Frequently asked questions
Attending a boarding school for a longer period is exciting and there is probably a lot that you want to know. It is natural to want to be confident that your child will be in good hands while they are staying at the school. Asking a lot of questions is part of the decision making process. Here you will find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about attending British boarding schools.
This depends on whether the accommodation you choose is at a boarding school or in a host family. Every school has guidance counselors and tutors who deal with the students’ problems and concerns. In the boarding houses, the houseparents are always there for the students. Likewise, students who stay in host families will have their host parents. A personal guardian can also be the person to turn to with questions. And you can be certain that we will be able to help you throughout your child’s stay.
When the student’s parents do not have a permanent place of residence in the UK, most schools ask the parents to name an adult guardian who will represent the parents during the term or school year. Guardianship can be assigned to a family member or friend. There are also agencies that offer this service at an additional charge. Some schools do not require their pupils to have a named guardian. We will advise you of the schools’ requirements and help you find a guardian if necessary.
All English students go to school until the academic year in which they turn sixteen, and then compulsory school education ends with the GCSE examinations. Most of the young adults in England and Wales then either decide to do A-level exams or the International Baccalaureate (IB). Most schools in Scotland offer the Scottish Highers and the equivalent in Ireland is the Leaving Certificate.
There are many different schools in the UK. Some are very academically demanding and expect excellent grades from applicants. However, there are other all-round schools that also accept and support teenagers with less good grades.
You should certainly have some English skills, but the private schools in particular offer excellent language development opportunities for foreign students. Therefore, students whose English is not yet at a high level can apply with confidence.
Besides the core subjects such as maths, science and English, British schools offer a lot of more unusual subjects. For example, you can choose subjects like design and technology, psychology or business studies. However, subjects like Latin are less common, so you should let us know if specific subjects are important to you.
Sports play an important role at English schools. They are offered as both leisure and high-performance options. There are opportunities to take part in nearly every sport; for example horse riding, golf, swimming, tennis or even sailing, judo or dance. The sports that have traditionally been most important in private boarding schools are rugby, rowing, hockey and cricket. We can certainly help you find a great school for football or for many other sports.
That depends on the boarding school. Most boarding schools are closed during the holidays, as the students usually go home to their parents. However, some schools will allow students to stay during the holidays.
Students in the UK usually wear a school uniform until the end of the year in which they turn 16. After that, they are typically required to wear business clothing. In some schools students wear the uniform even longer. All students in Ireland are normally expected to wear a school uniform.
This depends on the school. We can currently offer attendance at a school in England combined with accommodation in a host family for £4,750 per term. In Ireland the equivalent costs between 4,800 and 5,000 euros. Attendance at a private boarding school costs at least £6,500 per term, with £8,000 Pounds being more usual. At state schools the minimum stay is one school year, which means three terms. The cheapest option for this currently costs £9,500 per school year.
All private schools offer scholarships which are open to applicants from other countries. However the requirements are quite high and there is a strict deadline for applications. We will be delighted to offer our assistance with this.
The boarding schools offer transfers from and to the airport. Sometimes these are included in their standard prices, but sometimes there is an additional charge. If you decide to stay with a host family our partner organization will arrange transfers for you.
Our local partners know the host families best. They select and then regularly check on the host families. To make sure that you find a suitable host family, you should fill out the registration form as accurately as possible and make sure you give the organizers as many helpful details as you can.
If a student is not happy with the family they have been placed with, our local partner will be there to assist and advise them. If a change of family is necessary, it can be organized quickly and easily.