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

Sutton Valence School

Sutton Valence, Kent, England

Sutton Valence School, Sutton Valence, Kent, England | Dickinson | British Boarding School Consulting

Sutton Valence School

Sutton Valence, Kent, England


Sutton Valence School, Sutton Valence, Kent, England | Dickinson | British Boarding School Consulting

Founded in 1576 by William Lambe and set in 100 acres of Kent countryside, Sutton Valence is one of the country's oldest established schools, and its gracious historic buildings are complemented by modern extensions and facilities. The school has core academic, co-curricular, leadership and community programmes which create a diverse and holistic education. Pupils are encouraged to demonstrate self-confidence, kindness and commitment and to engage in the close sense of community.

At a glance

Age range: 11 to 18
Total no. of pupils: 588 / Boys: 371 / Girls: 217
Percentage of boarders: 21%
Percentage of International pupils: 7%
Pupils in Sixth Form: 174
Average class size: Senior school: 16 / Sixth Form: 14
Sixth Form termly boarding fee: 22/23 £12,170
Top 6 sports:
Boys: Rugby, Hockey, Cricket, Athletics, Swimming, Tennis
Girls: Hockey, Netball, Rounders, Swimming, Athletics, Tennis
Linked prep/junior school: Yes
Nearest major airports: Gatwick (72km), Heathrow (105km)


Sutton Valence's broad curriculum includes over 24 subjects at A Level, as well as the EPQ and the BTEC in Public Service. Teaching staff value enjoyment alongside hard work and achievement, and have a caring, individual approach. The school is consistently in the top 10% nationally for value added, with pupils achieving at least half a grade more at A Level than predicted. On average around 60% of A Level candidates achieve A*/B and a third of students progress to Russell Group Universities.


Sutton Valence's concept of community is at the heart of its boarding environment. The 4 boarding houses, each with their own caring and distinct atmosphere, are run by houseparents who live on site with their families, supported by a team of tutors and a matron. Alongside supervised prep sessions and full access to school facilities, students from varied backgrounds and nationalities enjoy a vibrant boarding life with interhouse competitions, social events and organised clubs and activities.


Sport is central to life at Sutton Valence and two-thirds of pupils take part in weekend and mid-week fixtures. Former elite athletes bring a competitive edge to the enthusiastic coaching team and a Talented Athlete Programme offers pathways to a sporting life. Facilities include playing fields, an all-weather athletics track, 2 sand-dressed all-weather pitches, 6 tennis courts, a 25m swimming pool, a sports centre and a gym. Extra-curricular (but competitive!) sports include archery, fencing, and golf.

Creative arts

Music and Drama are an important part of school life with regular concerts and productions giving opportunities to perform, dance, design and direct. Pupils also enjoy organised trips and performance tours abroad, and can be entered for external music and LAMDA examinations. Achievement in Art is high, with work showcased annually at a London gallery. Facilities include the Baughan Theatre, purpose-built music rooms, a dance studio and a DT department equipped with laser-cutter and 3D printer.

Did you know?

  • Notable alumni include 'The Mighty Atom' Sydney Wooderson, erstwhile world-record holder for running the mile; and Joseph Friedman, inventor of the flexible drinking straw.
  • The School raised an outstanding £60,000 to rebuild the Shree Tamang Secondary School in Dhading, Nepal after it was destroyed by an earthquake.