How to Choose a Private Senior School (Ages 11- 18)
How to Choose a Private Senior School (Ages 11- 18)

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Best Senior Schools

There are approximately 1500 independent senior schools in the UK, which educate children from the age of 11 or 13 up to 18. 

Boarding Schools

Private senior schools may be day schools, boarding schools, or a mixture of both. There are very few true 'full' boarding schools now where virtually all students reside in the school 7 days a week during term-time. The majority now offer a choice of full, weekly or flexi-boarding to meet the diverse needs of the modern family. 

Most of the famous British boarding schools, including world-famous boys' schools such as Eton, Harrow and Winchester (often known confusingly as 'public schools') take students from the age of 13, whereas girls' boarding schools and the many co-ed boarding schools take children from the age of 11, albeit with a further entry point at 13+ in most cases.

For further information, see Boarding School Advice, or download our free eGuide on How to Choose a Boarding School.  

Day Schools

Senior day schools, including most top London schools, have their main entry point at 11+, although there are some notable exceptions to this, including Westminster and St Paul's.

Sixth Form

'Sixth Form' refers to the final two years of senior school, and most independent senior schools have a thriving sixth form community and expect most of their students to progress into this final critical stage prior to university or employment. However, it is very common for students to look for a change at 16+ and virtually all private schools accept applications from external candidates to join their sixth form. 

A number of students will also consider joining a private sixth form college to take A-Levels. For more information about this option download our eGuide on 'Choices at 16+', see our Sixth Form page, or speak to one of our consultants. 

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