Parents considering sending their child to England to be educated, or relocating to the UK and looking for a school for young children, are often confused about the various types of school and what is available to them. Here we answer some of the questions you may have about opportunities for prep school age children to study in Britain.
There are a reasonable number of prep schools across the UK which offer accommodation for children from the age of 7 or 8. It is very unusual for pre-prep schools catering for children under 7 to offer boarding.
Parents choose boarding for young children for many reasons, for example if their work means they have to live or frequently travel overseas or if their home is simply too far from their chosen school to make a daily commute possible. Boarding offers many advantages, including plenty of time for extra-curricular activities on site without hours of travelling, and dedicated staff to ensure that children are happy and occupied outside lesson time. Of course a prep boarding school is excellent preparation for boarding later on if the parents are intending their child to enter a top public school such as Eton, Wycombe Abbey or Wellington.
Weekly boarding is an increasingly popular choice for busy families who wish their children to be educated and supervised at school during the week and then come home each weekend. For many parents this offers the best of both worlds, giving them the chance to enjoy quality time with their children at the weekend but leaving the week free for them to focus on their professional commitments. Whilst weekly boarding can be an excellent option for UK based families, international families should be wary of putting their child into a school where the majority of pupils disappear off home every weekend. However for international families relocating to London, a weekly boarding school within easy reach of the city can be an excellent choice and a good alternative to a London day school.
Some so-called prep boarding schools actually only offer weekly boarding from Monday to Friday or close the school for weekend exeats every 3 weeks, which means they are only suitable for parents who live near to those schools and can take their children home at weekends.
Yes! There are a number of prep schools which are true boarding schools and where children stay at the weekends too. Most are located in the countryside. We would only classify a school as a full boarding school if at least 25% of pupils are full boarders and at least 40 boarders stay in school at the weekend. Full boarding preps should have a busy weekend programme to keep children occupied. If there are no organised sports and activities on Saturdays for all pupils the school is likely to be more of a day school. You can read more about full boarding for prep school children here.
So, tell us your aspirations and requirements and our bespoke placement service will guide you to the best fit of school for your child. Please call to speak to an adviser on +44 (0) 1622 813870 or complete an Enquiry Form.