A Guide to the 10 Best UK Boarding Schools

The UK is host to a broad and diverse array of boarding schools, many of which have an excellent reputation across the world for their academic results and extracurricular facilities. 

Studying at a boarding school can encourage you to mature more quickly than you normally would, as you learn about the importance of personal responsibility and self-discipline in both your studies and your social life. 

Attending an independent day and boarding school as a day pupil can also be a highly enriching experience. This is because you have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the disparate languages and cultures of those individuals that come from all around the globe to study at your college. 

The Top 10 Best Boarding Schools in the UK 

Here are 10 of the best boarding schools in the UK at the moment, from small institutions in southwest Wales to purpose-built campuses in the centre of Cambridge. 

  • Oxford International College

This prestigious school scored the top A-Level results in the UK in 2020, with an astonishing 92% of Upper Sixth students achieving A* or A grades in their final year exams. 

The college also has an exceptional ability to help students receive offers from Oxford and Cambridge, with 1 in 2 applicants getting a place at the former university and 1 in 3 applicants getting into the latter institution. 

OIC also specialises in medicine admissions: in the 2020/21 cycle, recent school graduates will head to one of 26 different elite medical schools up and down the country, from Imperial College London to the University of St Andrews. 

  • St Michael’s School 

This school was named the best Welsh Independent School in 2021, and it’s situated in the rolling hills and valleys of Bryn, just to the east of Llanelli. 

St Michael’s offers an extensive and thorough approach when it comes to the admissions process, providing high-quality interview preparation coaching and step-by-step guidance through the UCAS application stages. 

  • Cardiff Sixth Form College 

Another excellent Welsh boarding school, this sixth form college is located in Cardiff, in the south of the country. Students receive comprehensive support, with a superb teacher to pupil ratio of 7 to 1. 

Each individual has full access to an on-site nurse and a counsellor throughout their time at the school, demonstrating Cardiff Sixth Form College’s commitment to looking after the mental and physical well-being of each and every one of its students during their journey to adulthood. 

In 2021, 9 students went to the London School of Economics, 3 went to St Andrews, 4 went to Cambridge, and 3 went to Oxford. 

  • Ruthin School 

Those looking for a small, holistically-minded, and inclusive school will love Ruthin. This school has around 350 pupils and is situated in the exquisite environment of the Vale of Clwyd, North Wales. 

In 2020, 12 Ruthin students received offers to study courses like Engineering, Mathematics, and Economics at Cambridge, while 7 pupils went to UCL to pursue degrees in Social Sciences, Biomedical Sciences, and Architecture. 

Each week, the school suspends academic activities for an afternoon to allow students to take part in a range of stimulating practices of their choice, including practical vehicle maintenance, conditioning, mountain biking, cooking, or sailing. 

  • Concord College 

Located in the historic grounds of Acton Burnell Castle, in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, this elite educational institution attracts high-achieving students from all across the globe. 

In 2021, 94% of Upper Sixth pupils achieved A* or A grades in their exams, and 94% of Year 11 students earned a grade 7 or higher in their GCSEs. Last year, 13 pupils went to Cambridge, 2 went to Oxford, and 37 headed off to UCL for further study.

  • Abbey College Cambridge 

This elite institution is nestled in the historic town of Cambridge itself, and has an excellent reputation for academic vigour, with 83% of all Upper Sixth students achieving A* or A grades in the final year exams in 2020. 

The school’s purpose-built campus lies right next to Homerton College, and it has excellent facilities including 2 libraries, 2 art studios, a coffee bar, and a well-equipped gym. 

  • Brighton College 

In 2019, this school was awarded the title of School of the Decade by The Sunday Times, and for good reason. Brighton College prides itself on treating all of its students as individuals with complex, changing sets of passions and interests. The school’s pastoral system is second-to-none, with a rich history of inter-house competition and collaboration. 

In 2020, an astonishing 99% of all A-Level grades achieved by Upper Sixth students were a B or higher. 

  • Westminster School

Westminster School is located in the centre of London, next to Westminster Palace and the Houses of Parliament. 

This college has an outstanding record when it comes to exam results and Oxbridge offers, with 76.2% of A-Level grades awarded as A*’s or A’s in 2019. In each of the last 5 years, between 70 and 80 pupils have received offers to study at either Oxford or Cambridge. 

  • Charterhouse School 

Originally founded in 1611, Charterhouse is situated on the grounds of a monastery in Godalming, Surrey. The school offers A-Levels and the International Baccalaureate as qualifications for its Sixth Form students. 

You can choose between 20 different courses at A-Level and between 16 – 18 courses if you plan to take the IB. In 2020, 6 students went to Oxbridge, 13 went to Exeter and Durham respectively, and 9 went to University College London. 

  • Epsom College 

This prestigious school is located in the town of Epsom Downs, in the rolling green countryside of Surrey. In 2021, The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Times awarded Epsom the sought-after title of “Surrey’s top-performing co-ed day and boarding school”

The college’s exam results are consistently exemplary, with 67% of all A-Level grades awarded as A* or A and 50% of all GCSE grades awarded as 9’s or 8’s in 2019.

Have an Enriching Experience at One of These Excellent UK Boarding Schools

Studying at a premium-quality UK boarding school can instill you with unwavering confidence and encourage you to tap into your unfulfilled potential as an academic pupil and a well-rounded member of your college’s community.

These 10 UK boarding schools have stellar reputations when it comes to helping their pupils earn offers at the best universities in the world: they also have first-rate pastoral care systems that help you realise and chase your passions within a safe and nurturing environment. 

For more information about the best boarding schools in the UK, get in touch with us at A&J Education to book a free consultation and chat with one of our experts.

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