“Great oaks from little acorns grow.”
14th century proverb

  • What is the cost of British boarding school? | Dickinson School Consulting

What is the cost of British boarding school?

The financial aspect of sending a child to boarding school in England, Scotland or Wales is a key consideration, and something families often ask Gina about. In this blog we offer some guidance on the range of costs, including the extras to take into consideration.

Boarding fees vary tremendously, from around GBP 9,500 to GBP 15,500 per term, depending on a number of factors, such as a school’s location, whether the IB or A Level curriculum is offered in Sixth Form, and if an EU/international supplement is charged. It is worth noting that fees lower down a school are usually less expensive than in the upper years, and that full boarding is more expensive than flexi or weekly boarding. EFL lessons and/or learning support, if required, are sometimes charged as an extra, as are individual music/drama/dance/riding lessons, if desired. These costs also vary depending on the need or activity, and we are always happy to enquire on behalf of our clients.

On top of the termly fees, at the outset parents need to budget for a registration fee of around GBP 150-200 and a deposit, which for parents residing abroad is usually one term’s fees. This is held for the duration of attendance and refunded following the completion of studies, net of any outstanding charges. It also costs roughly GBP 400 to GBP 500 to purchase school uniform and sports kit, although there is often a dress code instead of uniform for Sixth Form, so students’ own clothing may be suitable. 

In terms of travel and permissions, families need to pay for ferries/flights and transfer between (air)ports and school, as well as the study visa required for international students. For example, EU students wishing to stay longer than 6 months need a child study visa, which currently costs around GBP 363, plus an additional GBP 470 for the immigration health surcharge, which gives access to the National Health Service during their stay. In addition, British boarding schools require their international students to have a UK based educational guardian in case of an emergency. If the child in question has a nearby relative or family friend, great! Otherwise, a company needs to take on this role at a cost of about GBP 1,000 per year for basic on-call emergency guardianship cover, up to around GBP 4,000 for a comprehensive service, including exeat weekend stays, etc.

It does all add up but, in better news, there are discounts available, usually in the region of 5% to 20% but occasionally more, where schools offer sibling discounts, discounts for UK government workers, or partial scholarships for students gifted in a particular area or areas, as well as means-tested bursaries for families with lower incomes. Again, we are always happy to ask the question on clients’ behalf.

This is a lot to take on board, which is why it makes sense to seek guidance from an experienced British boarding school consultant. Contact Gina to find out more.