Skip to main content
Ardingly College
  • 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. Educating around 600 pupils, there is also a linked junior school. It was founded as St Saviour’s College in 1858 by Nathaniel Woodward.
  • Boarding: Yes
  • Local authority: West Sussex
  • Pupils: 1,080; sixth formers: 268
  • Religion: Church of England
  • Fees: Day £17622 - £25,184; Boarding £31,000 - £37,656 pa
  • Open days: Senior School, Saturday 5th March, Senior School Lower Open Morning (Year 7 entry), Friday 18th March
  • Review: View The Good Schools Guide Review
  • Ofsted report: View the Ofsted report
  • ISI report: View the ISI report

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...

Read review »

What the school says...

Ardingly College is an independent co-education school for pupils aged 2 – 18 offering both A level, IB and BTEC.  Founded in 1858, Ardingly College is a school of over 1080 pupils, including those in the Nursery and Prep. Located in the beautiful Sussex countryside nestled in 230 acres, 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.

The Senior School is a co-educational day and boarding school with approximately 800 pupils from Year 7 to Upper Sixth. The Senior School provides an all-round education centred on a strong academic core with excellent academic results. A Level examinations results were 82% A-A*in 2021.

The IB Cohort had an excellent IB mean grade of 41.3.

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, where the school won the U18 ISFA cup for two consecutive seasons in 2015 and 2016, and girls’ hockey where the team reached the national finals in 2015 and 2017. 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, while the Drama department frequently takes productions to Chequer Mead Theatre in Sussex and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Students also participate in the exciting Solar Car Project which saw Ardingly College enter the 2019 World Solar Race in Australia, beating famous global university teams.

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.

We prepare our students to be 'World Ready'
...Read more

Do you know this school?

The schools we choose, and what we say about them, are founded on parents’ views. If you know this school, please share your views with us.

Please login to post a comment.


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.






What The Good Schools Guide says

Head of College

Since 2014, Ben Figgis, MA (Cantab), (50s). 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...

Subscribe now for instant access to read The Good Schools Guide review.

Already subscribed? Login here.

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

Subscribe for instant access to in-depth reviews:

☑ 30,000 Independent, state and special schools in our parent-friendly interactive directory
☑ Instant access to in-depth UK school reviews
☑ Honest, opinionated and fearless independent reviews of over 1,000 schools
☑ Independent tutor company reviews

Try before you buy - The Charter School Southwark

Buy Now

GSG Blog >

The Good Schools Guide newsletter

The Good Schools Guide Newsletter

Educational insight in your inbox. Sign up for our popular newsletters.