State Boarding Schools

Would you like your children to experience life at boarding school?

Do you worry about the costs?


State Boarding Schools offer high quality state-provided education with boarding offered at a fraction of the cost of an independent school.  Just like with any state education the government pays for the education so your bill just covers the boarding aspect of life.  This can be between £3,000 and £4,000 a term (as opposed to independent boarding schools which are around £10,000 a term)

For some people boarding schools are a practical solution where both parents work or there has been a breakdown in the family structure.  For others they choose to research a boarding school because they appreciate what it can teach students outside of the classroom whilst still offering stability in a caring and nurturing environment.


Boarding can offer a range of out of school activities that promise a tailored, unique experience for each child.  For some children who are perhaps doing extra sport training out of school hours it can provide an opportunity to stay at school rather than long commutes or late home arrivals.

Results from the state boarding schools regularly out-perform other state schools and many top the league tables.  One example is Sexeys which has been ranked the top performing state school in Somerset, Dorset, Wiltshire, Devon and Cornwall at GCSE (82% A*-CEM) and their students have also achieved excellent A-level results (65% A*-B) and university offers, including Oxbridge.

Tatler has once again produced a list of the Top State Schools featuring 11 primary schools and 21 secondary schools. Hockerill Anglo-European College in Hertfordshire, Sexey's in Somerset and Keswick School in Cumbria are included.  The ever popular Cranbrook School in Kent was listed in 2015.


The head of Keswick, Simon Jackson said of the inclusion "It’s nice to be recognised on a national platform but all we are concerned about is ensuring all our students achieve their potential and become outstanding, articulate and distinctive young people."

Most of the State Boarding Schools offer ages 11-18 although there is one that is 13-18 years and two with primary boarding and one with 11-16 years.  Most are mixed although there are a couple with single sex and some are selective.  All of them are limited to children who are nationals of the UK and are eligible to hold a full UK passport, or those who are nationals of other European Union countries or those who have the right of residence in the UK. Admissions are done for boarding places by each school but generally catchment areas do not apply in the same ways as for day places.


As Irfan Latif, head of Sexey's said “Long gone are the days when children were ‘sent away’ to boarding schools in fear. Boarding schools feature frequently in the list of the country’s most successful schools, bred not only from the very best teaching, but also from what is learnt outside of the curriculum.”

Despite the best efforts of The State Boarding Schools’ Association (SBSA:, these schools are still relatively under the radar but should not be ignored.  If you’re looking for an all round state education you could do worse than to study the map showing where these State Boarding Schools are located.

 List of State Boarding Schools 

State Boarding Schools


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