Boarding, twenty-first century style, is flourishing. The number of families choosing boarding schools for their children is increasing and the decision to board is, as often as not, made by children themselves. This book, our first dedicated to boarding schools, contains over 350 of The Good Schools Guide’s highly informative and famously frank reviews. Every single school has been visited by our writers; we check out everything from dorms to food and weekend activities. We also speak to parents and, most important of all, pupils.
The guide is compact enough to read in bed or tuck into a large pocket, yet still packed with maps, reviews, articles and colour photographs. Whether parents are interested in big names, local treasures, state boarding schools or country preps, this is their unbiased guide to all that’s best in British boarding.
- In-depth and unbiased reviews of 350+ prep and senior schools from Cornwall to Scotland
- Includes top state and independent boarding schools
- Impartial and invaluable advice on all aspects of boarding education
- Content includes facilities, pastoral care, weekend activities
- What type of boarding - full, weekly or flexi?
- Contains information for international families
Click to see a preview of The Good Schools Guide Boarding Schools
To board or not to board – is that the question? Traditionally, heartless British parents sent their little darlings off to school at 7 or 8 and didn’t give them another thought until it was time for university. Tom Brown’s schooldays? Go to the bottom of the class. Cold showers, initiation ceremonies and enforced runs are more or less a thing of the past.
As their name suggests, the main aim of ‘preparatory schools’, or prep schools, is to prepare children for entry to fee-paying senior schools at 11 or 13. Traditionally, pre-preps take children from 3 or 4 and prepare them for moving on to preps at 7 or 8. There are fewer stand-alone pre-preps than there used to be as their main market, the boarding prep, has declined in numbers.
Fees are high at independent schools but there are two distinct ways of making them lower: Firstly, if your child has a particular aptitude - there may well be a scholarship he/she could apply for which may reduce the fees by anything from five per cent to 50 per cent or more (more is rare). Secondly, schools increasingly offer bursaries to attract the bright children of less well-off families.
While state schools are prohibited from interviewing any but potential sixth form students, the interview is an integral part of nearly every private school admissions process, and tends to send the applicant’s parents, rather than the actual applicant, into a spin. Parents feel considerably more responsible for their child’s social presentation than for his or her ability to do long division or conjugate French verbs.
We examined the value-added from KS2 to GCSE for 2015 to see which state selective grammar schools added the most value to their offspring.