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Culford School

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What is included in the Culford School review?

Academic results & facilities

Pastoral care and inclusivity

Fees, scholarships & bursary information

Information about the head

Teaching and learning approaches

Entrance & admissions information

Exit information - where do the children go next?

Learning support & SEN information

Arts, sports and extracurricular

Pupils & parents (what are they really like?)

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What says..

The ‘Culford bubble’ that parents and staff talk about is suddenly apparent. Easy to forget there is an outside world whilst cocooned in this cornucopia of beauty. School well aware of this, as are pupils, who appreciate how lucky they are. Sport is king at this school, particularly tennis. Rated the best co-educational school in the country for tennis by the LTA, Culford attracts pupils from all over the world because of it. One of the first genuinely co-ed boarding schools in the country...

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  • Culford School
    Bury St Edmunds
    IP28 6TX
  • Head: Mrs Claire Bentley MEd
  • T 01284 385308
  • F 01284 385513
  • E [email protected]
  • W
  • Culford School is a mainstream independent school for pupils aged from 13 to 18 with a linked junior school. Culford day fees £10,830 - £23,655 and boarding fees are £22,350 - £37,155 pa. Interested in reading more? Access our unbiased Culford School and Culford Preparatory School and Pre-Prep review.
  • Boarding: Yes
  • Local authority: Suffolk
  • Pupils: 890; sixth formers: 137
  • Religion: Methodist
  • Fees: Day £23,655; Boarding £30,075 - £37,155 pa
  • Open days: SATURDAY 2 MARCH 2024
  • Review: View The Good Schools Guide Review
  • Ofsted report: View the Ofsted report
  • ISI report: View the ISI report
  • Linked schools: Culford Preparatory School and Pre-Prep

What the school says...

Culford is an HMC co-educational school with an 'Oustanding' Ofsted rating. Boarding is available from age 7 and the school is set in 480 acres of beautiful Suffolk parkland with a magnificent 18th century mansion at its centre. Recent developments include: new short game golf area, with indoor golf swing studio; two dance studios; strength and conditioning suite; recording studio; Studio Theatre; championship-standard indoor tennis centre with high performance coaching. A multi-million pound new library opened in September 2015. Culford now offers specialist hockey, rugby, swimming, tennis and golf scholarships, as well as academic, art, design, drama, music and sports awards. ...Read more

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Other features

Music and dance scheme - government funding and grants available to help with fees at selected independent music and dance schools.

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.

Performing arts specialist school


Equestrian centre or equestrian team - school has own equestrian centre or an equestrian team.

Since 2023, Claire Bentley MEd, previously acting head and before that deputy head. She is also head of prep.

Entry into nursery via taster sessions, pre-prep by day’s assessment and taster session. Prep by entrance exam, entry to senior school automatic from prep, entrance exam if external student. Largeish intake at year 7, mainly from the state, and larger again in year 9 from local prep schools, including the Cambridge contingent. Sixth form requires six GCSEs, including maths and English, grades 5+ (and grade 6+ in subjects to be studied at A level). Flexibility is key. Unusual for a sibling to be turned away if they don’t make the grade: ‘We are a family school.’

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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

We are an independent selective school that has a very clear academic emphasis. We do aim to meet individual needs within a mainstream setting through the delivery of a differentiated curriculum. We have pupils with SEN. Mild dyslexia; mild dyspraxia and mild dyscalculia are the most common difficulties. We do not have a dedicated SEN unit but we do have fully qualified specialist staff who provide learning support lessons on a withdrawal basis. 10-09

Condition Provision for in school
ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders
CReSTeD registered for Dyslexia
Dyscalculia Y
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
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
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 Y
VI - Visual Impairment

Who came from where

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