Different types of schools, what you need to know


Essentially there are 5 types of boarding school: prep schools, senior schools, independent sixth-form colleges, international study centres and state boarding schools.

Preparatory or 'prep' schools cater for students between the ages of seven and thirteen years, they are traditionally known as preparatory schools because they prepare students for senior school.  Some prep schools are attached to a senior school offering an education from age 4 through to 18 years of age.

Prep school students generally transfer to senior school between the ages of eleven and thirteen.  Senior schools provide three entry points, students aged eleven enter Year 7, students aged thirteen enter Year 9 and students aged sixteen enter Year 12.

Independent sixth-form colleges cater for students of age sixteen to nineteen and bridge the gap between school and university.  Most independent sixth-form colleges are co-educational and encourage independence in their students.  They  offer GCSE, A-Levels, International Baccalaureate, vocational BTECs and University Foundation Programmes.

International Study Centres cater for foreign students, preparing them for life at UK boarding schools.  The study centre provides the same curriculum offered in a traditional boarding school but places greater emphasis on English language skills.

State boarding schools are an option for British and EU passport holders, the family pay a boarding fee and the tuition is paid for by the UK Government.  There are 37 state boarding schools across the UK and entry is competitive.

Posted: 13.05.2016
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