Dauntsey’s School Review: Ranking, Fees And More

Dauntsey's School Review

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Table of Contents

Summary Of School

  • Type of school: co-educational boarding & day school
  • Age range: 11-18
  • Pupils: 800
  • Boarders: 300
  • Fees: £12,465 – £13,570/term
  • 2020 A-Level Results: 77.2% A*/A
  • 2020 GCSE Results: 71.4% 9/7

Dauntsey's School Overview

Dauntsey’s School was founded in 1542. It was one of the first independent schools in the UK to go fully co-educational in 1976. The school provides a great environment for aspiring mathematicians, scientists, and linguists. Outside of classes, drama is their strongest department and there is also the adventurous Moonrakers programme dedicated for Third Formers.

The school believes in developing respectful and trustworthy friendships between both genders from a young age. Dauntsey’s School also encourages independent development and achievements. 

More than 75% of Dauntsey’s leavers enrol at one of TIMES’s top 15 universities or Russell Group universities. Additionally, there are around eight pupils each year who get into Oxbridge. The most popular course choices at the university level are science, medicine, and language.

Dauntsey's School Courses / Programs

Dauntsey’s School offers A-Level and GCSE. 

Pupils have twenty-six A-Level subjects to choose from. Students are advised to study three A-Level subjects and an option of either an A-Level subject or an additional qualification. The school offers options such as the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), Maths for Science and the school’s new Leadership, Sports and Adventure (LSA) course. 

Half of the Sixth Formers take Maths, two-thirds of the year group choose three science IGCSEs and the rest do dual award science. GCSE pupils are spoiled with new science labs for doing practicals. As a result, more than a third of the Sixth Form students at Dauntsey’s end up pursuing STEM subjects at the undergraduate level. Besides these two fields, pupils in linguistics, especially German and Spanish, and Literature are high achievers. 

From the Third Form onwards, pupils can access the school’s careers counselling. Students typically consult the school counsellor about subject options for the I/GCSE syllabus, although the school also offers advice and guidance on A-Level courses, work experience, university applications, personal statements and more. Both Old Dauntseians and current pupils can access this service.

Dauntsey's School Application Deadline

General Information

  • Registration deadline: 18 October 2021.
  • Sports Award Assessments: Saturday, 22 January 2022. 
  • Entrance examination: Tuesday, 25 January 2022.
  • Interviews and auditions: Thursday, 27/Friday 28 January 2022.
  • Offers made: w/c 07 February 2022. 

For 11+ (Year 7) entry

English as an Additional Language (EAL) exam and a Maths exam are to be done in January of the year of entry. Then, an interview will be conducted in person or via Skype.

Offers of places will arrive at the end of January and deposit payment will follow. For vacancies after this, the school will arrange more tests and interviews for more applicants.

For 13+ (Year 9) and 14+ (Year 10) entry

> Key dates for entry in 2022

  • Registration deadline for boarding places: 01 January 2021
  • ISEB Common Pre-Tests to be taken at Prep Schools by mid-February 2021
  • For those not at Prep Schools, they will have to take Dauntsey’s own entrance exams: Thursday 4 March 2021
  • Taster Day and formal interviews at Dauntsey’s: Friday 5 March 2021.
  • Place offers made by Friday 26 March 2021
  • Deadline for acceptance: Monday 19 April 2021
  • Scholarships and awards assessments take place in February and March 2022
  • Dauntsey’s own entrance examinations (for late place entry): November 2021.

> Key dates for entry in 2023

  • Registration deadline for boarding places: 01 January 2022
  • ISEB Common Pre-Tests to be taken at Prep Schools by mid-February 2022
  • For those not at Prep Schools, Dauntsey’s own entrance exams are taken: Thursday 17 March 2022
  • Taster Day and formal interviews at Dauntsey’s: Friday 18 March 2022.
  • Place offers made by Friday 25 March 2022
  • Deadline for acceptance: Monday 26 April 2022
  • Scholarships and awards assessments take place in February and March 2023
  • Dauntsey’s own entrance examinations (for late place entry): November 2022

For Sixth Form entry

EAL, Maths and General Paper exams will take place in November preceding the year of entry. Then comes the interview to evaluate spoken English. 

Pupils will receive offers of places in early December, then parents will need to secure the place by sending a deposit. After this point, interested applicants can attend tests and interviews for the remaining vacant places.

Dauntsey's School Ranking

Dauntsey’s was identified by Ofsted as an “Outstanding Boarding School” in 2011.

In 2020, 51% of Dauntsey’s pupils got A*/A at the A Levels. 70% of them scored 9-7 at GCSE.

Dauntsey's School Fees

Tuition for the academic year after September 2021:

  • Day pupils £20,295 (£6,765 per term)
  • Boarding pupils £33,600 (£11,200 per term)
  • International boarding pupils £38,790 (£12,930 per term) *

* The fee for international pupils includes all English as an Additional Language (EAL) lessons, tuition, examination costs of the IELTS programme, four airport transfers per term, membership of the Dauntsey’s International Society and visa application support.

There is a 10% discount on boarding fees for the second and subsequent pupils of the same family studying at Dauntsey’s together. The fee is to be reviewed each year.


Parents will pay a £1,000 deposit upon acceptance of a place at Dauntsey’s. Parents of international pupils will pay an additional deposit of £10,000. The school will retain this deposit until the pupil leaves the school.

Payment method

The fees are to be paid in advance by the first day of each term. Should the payment be delayed, a surcharge of 1.5% per month or part thereof will occur. Dauntsey’s also offers a one-year fee advance scheme and a fee refund scheme. Please contact us for more details.

Other charges:

> Learning Support

£40/lesson for one lesson per week. If the pupil requires more lessons per week, the subsequent lessons will be charged at £30.

School assessment for exam access arrangement, including the SENA application within the access arrangement year is £200.

> English as an Additional Language (where charged separately)

Individual Lessons £26 per lesson

Shared Lessons £16 per lesson

> Music

Per instrument £35/instrument/lesson

For two or more instruments £35/instrument/lesson for the first instrument and £27/each additional instrument/lesson

Use of school’s instruments £55/term.

During school holidays, there is no charge for theory lessons or for use of school instruments when available. The instruments cannot leave the school premises unless there is adequate insurance cover from the parents. If the pupil wants to discontinue music lessons, there must be one full term’s notice in writing.

> Speech and Drama

Individual lesson £18 per lesson

Duologue lesson £12 per pupil per lesson.

Pupils can complete a graded exam at least once per year, although it is not compulsory. Exam fees vary depending on the grade.

> Moonrakers

Third Form pupils can contribute £225 to attend the Moonrakers Camp in North Wales during the Summer Term.

> Examinations

Individual entrance fees and additional administration costs of national examinations are charged individually.

> Insurance of Personal Effects

The school does not take responsibility for pupils’ personal effects when they are at school. Pupils can consider extending household insurance policies for their clothing and personal effects while at school.

Dauntsey's School Entry Requirements

Entrance examinations for international pupils include English, Maths and Science. Applicants can take it at their agent’s offices, their own school or British Council offices. Then they will attend interviews in person or via Skype in the same week.

For those who need language support, experienced English as an Additional Language (EAL) teaching staff will give them appropriate support individually at Dauntsey’s.

For 11+ (Year 7) entry

Selection is based on English comprehension and composition, Maths, and a verbal reasoning test in multiple-choice form. Prospective pupils can choose either day or boarding options.

Prospective pupils will take their own EAL exam and a Maths exam in January of the year of entry. They will then take an interview with a senior member of staff to evaluate their spoken English skills.

For 13+ (Year 9) and 14+ (Year 10) entry

Selection is based on the ISEB Common Pre-Test and interview, or the results of the school’s entrance exam. There are only boarding places available at Year 9 point of entry.

Applicants of Years 9-10 will need to take EAL, Maths and Science exams at their current schools or a British Council office. After that, they will have an interview via Microsoft Teams.   

For Sixth Form entry

Selection is based on predicted grades, school references and an interview. There are both day and boarding places available.

Besides the usual EAL, Maths and General Paper exams and an interview, Sixth Form applicants also need to achieve Band 7 at the IELTS to enter top UK universities. 

British pupils are expected to achieve a minimum of three A and three B grades at GCSE.

Dauntsey's School Reviews


“I’ve always felt I can rely on my tutor and House staff for support in academic and non-academic ways throughout my time here. I have also felt able to ask other members of staff who are not involved in my House for help too.”

Third Form pupil

“The school makes it cool to learn and we are taught to value others’ achievements too. The teachers are excellent, they are interested and interesting – and sometimes amazingly kind.”

Third Form Boarder

“Everyone is friendly and supportive. There is a great sense of community and there are loads of people to turn to for help – I’ve certainly never felt lonely.”

Sixth Form pupil

The visiting speakers broaden our knowledge and get us thinking well beyond what we need to cover for A levels. It’s a privilege to hear from leading minds – it makes you want to read more widely and get more involved.”

Dauntsey’s parent

“For me, the winning factor at Dauntsey’s is the open, friendly and fun atmosphere in the school whenever I visit.”

Dauntsey's School Accommodation

The school provides their boarders with 5 spacious boarding houses, some with ensuite facilities. 11-14 year-old pupils stay at the co-educational Manor while senior pupils stay in single-sex boarding houses. 

The communal area includes kitchens, a workspace, and a decent recreational area. Pupils from day houses share the same set of facilities, minus the bedrooms. Meanwhile, pupils from junior houses have their own on-site day centre.

Weekend life includes morning lessons, team sports and various activities such as going to the cinema at Salisbury, playing trampoline in a park, ice-skating or baking. Sixth Formers have the “17 Club” as a taster of a students’ union.

Dauntsey’s offers a 24-hours Medical Centre operated by registered nurses on the Main School Site. The Junior Boarding House also has a smaller Sanatorium run by registered nurses from 7-8.30 AM and 7-9 PM.  

Dauntsey's School Student Services and Extracurricular Activities

Pastoral Care

Housemasters and Housemistresses of each House take care of the overall welfare of their pupils. Then there are House Tutors to support and monitor how their small group of tutees from each house grow academically and socially. There are also the School Chaplain and Counsellors and a Pupil Listening Service. Pupils are encouraged to seek immediate help with issues such as school bullying.

Extracurricular Activities – Music and Drama

Drama is the school’s major strength. There are at least 7 school productions each year, which are well-known for their high standards. Recent public showcases include famous pieces such as Les Misérables and Mamma Mia.

Music is a part of the curriculum.  There are over 70 concerts, recitals, music competitions or master classes each year with opportunities for all kinds of interests. 

Pupils can choose Dance as part of their curriculum from the First to Third Forms. There is an Annual Dance Show that involves over 200 pupils. 


The girls mostly play hockey, netball, athletics, and tennis while the boys play rugby, hockey, cricket, athletics, and tennis. There are 740 team matches played each year.

The adventure spirit is well-encouraged in Dauntsey’s via a wide variety of adventurous pursuits. Moonrakers is an adventurous training programme especially incorporated in the Third Form’s curriculum. The pupils will live outward bound in Wales and choose an adventure from ocean sailing on Jolie Brise, the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award Scheme, the Devizes to Westminster Canoe Race, the Brecons Challenge and Triathlon training.

Dauntsey's School Contact Information

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