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

  • When should you apply to British boarding schools? | Dickinson School Consulting

When should you apply to British boarding schools?

This is a good question I am often asked, and to which there is no one answer! The fact is that we can help you find the right educational setting for your child no matter when you get in touch. 

British boarding schools with the highest demand

Naturally, there are some for which forward planning is essential and it is advisable to apply to British boarding schools such as Eton, Harrow or Winchester well in advance, years ahead of the desired entry point in fact. Some other leading schools we work with, and for which demand is extremely high, also require a good deal of advance planning. Registration for 2024 entry into Brighton College, for example, closes at 17.00 GMT on Friday 1st September 2023, so anyone interested in a place there needs to begin the enquiry process ASAP. The same would be true for some others, such as leading IB school Sevenoaks, with its registration deadline of 1st August, or Wellington and Epsom Colleges, which also have their application deadlines in September. 

However, while the options do narrow the further through the academic year we go, I am always happy to apply to British boarding schools on your behalf – even the most competitive ones – because not everyone who registers passes the assessments, and not everyone who receives an offer accepts it, so the situation can change from day to day.

British boarding schools with higher capacity 

Fortunately, alongside the top names, there are plenty of excellent boarding schools in England, Scotland and Wales that don’t reach capacity so quickly. A good number have registration deadlines within the autumn term of the year ahead of the desired entry point, and tend to make offers, notably Sixth Form offers, in early December. Many open a second round of registrations in the new year, many more accept registrations throughout the year, and some are even able to accommodate a new starter at short notice.

To conclude, I’d like to reassure you that, while managing expectations of what is possible depending on when you contact me, our conversations about your child combined with my knowledge of the best British boarding schools will help us find the right setting for them, whether that is a year or even years ahead, a couple of months in advance or, occasionally, with only weeks to spare. Contact us to start the conversation.