UK boarding school admissions tips

Information and advice on boarding school applications and admissions deadlines: what you need to think about before submitting an application for your child.
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Visit before applying

Before you apply to a school, it is highly recommended that you and your child visit it to see if it matches your expectations.

Most schools hold open days once or twice per academic year, allowing prospective students to visit the campus and the facilities and talk to teachers and the headmaster in a casual way.

Some boarding schools also organise taster days where students can spend the night and take part in a few clases in order to experience what life as a boarder is like.

Apply well in advance

In general, the application process begins in September of the year before entry, although popular schools were competition for boarding places is very high may require you to apply as much as 2 years in advance.

The deadline for application is often before Christmas.

You can apply to as many schools as you wish, but note that some may ask for a non-refundable application fee or deposit.

Exceptions to the deadlines

Although deadlines are often very strict, circumstances at individual schools will change throughout the year.

For example, a student may decide to leave the school or decide to switch from boarding to day school. This means that places may come up at any point in the year.

While you shouldn‘t base your plans on mid-year availability, it’s always worth getting in contact with a school to see if there are places available, even if the application deadline has passed.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements vary from school to school but your child will most certainly be required to sit a test or exam and take part in an interview during the spring term before entry.

International students can also be required to take an English exam or join an English language course before or after enrolling.

For more information on entrance exams please check our article Admission Tests Guidelines

Find out more

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