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Best boarding schools in West Susses - Cottesmore SchoolChanging parent demand has forced even the most traditional full boarding schools to adapt and most now offer different types of boarding.

Worth School is a super option for Londoners, especially as it now offers weekly boarding, but around half remain in at weekends which is a blessing for overseas families. International or expat families make up 20 per cent of children and there’s plenty to do at weekends on the beautiful 500-acre site.

Full boarding remains the ethos at Lancing College where some 60 per cent of students board. There are full, weekly and flexi options and free boarding for day pupils if an activity goes on past 9pm, we’re told. ‘Of the day pupils, half stay over regularly and it’s not uncommon for there to be 280 pupils in school over a weekend,’ says our reviewer.

Hurstpierpoint College has moved away from its full boarding heritage and is now firmly weekly and day. Weekday fixtures only and all children go home on Friday nights, returning Monday morning. ‘Hurst feels like a local school in its intake,’ observed a parent. School buses serve the local area, Chichester and London. A popular boarding option for Sussex families is Seaford College, where pastoral care is ‘unbelievable’, said a parent. Children can stay in at weekends, if desired, where there’s plenty going on to keep them busy. Our reviewer commented, ‘The four boarding houses are all different, each with a strong sense of home.’

Around half of the pupils at Ardingly College board (full, weekly or flexi) and parents say ‘[it] feels like joint parenting.’ Pupils like it too, remarking ‘it’s relaxed, laid back, with lots of freedom.' A quarter of children are from abroad, one parent telling us her Spanish child ‘adapted well and settled quickly’ and that it would suit parents looking for a ‘British education with an international feel.’

Non-selective state boarding school Steyning Grammar offers a (selective) affordable boarding option. Prospective students complete an online application form and have a skype interview. ‘Diversity of boarding provision enables the broadening of everyone’s minds – from Sussex villagers to Caribbean islanders,’ commented our reviewer.

Cottesmore Prep School is the only true full boarding prep school left in the county and hence appeals to a very international and London set. Exeats are every other weekend and there is Saturday school.

‘Warm, lovely people, who go that extra mile,’ said a parent of the boarding team at Brambletye, a prep school near East Grinstead. Full boarders can go home every weekend after matches or stay in for one of the many fun activities: circus skills, inflatable water slides, historic outings, mountain biking, to name a few.
Windlesham House School has recently moved away from its full boarding roots and now offers flexi and weekly boarding. Saturday school is now optional, although attending (rare) Saturday fixtures is not.

Boarding schools near West Sussex

West Sussex families are also attracted to boarding schools in nearby counties such as Bedales School in Hampshire, Eastbourne College and Roedean School, both in East Sussex, Benenden, Tonbridge in Kent, and Cranleigh in Surrey. Sending children to board at Eton, Radley, Harrow, Sherborne School, Sherborne Girls and Marlborough is also a well-trodden path. A handful send their children off to prep boarding schools a little farther afield, Ludgrove and Sunningdale being favourites.

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