Eastbourne College Guide: Reviews, Rankings And More

Eastbourne College is located in a seaside town only an hour and a half from London. On the base of 150-year old flint buildings is a modern school with new classrooms and sports facilities. On top of being one of the top senior independent schools in the UK, its location gives its pupils the perks of enjoying a national park, an international tennis venue, a county cricket ground, two challenging golf courses and more, which is just a 6-minute stroll away. 

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Table of Contents

Summary Of School

  • Type of school: co-education day and boarding school
  • Age range: 12-19
  • Pupils: 650; sixth formers: 300
  • Boarders: 45%
  • Fees: Day £28,710 – £29,265; Boarding £43,740 – £44,415 pa
  • 2023 A-Level Results: 55% A*-A
  • 2023 GCSE Results: 57% 9-7

Eastbourne College Overview

Eastbourne College has created a nurturing environment for all pupils of all genders. The teaching staff aim to create an aspirational learning environment where the pupil’s creativity and ambitions are encouraged. The result is pupils who are academically successful with good-natured, kind demeanour. 

In 2019, Dame Katherine Grainger DBE officiated the opening of the Eastbourne College’s Project 150 that invests £33 million into creating one of the best learning environments in the UK to support their pupil’s education.

Eastbourne College has been preparing students for the Russell Group and had 15 graduates join Oxbridge over the last three years. Among 90% of graduates entering universities, seven out of ten pupils achieve their first-choice university. Some chose to study overseas and a few entered business apprenticeships, specialist art or grammar colleges such as the Guildhall School of Speech and Drama, ACM and University of the Arts. This shows the variety of choices that a future pupil can develop when joining the school. 

Eastbourne College Courses / Programmes

Eastbourne College offers A-Levels, GCSE – National Curriculum for England, and Cambridge Pre-U. 

The College offers mostly traditional subjects including Classical Civilisation, Greek and Latin as well as Politics. There are a total of 28 subjects for Sixth Form along with EPQ or the Gold Arts Award besides A-Levels options. The headmaster also arranges courses of necessity life skills such as cooking, driving, finance to team work, charity and resilience for his pupils, all received good words from the parents for their usefulness.

Of all A-Levels options, pupils of Eastbourne College achieve excellence in a wide variety of subjects from Maths, English, the sciences, the humanities, languages to creative arts. Half of the top achievers in Eastbourne College are girls and 6 girls from the 2020 graduates are joining Oxford and Cambridge. Among those successful graduates is Chloe Cox, who remarkably achieved five A* A-Level grades and is taking Veterinary Science at Cambridge.

Eastbourne College Application Deadline

Prospective pupils looking to enter Year 9 should register themselves in Year 5 or Year 6 to take advantage of the school’s early application offer process. Sixth Form (Year 12) applicants should arrange a meeting with the headmaster and tour the College by the end of Year 10 at the earliest or the end of the first term of Year 11 at the latest. Applicants applying to the Sixth Form for 2024 should register by 30 October 2023. Please contact us for more information.

Eastbourne College Results And Ranking

Eastbourne College is among the top 4% of schools for value-added at A-Levels. In 2020, Eastbourne College reported that 55% of pupils obtained grades A*, whereas 93% cumulatively obtained an A*-A grade. In 2022, Eastbourne College students managed to achieve the following grades in standardised tests: 54% A*-A (A-levels), 65% 9-7 (GCSE).

In the recent 2023 A Levels examinations, 55% of students scored A*-A. Whereas the 57% scored 9-7 in the 2023 GCSE. 

Eastbourne College Fees

Here is Eastbourne College’s tuition fee for the academic year commencing in September 2023:



Year 9-11 day


Year 9-11 boarding


Sixth form day


Sixth form boarding


Eastbourne College Entry Requirements

Most Eastbourne College pupils come from the allied St Andrew’s Prep which Eastbourne College is collaborating with on a bridging curriculum for Years 7-9. The basis for entering the school is a pupil’s academic ability and personal character, which can be evaluated via school report, CAT scores and a reference in Year 6. Tests are not required for Year 6 pupils.

Eastbourne College Reviews


“The school will accept children of all abilities, not just the top percentiles, which indicates a strong belief in the teaching – and bears fruit when looking at the overall exam results”.


“The highly able are stretched, encouraged and supported; those who are not so gifted are equally encouraged, supported and helped to reach their full potential.”

Mrs F - Parent

“We have had such great support from our respective housemaster and housemistress. It epitomises the community feel that we have always felt within the school.”


“If you were to measure a school in terms of the happiness and success of the children, Eastbourne College is very difficult to beat.”

Year 11 Pupil, School House

“We’re all friends. You’ll see girls from three different year groups hanging out in the common room. It’s really nice.”

Eastbourne College Accommodation

Eastbourne College provides three boys’ and two girls’ boarding houses. International boarders from around the world make up 15-20% of the boarding community.

Common rooms are spacious and colourful. There is a kitchen where the students may make food for themselves. Year 9 and Year 10s share study bedrooms, while Year 11s enjoy their own ensuite room. 

Boarding is flexible and students may choose from full boarding, weekly boarding, or simply board for the odd night at the Arnold Lodge. There are some community weekends where the pupils may enjoy sports matches on Saturdays afternoons and exciting trips on Sundays to Thorpe Park, Harry Potter World and more. 

Upper Sixth students can stay out in town on Saturday nights until 10:30 PM. Pupils are treated as adults and are expected to behave responsibly while they’re out.

Eastbourne College Student Services and Extracurricular Activities

Pastoral Care

Eastbourne College has developed a system to encourage, guide and nurture every pupil towards their best self. Their pastoral team includes the house masters and house mistresses, tutors, matrons, the deputy head, chaplain, assistant head pastoral, medical centre and school counsellor. They will work with each pupil to instill the school’s key values and develop their individual strengths. 

Each house forms their own identity to help pupils grow after classes. A non-hierarchical structure helps promote friends through the year groups and prevent bullying. The houses usually create healthy competition in debating, drama, singing and even sports. 

The pupils also have their own tutor in their house to organise their academic work, set personal targets and keep track of their progress during their time at Eastbourne College. 

There are also many programmes on teenage issues including alcohol, body image, drugs, mental health and self-esteem to support their mental growth. The school encourages recovery by putting in extra effort to assist pupils with difficulties or prior issues. The headmaster approaches the education of all children with a holistic approach. 

Extracurricular Activities

The art department here is teeming with new ideas and projects where huge canvases rest alongside pottery and fine art, and textile works are showcased in a fashion show. The College has a strong record of pupils winning the Arkwright scholarships and other national design and art awards.

The pupils here utilise their state-of-the-art Birley Centre for music, dance and much more. With a 180-seat auditorium, gallery space and an incredible recording studio, the Centre has hosted many shows from visiting artists to extend their pupils’ skills and cultural horizons. One of the most famous collaborations in creative arts is the partnership with Ballet Rambert, Glyndebourne – these include professional actors, directors, musicians, artists and craftsmen. 

The musical talents here are described as “unbelievable” with plenty of domestic performances and school open concerts. The Drama department of the College has produced high quality theatre and nurtured famous household names such as Eddie Izzard and Downton Abbey actor Ed Speleers. 

Professional sportsmen and Olympians lead and coach the pupils in Eastbourne College in athletics, cricket, fives, hockey, netball, rugby, sailing and tennis. The girls excel in tennis and hockey while the boys show off their skills at rugby. A girls’ cricket team has been newly established and the College plans to add a girls’ football team as well. There is also an aquathlon team. The College achieved the highest rate of gold awards in DofE in Sussex. 

There is also community service which starts in Year 10 for the pupils to take on new challenges, train their teamwork as well as contribute to the community with volunteer work in charity shops, schools and old people’s homes.

The £33 million Eastbourne College’s Project 150 has just been completed with a myriad of supporting facilities including:

  • 32 state-of-the-art classrooms
  • Two technology suites
  • Cricket pavilion with live-stream video analysis
  • Dance studio with sprung floor and ceiling recess for ballet lifts and throws
  • Large Sport England compliant sports hall (5 badminton courts long) enabling year-round multi-sport training
  • Sport England compliant six lane 25m indoor swimming pool
  • Fitness suite for elite and inclusive participation, comprising cardiovascular machines (skiing, rowing, running, spin bikes and cross-trainers), free weights and cross-fit area, sprint track, and stretching / Pilates area
  • Two glass-backed squash courts
  • Alfresco-feel dining hall
  • Tim’s Cafe, including comfy sofas, widescreen HD TV, full barista service and WiFi for catching up on studies (ideal preparation for university and beyond)
  • Stunning entertainment and exhibition spaces.

Eastbourne College Contact Information

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