Boarding schools (ISC website)

Most children in the independent sector are day pupils – in ISC schools, 438,398 (86.6%) are day pupils. They often come from a wider geographical area than those at state day schools. Sometimes the children live 15 or 20 miles away. If day schooling would best suit your child, you can use our School Search to help you make a list of schools within reasonable travelling distance from your home. Consider rail and bus links and if you like the look of a school, but it seems difficult to get to, check whether it runs its own bus service, as many do. If not, there may be other parents in your area with whom you could share the travel.

But you may want to consider the benefits of a boarding school education; don't dismiss it just because it is unfamiliar to you. You have a wider choice of schools and you avoid the trouble and expense of daily travel. Boarding schools will not suit every child, but it is fun and most children enjoy living away from home during term-time. Many children have a mixture of day and boarding experience - often in the same school.

Don't be put off by stereotypical images of boarding school favoured by the media or reminiscences of those who boarded many years ago. See modern boarding schools for yourself: you will soon understand why they are so popular with today's boarders.

Weekly or flexible boarding has become a popular option in recent years. Children go home each weekend and this often suits families where both parents have jobs. It might even be an improvement on the limited 'quality time' parents are able to provide during a busy working week. Most parents choose boarding schools within an hour's journey from their homes; if they are likely to be moved abroad or to another part of the country, they might choose boarding schools near relatives or close friends.

To help you with choosing a boarding school for you child try putting together a list of the boarding schools which might be suitable. Most boarding schools admit day pupils as well. Your child could start as a day pupil but enjoy the flexibility of being able to convert to boarding later. Many day children, particularly in preparatory schools, take the opportunity to be occasional boarders for a few nights a year.

Source: Independent Schools Council

For more information on boarding schools please visit

For a list of boarding schools registered with Ofsted please visit


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