusive residential community. The school places a strong emphasis on extracurricular activities, encompassing sports, arts, and leadership programmes. Housed in historic buildings with picturesque views of the English Channel, Roedean School combines a rich history with a global perspective, attracting students from diverse backgrounds.

How to Choose a Boarding School for your Daughter?

Choosing a boarding school for your daughter is a significant decision. Here are some factors to consider when making your choice:

  1. Academic excellence
  2. Pastoral care and support
  3. Facilities and resources
  4. Extracurricular activities
  5. Size and culture
  6. Reputation and alumni network
  7. Financial considerations
  8. Parent and student feedback

Girls Boarding Schools League Table

Here are the latest rankings for girls boarding schools in the UK. 

#A + A* %NameDay/BoardBoy/GirlDay (Ł)Board (Ł)
179.89St Mary's School - AscotBoardingGirls33,15044,100
274.3Wycombe Abbey SchoolBothGirls32,46045,570
371.7Cheltenham Ladies' CollegeBothGirls20,53534,275
566.44Royal High SchoolBothGirls29,88038,340
660.38St Swithun's SchoolBothGirls32,88044,220
759.4St Catherine's School, BramleyBothGirls18,30042,540
857Benenden SchoolBothGirls21,48043,245
956.6Burgess Hill GirlsBothGirls24,61543,170
1055.5Roedean SchoolBothGirls24,66048,990
1155.14Woldingham SchoolBothGirls32,28043,260
1250Mayfield SchoolBoardingGirls32,64943,503
1349Headington SchoolBothGirls15,78635,427
1449Queen Anne's SchoolBothGirls25,12538,925
1548.5Badminton SchoolBothGirls22,41039,900
1647Royal Masonic School for GirlsBothGirls (Co-ed 6th form)17,67936,387
1745St Mary's School - CambridgeBothGirls26,67641,682
1844.8Sherborne GirlsBothGirls26,11543,830
1942St Mary's School - CalneBothGirls25,23037,590
2042Harrogate Ladies' CollegeBothGirls20,05535,190
2141St George's School - AscotBothGirls28,27539,900
2238.5Monmouth School for GirlsBothGirls24,48039,600
2333Heathfield School - AscotBothGirls25,60544,280
2430Kent College PemburyBothGirls18,27937,887
2528.4Queenswood SchoolBothGirls25,18540,050
2663%Downe House SchoolBothGirls17,98543,230

Frequently Asked Questions about Girls Boarding Schools in the UK

While girls boarding schools are single-sex environments, they often organise social events and joint activities with neighbouring boys schools, allowing students to interact and socialise with their male counterparts. Additionally, during weekends and holidays, students have opportunities to spend time with family and friends, fostering a balanced social life outside of the school environment.

Girls boarding schools in the UK prioritise the safety and well-being of students. They have dedicated staff members who provide round-the-clock supervision and pastoral care. Schools have robust safeguarding policies in place to ensure a safe and secure environment, including measures such as regular health and safety checks, strict visitor protocols, and comprehensive support systems for students’ emotional and physical well-being.

Yes, girls boarding schools in the UK offer a wide range of academic subjects and extracurricular activities. They provide a well-rounded education that includes traditional subjects, as well as opportunities to explore arts, sports, STEM, and various other areas of interest. From music and drama to sports teams, clubs, and societies, these schools encourage girls to pursue their passions and develop their talents outside of the classroom.

Girls boarding schools in the UK are known for their academic excellence and high standards. They provide a challenging and intellectually stimulating environment that encourages students to strive for their best. However, it’s important to note that each school has its own academic ethos, and the level of competitiveness can vary. It’s advisable to research and visit different schools to find the right balance between academic rigor and support for your daughter’s individual needs and aspirations.

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 Your Favourite UK Boarding School Today!

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

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