Independent schools

There are approximately 500 independent boarding schools in the UK. Independent schools can also be referred to as ‘private schools’; the two terms mean the same thing. Unlike state schools, independent schools do not rely on the UK government for funding but are instead independently funded by tuition fees, donations, endowments or a combination of all three. Another distinctive feature of independent schools is that unlike state schools they are not required to follow the National Curriculum, but instead set their own curriculum, which is often more demanding than the National Curriculum. As a result, independent schools generally offer a much higher standard of education than state schools and on average students achieve better academic results.There is a wide variety of independent schools in the UK, all very different in their approach to the education and care of children.

The majority are independent boarding schools, however not all have boarding facilities, some are independent day schools. When choosing from the independent day schools and independent boarding schools in the UK,  it’s important to choose very carefully, taking all factors into consideration, for example fees charged, location and future prospects.

Our team can advise anyone who needs help deciding which school is right for them. If you would like assistance with your applications to independent day schools and independent boarding schools in the UK, please contact us with your requirements.



Reasons why parents from the UK and overseas choose to send their children to independent boarding schools in the UK include:

  • High exam success rate
  • Higher standard of education
  • Up-to-date teaching methods
  • Small classes
  • Wide choice of subjects
  • Wide range of sports and social activities
  • Excellent facilities
  • Wider choice of qualifications (for example, some independent schools offer IGCSE’s instead of GCSEs, and/or International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB) instead of A Levels)
  • Education from an early age (some pre-prep schools start as young as 4)
  • Specialist schools for children with extraordinary educational requirements
  • Character-building environment

There are four stages in the independent boarding school education system:

Some international students wishing to study in the UK may require additional help with their English language before progressing to A level or International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB). In this case, they may be required to take a pre-A Level Course.


Recommended links

Bootham School

Caterham School

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