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Ardingly College

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What is included in the Ardingly College review?

Academic results & facilities
Up to date results for GCSEs, A levels, BTECs and IB; we go to places league tables can’t reach.

Pastoral care and inclusivity
From how the school reacts when something goes wrong to how they tackle thorny issues like substance abuse, consent and mental health. We check they’ve got it all covered.

Fees, scholarships & bursary information
An independent education is a major commitment; our review enables you to compare everything from fees to hidden costs, as well as giving detailed information on scholarships and bursaries.

Information about the head
Our unparalleled access to the head teacher means we can tell you exactly what to expect when you meet them – from leadership style right down to the décor of their study and what they’re currently reading.

Teaching and learning approaches

Entrance & admissions information

Exit information - where do the children go next?

Learning support & SEN information

Arts, sports and extracurricular

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What says..

‘Lots of random stuff going on,’ said a prep pupil happily, and there is, from futsal, or bushcraft, to robotic Lego. Plenty of opportunities for enrichment in the college too, from the solar car project, now conducted jointly with a community college, to taking a service trip to sponsored schools in Kenya, India or the Gambia. A couple of boys described a reluctant trip to...

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  • Ardingly College
    College Road
    Haywards Heath
    West Sussex
    RH17 6SQ
  • Head: Ben Figgis
  • T 01444 893000
  • F 01444 893001
  • E [email protected]
  • W
  • Ardingly College is an English independent day and boarding school for boys and girls aged 2 to 18, located near Ardingly, West Sussex. Day fees for Ardingly College range from £11,040 - £28,875 and full boarding fees from £30,750 - £44,211 pa. Want to know more? Access the Ardingly College review.
  • Read about the best schools in West Sussex
  • Boarding: Yes
  • Local authority: West Sussex
  • Pupils: 1,052; sixth formers: 277
  • Religion: Church of England
  • Fees: Day £11,040 - £28,875; Full Boarding £30,750 - £44,211 pa
  • Open days: Open Days take place every term. Please see website for details.
  • Review: View The Good Schools Guide Review
  • Ofsted report: View the Ofsted report
  • ISI report: View the ISI report

What the school says...

Ardingly College is a top UK, Independent Day and Boarding School with a strong academic core. Providing co-educational education from 2-18 years in the beautiful Sussex countryside. Our aim is to prepare students to become World Ready TM. Ardingly College also benefits from being close to the vibrant university city of Brighton, while London is 45 minutes away by train and Gatwick airport 20 minutes by car.

100% of university applicants gained entry to their first or second choice university, 83% of these being part of the Russell Group.

The most recent ISI report judged the College to be excellent in both pupil achievement and personal development.

College life is based on a strong boarding provision with a progressive ethos around preparing the students to be ready for the world, and all staff are expected to contribute to the pastoral and co-curricular life and duties in this busy and successful school.  The school offers an outstanding range of co-curricular activities and has a proud tradition of sporting achievement, particularly in football and hockey. Music and Drama are particularly strong, with a vibrant extra-curricular provision including international music tours, concerts held at a range of venues across the South East including St John’s Smith Square London. The Drama departments productions are exceptional, and consist of a range of musicals, classical and contemporary pieces.

Over the past ten years, the College has built a Sports Hall and fitness suite, three new boarding houses, including a £6 million co-educational Upper Sixth house, and most recent additions include a new £5m STEM building, a new girls’ day house, a dance studio and a cafe providing a popular social hub to the College.

Ardingly College celebrates diversity and approximately 25% of the students are from overseas. Around thirty nationalities are represented at the college, giving the school a genuinely global outlook. The school also offers many opportunities and workshops, giving students a range of life skills to prepare them for successful transition to university and beyond.

We are delighted to attract both top performers and also late bloomers who have a strong work ethic and apply a good attitude to school. We work together to nurture both academic ability and outstanding life skills to build future success beyond school and nearly every student seeking a place at university is successful.
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International Baccalaureate: diploma - the diploma is the familiar A-level equivalent.

Other features

All-through school (for example 3-18 years). - An all-through school covers junior and senior education. It may start at 3 or 4, or later, and continue through to 16 or 18. Some all-through schools set exams at 11 or 13 that pupils must pass to move on.






Since 2014, Ben Figgis, MA (Cantab). Married to Joanna, with three children – all educated at Ardingly. Head of the entire school, and soon to be a super-head, with day-to-day head duties being passed to deputy James Johnson. Education is Mr Figgis’s second career; his first was in broadcasting, which he left after concerns about ethical compromises in newsgathering. He indulged his passion for history in his first teaching job at Abingdon, then after a stint as housemaster and head of boarding, became deputy head at Oakham.

Parents describe him as ‘reassuring and competent’, indeed it is difficult to imagine Mr Figgis ever being ruffled: he has the enviable skill of being able to turn disaster into opportunity. A pupil who didn’t get the necessary A level grades was told, ‘this will be the making of...

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Please note: Independent schools frequently offer IGCSEs or other qualifications alongside or as an alternative to GCSE. The DfE does not record performance data for these exams so independent school GCSE data is frequently misleading; parents should check the results with the schools.

Who came from where

Who goes where

Special Education Needs

The Learning Support Department offers individual lessons for pupils who have a mild specific learning difficulty. All pupils however must be able to cope in the classroom without individual Learning Assistant support.

Condition Provision for in school
ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder
Aspergers Y
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders Y
CReSTeD registered for Dyslexia
Dysgraphia Y
Dyslexia Y
Dyspraxia Y
English as an additional language (EAL) Y
Has an entry in the Autism Services Directory
Has SEN unit or class Y
HI - Hearing Impairment
Hospital School
Mental health
MLD - Moderate Learning Difficulty
MSI - Multi-Sensory Impairment
Natspec Specialist Colleges
OTH - Other Difficulty/Disability
Other SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty Y
PD - Physical Disability
PMLD - Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulty
SEMH - Social, Emotional and Mental Health
SLCN - Speech, Language and Communication
SLD - Severe Learning Difficulty
Special facilities for Visually Impaired
SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty
VI - Visual Impairment

Who came from where

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