UK boarding schools provide a limited number of offers each year, so it is recommended to start preparing for the application at least one year early. Where possible, visit schools or meet with representatives from the school who often visit UKEAS offices and events. It's never too early to start planning!

Parents are advised to plan early to learn about school curriculum information. They can decide whether a school is suitable for their children by visiting the school or by letting the children participate in the summer school camp to understand the school more and experience the learning environment and school facilities. In addition, due to the limited number of applications for top boarding schools, children can study preparatory courses such as Pre-A Level, which lays the foundation for language and develops students' strength. Students also become familiar with the culture, and then transfer to other schools.

Your current school performance is very important, especially for schools with higher rankings. In addition to school performance, UK boarding schools are also place importance on entrance exams and references.

The school will evaluate which year children should enter the school according to the student's age. For the age standard, please refer to the following table:




USA and Canada



Primary School

Year 1



Primary School

Primary 1

Year 2

Elementary School

Grade 1


Primary 2

Year 3

Grade 2


Primary 3

Year 4

Grade 3


Primary 4

Year 5

Grade 4


Primary 5

Year 6

Grade 5


Primary 6

Secondary School

Year 7

Middle School

Grade 6


Junior High School

Grade 7

Year 8

Grade 7


Grade 8

Year 9

Grade 8


Grade 9

Year 10 (GCSE)

High School

Grade 9


Grade 10




Senior High School

Grade 11 (STEM/ HUMMS)

Year 11 (GCSE)

Grade 10


Grade 12 (STEM/ HUMMS)

Further education /Sixth Form

Year 12


Vocational Education

Grade 11

Year 13


Grade 12



Year 1

Higher Education

First Year





Year 2

Second Year




Year 3

Third Year



Year 4

Graduate School

Master (Taught/Research) 1 year



Graduate School

(2 years)


Graduate School

(2 years)



(at least 3 years)


(3-5 years)



It is a course for UK boarding school students starting in year 10 and completing in year 11. The course lasts for 2 years. Students need to take exams at the end of the course and get the GCSE certificate. In some schools it is possible to take GCSE or IGCSE exams in one year.

Generally in A-level you study fewer subjects but at a greater depth.  IB, covers a wider range of subjects.  Both qualifications are accepted equally at all UK Universities.

IB courses usually require students to choose at least six courses + Theory of Knowledge, and at least three of the six courses are high-level ones. In addition to the requirements for course selection, IB also requires students to complete 150 hours of extracurricular activities within two years.

IB has its own scoring system and 45 is the highest score, 24 is the pass mark. The A-Level courses are scored at the traditional ABC level.

International students can study either A-level or IB. Some schools teach IB or A-level only and some teach both.  Your counsellor will help to advise you on options.

Yes, students at UK boarding schools are required to have a guardian who acts as a 'local parent' to the child. Guardians arrange services such as airport collection, homestay during holidays and many more. Some schools offer their own guardianship.

Tuition fees vary from school to school, but approximately £30 – 40,000. Please note that this fee does not include guardian services.

The two systems both have their own advantages and disadvantages, depending on which type of education students and parents prefer. Of course, in a mixed (Co-educational) school, girls and boys are taught together however separated in their boarding houses

Generally schools that have larger numbers of full boarders make weekends more exciting for students as they have more friends around and usually the school provide more entertainment. Parents should pay attention to the number of full boarders in the school and to the proportion of international students.

Although some boarding schools accept children aged 7-8, most children enrol later. In the UK, usually at 14 or 16. Some schools are flexible, others are not. Schools in the UK will determine the grade of the student by age on September 1. 6th Form colleges usually only take older students, 14/15 and older.

All schools offer a wide range of academic subjects to prepare students for GCSE, A-Level or IB exams. Some also may have a very good art, drama, dance, sports department. If your child has any particular interest. Please speak to your counsellor so that they can advise you on suitable schools. At traditional boarding schools, they often have larger co-curricular, on site facilities than 6th form colleges.

Every school is different and range from large countryside campuses with elegant, traditional buildings to smaller more compact, town/city based schools. Those in the countryside often have larger campuses, therefore more room for the students to play and for sporting and leisure activities. Most schools however have close links to the local community. The best way to choose the best environment for your child is to visit and compare a few schools. UKEAS are happy to help you plan your visit to some schools.

Most boarding schools require a certain level of English to enter the school but many provide additional language classes to support the students once they arrive. Some students study at a specialist study centre for one or two terms before starting at their main school to improve their language and get used to life in a boarding school.

Scholarships are available at many schools to attract the highest quality students. They can be academic, sporting, musical or artistic and are very competitive. Scholarships will usually require an exam and an interview.