Ipswich School Review: Rankings, Fees And More

In the tranquil countryside of Suffolk, England, Ipswich School, established in 1399, exudes a timeless charm that is matched only by its dedication to modern education. Beyond its long and storied history, Ipswich School’s true uniqueness lies in its emphasis on smaller class sizes, a testament to its commitment to providing individualised learning experiences. This introduction invites you to discover Ipswich School, where the echoes of history resonate alongside a commitment to innovation, and where students thrive in a nurturing and closely-knit educational environment.

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Table of Contents

Summary Of School

  • Type of school: Co-education school
  • Age range: 3-18
  • Pupils: 800
  • Boarders: 65
  • Fees: £14,929 per term for full boarding
  • 2023 A-Level Results: 48.2% A*/A
  • 2023 GCSE Results: 63% 9-7


Ipswich School was established in 1399. The school is well-known for the academic success of its pupils. The school is proud of its smaller class sizes with Lower School classes typically having around 20 pupils per class. Its Middle School has no more than 24 pupils in each class, and the average A-Level class has between 10-12 pupils, with 15 as the maximum.

Ipswich School is one of the first schools in the country to have an engineering department called the Leggett Technical Studies Centre, which was opened in 1973. Other school facilities are excellent with a brand new Music School, the extensive Ipswich School Sports Centre, a specially-built Prep School and a recently-opened day nursery – The Lodge. 

Despite not being listed as a religious school, it believes in supporting the community by hosting a significant community programme. School’s pupils would visit local care homes, perform music and drama, grow vegetables for local charities and host a large fundraising programme each term.

Among some of the more interesting facts about the school is that Ipswich School is the only school mentioned by Shakespeare, the famed British writer, in Henry VIII, Act iv, Sc. 2 in a reference to Cardinal Wolsey.

Ipswich School leavers typically enter various leading universities in the UK such as the University of Leeds, Durham University and the University of Manchester. In 2021, four pupils entered Oxbridge while four others went to study medicine and three more went overseas to Czech, Hong Kong and the USA. Some alumni took up apprenticeships in the aviation, telecom and property industries.

The school has educated plenty of outstanding alumni in various fields: Thomas Wolsey, Cardinal, Archbishop of York and Lord Chancellor of England under Henry VIII; Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk, the English commander at the battle of Flodden; The novelist Henry Rider Haggard; Sir Edward Poynter, President of the Royal Academy; the pioneering neuro-physiologist and Nobel Prize winner Sir Charles Sherrington; scientist, author and broadcaster Dr Adam Rutherford; and England and GB Hockey players Hannah Martin.

Ipswich School Courses And Programmes

Ipswich School offers GCSE and A-Levels.

Pupils have a fairly wide choice of GCSE subjects, some of which can start as early as Year 9. Year 11’s have additional work experience requirements, which can be facilitated through the school. 

Sixth Formers can choose from 27 A Level subjects including Economics, Politics and Psychology. Moreover, there is also the choice of a BTEC in Sport and Exercise Science for keen pupils. Furthermore, pupils can also take part in The Edge – a Level 3 qualification in Leadership and Management with enriching subjects such as politics, law and EPQ as well as a week away at an outdoor study centre in South Devon.

Ipswich School Deadline

Entrance Test and Scholarship Information for September 2025 entry into Year 9

Assessments will be held in January 2025 for entry in the following September. The assessments consist of a Non-Verbal Reasoning test, papers in Mathematics and English and a short interview with the Headmaster.

Year 9 applicants can choose to sit Common Entrance exams, run by the pupil’s current school, in early June, instead of our exams.

Prospective pupils may apply for scholarships in music, sport and art; all-rounder and academic scholarships are also available.

Ipswich School Rankings And Results

According to the 2023 league table, Ipswich School currently ranks 91 in the country. The 2023 A levels and GCSE results are as follows:

  • 2023 A-Level Results: 50% A*/A
  • 2023 GCSE Results: 63% 9-7

Ipswich School Fees for 2024-2025

Tuition fee


 Per Term (£)Annual Fee (£)
Senior School
Years 9 – 13£6,995£20,985
Years 7 & 8£6,406£19,218
Preparatory School

Years 5 & 6

Year 4





Years 3 (including lunch)£5,486£16,458
Years 1 & 2 (including lunch)£4,993£14,979
Reception (including lunch)£4,235£12,705

Boarding fee


These fees include all tuition fees, meals, EAL lessons, insurance and administration charges. UK/Domestic boarding rates will be charged net of EAL lessons and overseas related administrative charges. If you are interested in temporary boarding, please contact the school.

 Per Term (£)Annual Fee (£)
Full Boarders
Years 9 – 13£14,929£44,787
Weekly Boarders
Years 9 – 13£13,488£40,464



Years 4 – 13£5.99 per day
Emergency Lunch £7.50 per day
Available for Senior and Prep pupilsPaid on a daily basis (in the Dining Hall)
Years 1 – 6£5.47 per day (supervised Breakfast Club)

Late Stay Charges


Upper Prep

£6.46 per session (short session)

£10.48 per session (long session)

Lower Prep£9.48 per session (until 5.00pm)
£12.71 per session (until 5.30pm)

Ipswich School Entry Requirements

For Prep School entry

Children can join the Reception Class in the latest September after their fourth birthday. The required age by 1st September of each year group is five years old for Year 1, six years old for Year 2 onwards.

The child should pass an assessment based on numeracy, literacy and behaviour suitable for their age group.

The family should also submit a confidential reference from the child’s current school.

For Year 7 entry

The interested pupils must undergo an entrance exam including a reasoning test, a Mathematics and an English test.

The pupil must submit a confidential reference from their current school before the entrance exam.

For Years 9 entry

Candidates can take either a Common Entrance Examination in June or the schools’ own exam in February.

Candidates also need to submit a confidential reference from their current school before taking the entrance exam.

For 2023 entry, applicants will take online assessments in Reasoning, English and Maths, including applicants for the all-rounder scholarships. Academic Scholarship applicants will take part in an online interview.

Year 9 applicants may also choose to sit for the Common Entrance exams run by the pupil’s current school in early June.

Entrance in Year 8 and Year 10 are also available with age-appropriate exams.

For Sixth Form entry

Entry to the Sixth Form will be evaluated based on a candidate’s GCSE grades, an interview with the Headmaster and a school reference. The candidate is expected to achieve grade 7s in the GCSE subjects that he/she wishes to take at A-Level as well as a minimum of six grade 6s overall. 

Pupils who do not meet those grade requirements will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

For international entry

For Year 9 or 10 entry

Interested applicants must sit for entrance tests in Maths, English and Non-verbal reasoning before attending an interview, which can be done via Skype if required.

For Year 12 entry

Candidates do not need to sit for entrance tests but will have to attend an interview which can be conducted via Skype.

Ipswich School Reviews


“I used to have to drag – almost literally – my son to the local primary school. Within a few weeks at the Prep he was pulling me there every morning.”


“What a legend and an inspiration! I have really, really appreciated your inspirational teaching and wide knowledge (of just about everything) as well as your warmth and wisdom.”


It’s often been said that it’s not the subject matter but the teacher that gets people interested in a subject. For me, it was wholly the teacher… you have been an inspiration and you’ve always pushed me to do my best.”


“Sending our son to Ipswich School is probably one of the best decisions we have ever made. We have to consider the fee by far the best money that we have spent even though it has meant we have had to make sacrifices.”

Ipswich School Accommodation

Ipswich School offers one large boarding house called Westwood for the younger students and another one at Anglesea Heights for Year 13 boarders. While the younger Westwood boarders share bedrooms, the older ones can have their own rooms. Meanwhile, the Sixth Formers enjoys more private rooms with ensuite toilets and shower facilities.

All boarding houses share a welcoming lounge and IT suites. Westwood boarders have a large astroturf pitch and Sixth Formers can practice in their own music rooms.

The houses are located in the centre of Ipswich and were reviewed on “TripAdvisor’s Choice Awards” as the one location where “there’s no better way to get an immersive taste of English life, a destination that’s managed to keep its historical charm intact”. It is multicultural with international pupils from various countries around the world: Hong Kong, China, Malaysia, Argentina, Russia, Germany, Belgium, the UK and more. 

On the weekends, boarders can stay in their boarding houses or visit family friends and guardians with their parents’ consent. On Saturdays, they can learn English before brunch in the mornings, play football in the afternoon or go to the beach and visit shops in town.

Ipswich School Student Services and Extracurricular Activities

Pastoral Care

The tutors at Ipswich School contact their pupil’s parents within the first fortnight of a new term to establish a channel of communication. Then they work closely with the Heads of House and senior leadership team to best support their pupil’s needs. The Matron, chaplain as well as school office staff and estates team all provide extra care to ensure all individual pastoral needs. The school also trains their staff on mental health first aid should there be any relating issues arise.

Extracurricular Activities

The school pushes pupils to experience different extracurricular activities on both the artistic and sporty sides. There are multiple clubs for all year groups from debating to the Athenaeum programme. There are various activities both domestically and internationally for all year groups. For example, Sixth Formers can have a six-day art and religious studies visit to Italy, while Year 8 students can visit Cumbria for an adventurous residential visit and Year 12 students can learn life skills in South Wales. 

Music and Drama

A third of the total pupils take individual instrumental lessons and over half of them play in various orchestras, ensembles and choirs throughout the year. The school hosts an annual Ipswich School Festival of Music attended by world-famous musicians, including Old Ipswichians. There is a state-of-the-art purpose-built music school with its own concert hall and recording studio to best serve its pupil’s musical needs.

The drama department boasts the presence of professional musicians at their own theatre. The Lower School enjoys a production each year while the Senior School performs all year round. Their costumes are skilfully crafted and the backstage technician teams put on flawless lighting and sounds for all their performances.

Art students can study subjects such as textiles and photography. DT is a compulsory subject for Years 7 and 8 and a popular GCSE and A Level choice for Sixth Formers.  


The wide variety of sports at Ipswich are the highlight of each season: hockey and rugby in the autumn, netball and hockey in the spring season, and cricket and athletics are the star of the summer. Most age groups have produced county champions and national finalists in hockey and cricket for both sexes. But pupils can also enjoy non-competitive sports and a well-equipped gym as well. The school’s sports department is proud of its four alumni who are in the Great Britain Olympic Team. Sports facilities are well-invested with a cavernous hall for indoor hockey, netball, basketball and more, courts for fives, a yoga studio and plenty of playing fields as well as sports pitches nearby for all lessons and training needs.

Ipswich School Contact Information

  • Official website: https://www.ipswich.school/ 

  • Phone call: +44 01473 282800 (Preparatory School); +44 01473 408300 (Senior School).

  • Email: [email protected] (Preparatory School); [email protected] (Senior School).

  • Location: 3 Ivry Street, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP1 3QW (Preparatory School); Henley Road, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP1 3SG (Senior School).

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