Most Expensive Boarding Schools In The UK 2024 (Updated)
When choosing a boarding school to study in the UK, it is important to consider factors such as costs, past academic results, facilities, student support and activities. In addition, prestige and quality may also influence the costs of school fees. In this article we look at some of the most expensive UK boarding schools, as of 2024.
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Most Expensive Boarding Schools In The UK
When deciding to send your child for a boarding school education, one of the more important elements is knowing how much the overall cost would be. A school that cost more, usually comes equipped with state of the art international facilities. This can come in the form of having a complete equestrian centre to a list of alumni of the world’s royalty. This list will help you identify the schools by tuition fee to help you decide which school would be the perfect environment for your child.
The UK has some of the best boarding schools in the world, and unsurprisingly, is something that comes at quite a high cost. Students who attend these boarding schools open themselves to an opportunity not afforded to everyone, setting them up with a solid foundation. This may happen through the high level of standard expected from the schools, to the alumni network which is built throughout their education.
Note: Fees are shown as per annum
Brighton College - £64,920
In November 2020, The Sunday Times acknowledged Brighton College as the School of the Decade! The Sunday Times is widely seen as the authority on UK independent schools and this recognition is huge – as was written on the paper, Brighton College is “one of the hottest tickets in independent education”. Richard Cairns, Headmaster of the college, has been with Brighton for about 14 years and under his leadership, the college has become one of the leading UK independent schools. The glowing review on The Sunday Times commended Cairns’ leadership and wrote the following about Brighton, “…the school is progressive in outlook and the children are taught kindness and respect for one another.” It has also been another excellent year for this college in their A-level result. A* is the most common A-level grade again, with a pre-Covid record-breaking number of 356 A* grades. In all, there were 69 pupils with at least 3 A* grades, 26 with 4 A*s, six with 5 A*s and one with 6 A*s.
Oxford International College - £57,855
Oxford International College is the top performing Sixth Form college. In 2023, Oxford International College achieved 90.3% A*/A, a testament to the school’s consistent track record. Oxford International College has managed to achieve 92.47% A*-As in the 2022 A Level examinations, placing the school among the top five in the country. In 2019, the college has earned the top slot in the UK Independent Schools league tables after its students achieved record A-level results. Students are taught by some of Oxford’s finest tutors who are all experts in their fields – most of them are Oxford University alumni and hold doctorate degrees from Oxford!
Thanks to the school’s Strategic Global Pathways Curriculum, the Oxford International College has achieved top results year after year since its establishment in 2002. OIC’s students have achieved great results – about a third of their students received offers from Oxbridge and 63 out of 70 of its students received offers from top Medical schools in the country, cementing the college as specialists in admission to medical programmes.
Queen Ethelburga’s College - £57,600
Acknowledged as one of the most academically prosperous independent co-educational schools in the North of England, Queen Ethelburga scholastic credentials are supported by the 98% of their student body who graduate to some of the top universities throughout the country. The Queen Ethelburga’s College is known for their approach of working on issues before needing addressed from parents, making it one of the most proactive study environments. In 2019, Queen Ethelburga’s has been awarded the highest grading of Excellent across all schools and areas by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI), praising the pupils’ outstanding academic achievements and personal development.
Cardiff Sixth Form College - £53,600
Cardiff Sixth Form College, also known as CSFC, is a prestigious independent school located in Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom. It is known for its exceptional academic achievements and is often ranked as one of the top independent schools in the UK. CSFC is renowned for its outstanding academic results. It specialises in preparing students for A-level examinations, which are the standard qualifications for entry into UK universities. Many of its students achieve top grades and go on to attend prestigious universities, including those in the Russell Group, which is a collection of some of the UK’s leading institutions. The college typically has a strong track record of helping students gain admission to prestigious universities both in the UK and abroad. Cardiff Sixth Form College is the top academic school in the country and has been ranked number one for A-Level results in the Independent School League Tables for over a decade.
Concord College - £53,400
Concord College is an independent co-educational international day/boarding school in Shropshire, England situated in the grounds of Acton Burnell Castle. The college admits students aged between 12 and 19; the majority of whom come from overseas.
As a result of their hard work, 90 students – well over half of the year group – secured 3 A grades or better in their final results in 2023. 33 students achieved 3 A* grades or better. Among the many exciting and prestigious universities in the UK and around the world, 12 students will be taking up places at Oxford and Cambridge to study a wide range of subjects; Engineering, Medicine, Architecture, Mathematics, Economics, Law, Computer Science and Biochemistry. Additionally, Concord College was selected as one of only five finalists in two categories of Muddy Stilettos’ ‘Best School Awards’ 2023.
Cheltenham Ladies College - £50,700
Cheltenham Ladies’ College is world-renowned for their teachers who display commitment towards quality education by instilling self-motivation, intellectual curiosity, and enthusiasm in their students. The college is very large and is constantly growing, which allows its students to choose from an ever-increasing list of subjects. Class sizes are small which retains the school’s high standards and girls are encouraged to be active members in every lesson which in itself is a valuable teacher as it challenges them to think critically, develop their own opinions, and convey their thoughts in a conducive environment. In 2023, 84% of students achieving seven or more A* / 9-8 grades in GCSE, despite the return of pre-pandemic grading throughout England.
Harrow School - £43,665
Founded in 1572, Harrow School revels in its reputation as an all-boys public school. No fewer than seven British prime ministers have been Harrovians, as well as the first prime minister of India, Pandit Nehru. As well as having highly qualified academics on its books to teach students, there is also a super-curriculum in place which focuses on aspects of study that are not formally assessed. These include habitual reading, independent research, reflection and debate. The foundation of the curriculum is the electives system, which allows boys to select an intellectually challenging course that is off-syllabus and taught in small groups. At the centre of these courses are independent learning and problem-solving.
In 2023, Roughly 40% of grades achieved were at grade 9 level, with around 70% of grades at either grade 9 or grade 8 level. Bar the pandemic years, the grade 9-A* percentage is the highest on record, and the 9-A rate is the highest since 2013. Furthermore, Harrow’s robotics team, Team Euclid, placed among the top eight teams nationally at the National Robotics Competition at Cambridge University, making it through to the semi-finals.
Eton College - £49,998
As one of the most famous schools in the world, Eton has outstanding facilities for music, design art and drama. Its seemingly unlimited sports provision now includes the Thames Valley Athletics Stadium, which is shared with external clubs and organisations. Eton also has a rowing lake at Dorney, venue for the 2012 Olympics. Combined The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme is growing in popularity, while more than 200 speakers address society meetings each year.
In addition, Eton College has been shortlisted for the Best Use of Technology award at the TES Schools Awards 2023 for providing UK state schools with free access to online learning since the Covid-19 pandemic. EtonX has made an important contribution to expanding the quality of learning opportunities for students across the UK. Over 50,000 students across over 950 schools have used Eton College’s online learning platform EtonX to access high-quality courses such as leadership development, career education and university preparation. These courses have been shown to have an important impact on skill development and confidence, targeting areas that can be overlooked in traditional academic or co-curricular programmes.
Tonbridge School - £49,944
Originally founded in 1553, the School moved to its present privileged site in the mid-19th century. At Tonbridge, they take special pride in their renewed chapel and its beauty and calm. Boarding is situated in solid Victorian houses. Younger boys are accommodated in functional four-bed rooms, whereas older boys have two-bed rooms. The School’s 150 acres, situated next to the town’s main street, are private, secluded, but at the hub of things at the same time.
Tonbridge boys have achieved an excellent set of GCSE and IGCSE results for 2023. In results made public on Thursday 24 August, 46 per cent of grades are at 9, the highest possible grade, and three quarters (75 per cent) are at 9 and 8 (with both grades the equivalent of A*). Tonbridge was ranked as the 8th best school in the country in Parent Power, The Sunday Times Schools Guide 2023, which is based on A-level and GCSE performance. Tonbridge was also the country’s top performing boys’ boarding school.
Winchester College - £49,152
Located in Winchester, Hampshire, College is an independent school for boys and has a tradition spanning over 600 years. It is one of the oldest schools in the UK and one of the only four remaining independent schools where all pupils are boarders. The College is situated on extensive grounds spanning 250 acres, and it also oversees much of the surrounding land.
In 2023, the College is delighted with another year of strong results in A-level examinations. 40.7% of grades were at A* and 77.9% were A*/A. 23% of the pupils in the year group secured at least three A* grades, of whom 15 pupils achieved four A* or more. 57% of the year group achieved straight As or better at A-level.
Whitgift - £47,991
Whitgift School is an independent, boys’ day and boarding school located in Croydon, South London, United Kingdom. It was founded in 1596 by Archbishop John Whitgift, making it one of the oldest schools in England. It has a rich history and has evolved over the centuries into a modern educational institution. The school has a strong ethos of community and service, and it often engages in charitable activities and community outreach programmes. It offers education from ages 10 to 18 and follows the British education system. Students typically take their GCSE exams at age 16 and then pursue A-levels or the IB for their post-16 education. The school has a strong academic reputation and often achieves excellent exam results.
Wycombe Abbey - £47,700
Wycombe Abbey is one of the UK’s leading boarding schools and the top girls’ boarding school based on academic results. The founding Headmistress, Dame Frances Dove, dedication to the pursuit of excellence and the development of each pupil’s character and individual talents forms the foundation of Wycombe Abbey’s long, distinguished history. This serves as a guide for the School even to this day. Wycombe Abbey was also selected as a Finalist for the Independent Schools of the Year 2020 awards.
Charterhouse School - £47,535
Charterhouse is a co-educational school founded in 1611. It has a long history but is also dedicated to pioneering educational progress this century. Charterhouse accepts boys at 13+ and girls at 16+. The majority of the School’s 800 pupils are boarders. Charterhouse values intellectual development, and offers an impressive array of extracurricular activities, as well as excellent pastoral care to pupils.
Academic life is at the centre of every Carthusian’s experience. The depth and breadth of their curriculum, combined with the excellence of teaching staff, delivers a forward-thinking education that is future-ready. By providing each of their pupils with the strongest foundations of knowledge, skills and experiences, they are prepared for academic success, as well as laying the foundations for future professional, social and personal fulfilment.
Benenden School - £47,400
Founded in 1923, Benenden School lies in the heart of lush Kent countryside, with a vast 240 acres of field and forest in its possession. The School mostly comes in the top 50 independent schools nationally, and occasionally in the first 25. Small classes and a favourable teacher-student ratio ensure students’ academic development is at a maximum.
These schools above are some of the most expensive in the world, and it should be no surprise that schools at that cost will come with a certain level of expectation. These schools have a long history and reputation of being the top of the top, not just because of how much a semester may cost, but its overall faculty, educators and facilities. Most alumni from these schools also result in lifelong friendships that can help benefit and sustain fulfilling lives, be it academic, business or personal.
Roedean School - £42,135
Roadean is an independent girls’ school situated in Brighton on the English coast and sits in its beautiful sea-front grounds close to the city marina. Located in Sussex, the school has a one year Pre-A programme for students at GCSE level for international students with core subjects, and a programme of English language support, the aim of which is to improve and develop grammar, pronunciation, listening, writing and reading, and general fluency. This comes with preparation for students wishing to take IELTS at a later date. Pride of place must belong to the Dame Emmeline Tanner library, which is not the only such facility – there are two more libraries within the school, one of which is primarily a research library with 2,000 research books available – which houses over 20,000 books, CDs and DVDs. Library staff are comprised of librarians and assistants.
So there you have it, the most expensive independent UK boarding schools. Of course, fees is just one of the main factors when deciding where to send your child. There are plenty of other important things to consider when school hunting such as academic rankings, pastoral care, and extra-curricular activities, to name a few.
Contact Britannia StudyLink today if you’re deciding to send your child to one of the schools above. We can give you the best advice that will be the best choice that will suit your child’s educational needs.