England is one of the few European сountries with boarding schools, and their quality has gained worldwide recognition. This level of education - not just in traditional subjects but in sports, music and art too - is second-to-none in quality and diversity and provides the perfect environment for children to develop well-rounded personalities.
Traditionally located in rural areas with beautiful landscapes, boarding schools don't just provide a place to learn, but a place to live. Facilities are an important aspect to consider when choosing a boarding school; the very best have well-equipped classrooms and residential buildings, as well as libraries, swimming pools, golf courses, workshops, equestrian grounds and plenty more.
Tuition fees range from £30,000 - £42,000 a year; this varies based on numerous factors including location, available facilities and type of school.
Full boarding: Children live and study within school grounds all year round, returning home only during holidays and exeat weekends. This option is ideal for foreign children, or for English children whose parents spend a lot of time travelling or working.
Weekly boarding: Children live and study within school grounds from Monday to Friday and return home on weekends. This option is generally chosen for children whose parents live in the UK or nearby enough to make the regular travel viable.
Flexible boarding: Children who elect this option stay overnight at boarding school several times a week, though the days may change depending on their age, time of the academic year and school commitments.
Daytime only: No overnight accommodation is included in this option. Children attend classes and are free to make use of the school’s facilities and catering for extended hours, but live at home.
There are many non-residential private schools in London and the UK’s other major cities, some of which (Westminster School, St. Paul’s School and others) are world-famous institutions. Day schools of this calibre tend to produce outstanding alumni, and so only accept candidates who possess excellent academic knowledge as well as a near native-level command of the English language. The admission process of such schools involves multiple exams and interviews.
It’s worth noting that not all day schools are licensed to sponsor foreign students under Tier 4 (Child) visa.
England is one of the few countries in the world that still provides gender-separated education for boys and girls. One only has to look at the annual rankings to see the merit of this system, in which single-sex schools usually outnumber their mixed-gender counterparts.
Proponents of educating boys and girls separately point out that this helps promote concentration on their studies, and also provides a more stable environment in which children can develop confidence and independence.
Conversely, some argue that mixed-gender schools actually foster greater social skills, and better prepare their students for life outside of education.
When deciding where to send your child, you should always have long-term goals in mind. Perhaps this goal is to give your child the best possible chance of entering one of the UK’s best universities, or perhaps you may be more interested in developing your child’s interest in art or sports.
The most important consideration of all, however, should undoubtedly be the extent to which your chosen school is a good fit for your child. Even the greatest school in the world would struggle to get results from a child who isn’t engaged, so it’s crucial to find a school where your child will be happy, confident and receptive.
Astra Education will help you choose the school that fits your goals and provides your child with an environment in which they can thrive and achieve their maximum potential.