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  • Merchiston Castle School
    294 Colinton Road
    EH13 0PU
  • Head: Jonathan Anderson
  • T 01313 122201
  • F 01314 416060
  • E [email protected]
  • W
  • An independent school for boys aged from 7 to 18.
  • Boarding: Yes
  • Local authority: Edinburgh, City of
  • Pupils: 400; sixth formers: 169
  • Religion: Christian Inter-denominational
  • Fees: Day £15,030 - £25,530; Boarding £21,660 - £35,190 pa
  • Open days: New interactive and immersive 360º virtual tour. Contact the school for one-to-one personalised tours.
  • Review: View The Good Schools Guide Review

What says..

The only boys-only boarding school left in Scotland. Traditional, warm and personal school - small enough for everyone to know everyone. Blessed with lovely grounds, with the bonus of having Edinburgh on the doorstop. Make no mistake, rugby is still big here – 66 Merchistonians have played at full international level. Parents say, ‘hockey and football are becoming more popular but rugby is still the main sport’. Parents report that the boys ‘sing and dance with great enthusiasm’ and ‘they don’t think it’s uncool to be in the choir’... 


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What the school says...

Merchiston is the only boys’ independent boarding school in Scotland, offers the English curriculum, and has a global, outward-looking dimension. We take pride in specializing in the education of boys and preparing them for the world, as we have for over 175 years, developing aspirational, and sensitive, yet gentle-men! Think about a wonderfully caring and nurturing family environment, where they will learn to like learning more.

With an ethos based on traditional values, Merchiston encourages self-reliance and independence, as well as respect for and tolerance of others. Our main objective is to motivate pupils to try their hardest and to strive to achieve the highest levels possible in all areas - firstly academic, then cultural, sporting, leadership, and simply living together as part of a community.
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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


Since August 2018, Jonathan Anderson, previously senior deputy head at Worksop College. Geography degree from Queen's Belfast; joined Christ's Hospital as a geography teacher and was promoted to assistant housemaster and housemaster. After nearly 14 years, he moved to Worksop. He is married with a young daughter.

Head of the junior school (Pringle) since 2012, Niamh Waldron, first came to the school in 2005. Junior school parents sing her praises and say that she’s ‘really wonderful, warm and motherly’, ‘fun with a great sense of humour and completely dedicated to the children’.


Entry into junior school by assessment using computer based InCAS software - measuring reading, general maths and mental arithmetic. Online screening assessment also required, plus interview. Automatic entry to the senior school from the junior school (around 40 pupils per...

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Special Education Needs

Merchiston has a Learning Support Department which gives intensive 1:1 and 2:1 tuition, particularly in the Junior School. Prospective pupils go through an in depth assessment so that we can ascertain whether Merchiston would be a suitable school for them. This ensures that we know precisely the level of each pupil. The support thereafter is ongoing and adapted to that pupil's needs. Essentially, we are a mainstream school which can offer to help bright pupils requiring specific Learning Support, but who can independently access the curriculum in the Senior School up to and including GCSE and AS/A2 Level. 09-09

Condition Provision for in school
ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder
Aspergers Y
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders Y
CReSTeD registered for Dyslexia
English as an additional language (EAL)
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
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

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