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11 Most Expensive Private Boarding Schools in The UK

Do you know want to know the most expensive private boarding schools in the UK? You are at the right place.

Schooling in the UK might be one of the best decisions you will ever make. The country is known for offering the best academic curriculum in the world.

There are so many schools in the United Kingdom, however, most are very expensive. This is why people say schooling in London is expensive.

In this article, you will see the most Expensive Private Boarding schools in the UK, their tuition, and how the admission process works.

Most expensive private boarding schools in the UK

Day schools are usually cheaper to study at, compared to boarding schools. This is why we will focus on boarding schools.

1. Hurtwood House, Surrey

Hurtwood House

Fees: £39,555

Founded: 1970

Mixed or single-sex: Mixed

Number of students: 150

Hurtwood House was founded in 1970 by Richard Jackson. It is an independent boarding school and sixth form located near Dorking, Surrey, England.

The school is non-denominational and offers a 2-year pre-university course for students. Usually, the students fall under the age range 16-19, and the course is mainly focused on GCE ‘A’ levels.

The main house which is an Edwardian Mansion is set on 200 acres, in the Surrey Hills. Studies are organized in 8 houses including; The Hurtwood Main House, the Lodge, Radnor Cottage, Peaslake House, Ewhurst Place, the Turrets, Beatrice Webb House, and Cornhill Manor. It is the most expensive private boarding school in the United Kingdom.

Notable Alumni:

  • Cleo von Adelsheim (Actress)
  • Nikki Amuka-Bird (Actress)
  • Kate Aumonier (Singer)
  • Emily Beecham (Actress)
  • Emily Blunt (Actress)

2. The Cheltenham Ladies’ College, Gloucestershire

The Cheltenham Ladies' College

Fees: £37,275

Founded: 1853

Mixed or single-sex: Female only

Number of students: 850

Coming second on the list of the Most Expensive Private Boarding Schools in the UK, Cheltenham Ladies’ College is not only a boarding school but is also an independent day school for girls aged between 11 to 18 in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England.

The Ladies College has been consistently ranked among the top all-girls schools in the country. No iota of doubt about the recognition as it has always provided a sound education for girls in the region.

It is also a member of the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference. The College was named Southwest Independent School of the Decade by the Times and Sunday Times in 2020.

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Notable Alumni:

  • Sophie Solomon (violinist)
  • Kristin Scott Thomas (Actress)
  • Serena Scott Thomas (Actress)
  • Katharine Hamnett (Fashion Designer)
  • Damaris Hayman (Actress)

3. Malvern St James, Worcestershire

Malvern St James

Fees: £37,125

Founded: 1893

Mixed or single-sex: Female only

Number of students: 450

Located in Great Malvern, Worcestershire, England, Malvern St James is an independent school for girls with three different sections. They include;

  • A prep department for girls aged 4-11
  • A senior School for girls aged 11-16
  • The sixth form for girls aged 16-18

It was founded in 1893 as Malvern Girls’ College and was renamed in 2006 after it was merged with St James School in West Malvern. However, the campus did not change as it still occupies the same one it was initially before the merger. It is the third most expensive private school in the United Kingdom, with a tuition of £37,125.

Notable Alumni

  • Mary Hayley Bell (1911-2005) playwright and author
  • Barbara Cartland (1901-2000) novelist
  • Jane Davidson (Former Minister for Environment)
  • Melanie Dawes (Economist and Civil Servant)
  • Imogen Edwards-Jones (Author)

4. (Joint) Tonbridge School, Kent

Tonbridge School

Fees: £36,288

Founded: 1553

Mixed or single-sex: Male only

Number of students: 790

Tonbridge School is an English Independent public school for boys in Tonbridge, Kent, England. It is a day and boarding school for boys between the age of 13-and 18.

It was founded in 1553 and is one of the oldest private schools in England. It is a member of the Eton Group and has close links with the Worshipful Company of Skinners, one of the oldest London livery companies.

For the academic year 2019/20, Tonbridge charges full boarders up to £14,035 per term and £10,529 per term for day pupils, making it the 4th and 6th most expensive HMC boarding and day school respectively.

Notable Alumni

  • Dan Stevens (actor)
  • Tim Rice-Oxley (musician)
  • Tim Waterstone (founder of Waterstones bookshops)

5. (Joint) Malvern College, Worcestershire

Malvern College

Fees: £36,288

Founded: 1865

Mixed or single-sex: Mixed

Number of students: 650

Unlike the Malvern St James, Malvern College is an independent, and coeducational private school in Malvern, Worcestershire. It is a day and boarding school at the same time. It was founded in 1865 and has remained on the same grounds, located near the town center of Great Malvern.

At the moment, there are around 650 pupils enrolled at Malvern College. The age range of students is between 13-and 19. There are also some pupils between the ages of 3-and 13 at The Downs, which is Malvern College Prep School. It is located in nearby Colwall in Herefordshire. Coincidentally, the tuition of Tonbridge and Malvern College is the same.

Alumni of the college are known as malvernians. They include two Commonwealth prime Ministers, two Nobel Laureates, an Olympic Gold Medalist, and many more. The popular novelist and author of The Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis, was also a pupil of the School.

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Notable Alumni

  • C. S. Lewis (author)
  • Jeremy Paxman (author and journalist)
  • James Jesus Angleton (former head of the CIA’s counter-intelligence)

6. Harrow School, England

Harrow School

Fees: £36,150

Founded: 1572

Mixed or single-sex: Male only

Number of students: 820

Harrow School is also an English Independent Boarding school in Harrow on the Hill, London, England. It was founded in 1572 and is a school for boys only.

The school has an enrollment of about 820 boys. All the enrolled students are full-time boarders as there is no option for day students.

Notable Alumni

  • Benedict Cumberbatch (actor)
  • Winston Churchill (UK Prime Minister)
  • Lord Byron (poet)

7. Sevenoaks School, Kent

Sevenoaks School

Fees: £36,150

Founded: 1432

Mixed or single-sex: Mixed

Number of students: 1,054

Sevenoaks School is a coeducational independent private boarding school in Sevenoaks, Kent, England. It is also the second oldest non-denominational school in the United Kingdom.

It has one of the highest enrollment in the country, with up to 1000 boarding students, with almost an equal number of boys and girls. All students fall in the range of 11-18 years.

Sevenoaks switched from A-level exams to the Baccalaureate and it was the first major UK school to do so. It is the 7th most expensive private boarding school and even charges up to £42,000.

Notable Alumni

  • Lord Jonathan Evans (Director General of MI5)
  • Daniel Day-Lewis (actor)
  • Clive Dunn (actor)

8. Wellington College, Berkshire

Wellington College

Fees: £35,775

Founded: 1859

Mixed or single-sex: Mixed

Number of students: 1,200

Wellington College is an English Independent Day and Boarding school located in Crowthorne, Berkshire, England. It also has a high amount of enrollment, which is up to 1200 at the moment.

Students are between the ages of 13 and 18. Wellington College is the 8th Most Expensive Private boarding school in the United Kingdom.

Studies at Wellington College are organized in 17 houses of which 15 are for boarding students while the remaining 2 are used for day students. The average fee paid by the boarding students is £35,775.

Notable Alumni

  • Sir Christopher Lee (actor)
  • Rory Bremner (British impressionist and comedian)
  • Sebastian Faulks CBE (Journalist and author)

9. Eton College, Berkshire

Eton College

Fees: £35,721

Founded: 1440

Mixed or single-sex: Male only

Number of students: 1,317

Eton College is an English school located in Eton, Berkshire, England. It was founded in 1440 and intended as a sister institution to King’s College, Cambridge. It is the 18th oldest Headmasters and Headmistress’s Conference (HMC) school in England. Eton is popular for its great history, wealth, and notable Alumni. The alumni are called Old Etonians.

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In addition, Eton remains the largest boarding school in the whole of England. It is ahead of Millfield and Oundle. Boarding students pay as much as £48,501 per year. The minimum amount paid is £35,721.

It is recognized as the 9th most expensive private boarding school in the United Kingdom. There is also a special admission program for boys whose parents earn a modest income.

Notable Alumni

  • George Orwell (author)
  • David Cameron (UK Prime Minister)
  • Boris Johnson (Mayor of London)

10. Wycombe Abbey, Buckinghamshire

Wycombe Abbey

Fees: £35,700

Founded: 1896

Mixed or single-sex: Female only

Number of students: 650

Wycombe Abbey is a Private girls’ school in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, England. It has options for day and boarding students but is majorly popular for its boarding school. Over the years, the school has been consistently ranked as one of the top All-girls schools in academic results.

Wycombe Abbey was founded in 1896 by Dame Frances Dove. It has a current capacity of 650 girls with each girl paying up to £35,700 per year. The age group of girls at Wycombe Abbey is between 11 and 18.

Notable Alumni

  • Rosie Alison (producer and writer)
  • Eve Best (actress)
  • Elsie Bowerman (suffragette, Titanic survivor, and lawyer)
  • Kate Brooke (screenwriter)
  • Dame Elizabeth (Butler-Sloss, British judge)

11. Winchester College, Hampshire

Winchester College

Fees: £35,610

Founded: 1382

Mixed or single-sex: Male only

Number of students: 706

Winchester College is a Private independent school located in Winchester, Hampshire. It was founded in 1382 by William of Wykeham. The school has not left its location since its establishment. It remains the oldest school of the nine considered by the Clarendon Commission as among the most prestigious in the world.

Presently, Winchester only admits boarding students but is undergoing a transition to becoming co-educational and admitting day pupils too. It is the 11th most expensive private school in the whole of the United Kingdom.

Notable Alumni

  • Hugh Dancy (actor)
  • Joss Whedon (screenwriter and director)
  • Anthony Trollope (author)

Hopefully, it’s clear that Hurtwood House is the 2022 most expensive private boarding school in the United Kingdom with tuition of almost 40k pounds. Kindly share this article with your friends and colleagues.

About Martin Vernon

A lifelong learner, educator, and advocate for education as a means for individual and social change. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a great day!

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