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What school year can my child join a UK boarding school?

8+ or Year 4

This is the start of five years at boarding prep school for those preparing for entry into top senior boarding schools. These private boarding schools in England offer a unique environment that promotes academic excellence, personal growth, and independence.

Some boarding preps start as early as Year 3 or 7+, they usually offer flexi or weekly boarding options. This could be a great way to introduce young children to the boarding experience while still allowing them to spend time at home.

10+/11 + or Years 6 and 7

Joining a prep school for two or three years before entering a senior boarding school at 10/11+ has become a common practice for children from international schools overseas. This is because the academic standards and requirements for entry into top senior private boarding schools in England are often very high.

11 + or Year 7

For certain boarding schools (all-girls, London-based, and some with their own junior schools), Year 7 is considered the first year of senior school. These schools also often allow for entry at 12+ or Year 8.

13+ or Year 9

In most traditional boarding schools, the entry year is at 13+ (or Year 9), with a majority of children coming from feeder schools. Additionally, senior boarding schools that have an 11+ entry requirement will also have an intake at 13+.

14+ entry or Year 10

Some children, particularly those from overseas, will join a boarding school for the start of the two-year GCSE programme, spending four years at boarding school. Places are very limited for this intake this year.

16+ or Year 12

The start of sixth form marks the beginning of two years at a boarding school before heading off to university. For those coming from overseas, some boarding schools offer a three-year sixth form program, which allows students to join in Year 11 or 15+.

How can we help you find the right private boarding schools in England?

Our team of education consultants can help you and your family navigate their way through the boarding school admissions process. From working out the best joining year to shortlisting your top choices for private boarding schools in England. Get in touch with our team today to get started.

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