Offering world-class teaching, excellent facilities and pastoral care, a British boarding school is an obvious choice for gifted and inquisitive young students. Combining modern classrooms and architecture in historic buildings set in acres of woodland, children can benefit from rural surroundings while receiving excellent teaching which will set them up for their chosen future career.

In fact, U.K. qualifications are recognised and respected by universities worldwide. In 2014, 92 percent of school leavers from UK independent schools went on to higher education. In 2012, 75 percent received offers from the most elite universities in the UK  according to the Independent Schools Council Census in 2015 and 2012. Subject to the high quality standards set by the UK education authority, these schools provide students with the necessary attention and support in all aspects of their education and daily school lives.

For some parents, sending a child or teenager to boarding school can provoke some initial concerns, but choosing a private education ensures children access a comprehensive support network and cultural environment which greatly differs from the state sector – meaning that home sickness is soon long forgotten and new friendships are made.

Choosing the right boarding school will vary in accordance with an individual student’s needs, but choosing a British boarding school instantly means that children will experience the unique combination of tradition and modernity that only an independent UK education can offer.

Here are five reasons British boarding schools remain a leading choice for parents in Britain, and around the world:

1. Academic standards

Graduates from British boarding schools gain UK qualifications, recognised by employers worldwide. Small class sizes and excellent academic standards will also mean that even basic English speakers will progress quickly – even with a British accent! With strict standards established by the UK educational authority, students receive a quality education while benefiting from pastoral care, and excellent accommodation and facilities, providing an all-round exceptional educational experience.

2. Tradition and prestige

Attending British boarding schools allows students to experience British culture and heritage firsthand, while living and studying in beautiful surroundings. Often with several hundred years of prestige behind them, parents can expect that their child will benefit from the uniquely historic traditions that only independent schools can offer. Teaching traditional values alongside a modern education will stand children in good stead for the future, not only in future employment but also in relation to the development of valuable life skills.

3. A British cultural experience

U.K. boarding schools welcome children from a variety of faiths and  nationalities, creating a unique cultural meltingpot. In fact, it is this variety which makes this experience unique to the UK, as children can make friends with both domestic and international pupils. Understanding how to relate to other pupils and exchange in English forms part of the British boarding school experience, while learning new skills and talents thanks to the varied and dynamic curriculum on offer.

4. Great weekend activities

Pupils at British boarding schools can expect a varied balance of weekend activities and excursions outside of the school gates. From trips to the historical cities of Bath and Hastings, theatre and museum visits to London and the countless invitations from domestic pupils, children can benefit and experience the variety of historic cultural sites that the UK offers. This is not to mention the trips and activities provided by the schools themselves.

5. Arts and sport

From rowing to horse riding and chess to public speaking, pupils at British boarding schools won’t grow bored outside of study time. The wide variety of activities on offer during afternoons, evening and weekends helps children become more creative and confident, even helping inspire and develop skills for use in future careers. British boarding schools encourage children to have the chance to interact and share with fellow pupils while learning new skills and trying out new activities.

Read on to discover more about five of Britain’s best boarding schools, where students feel part of a larger family, and valued members of a small educational community:


Located in rural Cambridgeshire, King’s Ely ensures that pupils’ education is a continuous adventure. Students are encouraged to take risks in their learning, discovering more about the wider world and themselves. With an education steeped in British tradition, King’s Ely provides pupils with a springboard for their future education and career. International students benefit from a fully integrated and personal learning experience, living and working alongside British students wherever possible – on the stage, on the sports field and in the classroom. Community is central to King’s Ely ethos, with the cathedral providing a setting for all school members to meet and share through worship. Pupils feel part of a large family, where their needs and requirements are respected and cared for.


Since its founding in 1884, Ellesmere College has retained its individual student focus while promoting a family, community atmosphere. An incredibly friendly school, students from ages seven to 18 are encouraged to try new things and explore their potential, part of the College’s innovative and dynamic curriculum. Boarders will grow and learn within larger friendship groups, share experiences and form life-long relationships. With a wide range of activities, clubs, societies, sports, courses and performances on offer, Ellesmere pupils gain a unique educational experience.


At Uppingham School, the classroom is central to all aspects of school life. Kindness and respect go hand in hand here.  Uppinghamians learn about character and resilience, creativity and self-discipline, integrity and flexibility, while learning to become global citizens. Boys and girls aged 13 to 18 can experience an all-round education, from sport to music, forming part of the Uppingham way. The school’s 795 boarders share and develop friendships both in the classroom and at the dinner table. Uppingham pupils are nurtured and encouraged to grow, while benefiting from unique attention and an outstanding curriculum.


Situated on a 300 acre site in the heart of Perthshire, Scotland, Glenalmond offers pupils outstanding pastoral care and a dynamic curriculum in a secure and friendly environment. Pupils at Glenalmond are encouraged to achieve their full potential, while recieving the support of a dedicated teaching staff. The College’s academic program provides pupils with an outstanding basis to progress into higher education and university, while benefiting from a full seven-day school program.


Loughborough Grammar School is an internationally acclaimed independent boys school in the West Midlands, where boys are encouraged to thrive and succeed. Offering a welcoming, inclusive community environment, pupils at Loughborough leave as cultured and engaged graduates, going on to be life-long leaders with a drive to make a difference. Founded in 1495, the school is one of the oldest in the UK, with a history stretching back some 500 years. The curriculum offers boys an all-round education, while developing new academic skills and knowledge.