Boarding School Education
Welcome on board?
Most Naval families move home together, so children go to new local schools whenever the family go to a new area. However, some parents prefer to enrol their children in boarding schools, where learning standards & continuity of friendships can be assured, although at some expense to family life together. When considering boarding, families need to think carefully about all the pros and cons. A helpful professional organisation, The Children's Education Advisory Service, encourages contact from parents and they have been able to offer many families helpful advice on these and other education matters over the years.
Phone: 01980 618244 - CEAS
Help with fees
Recognizing how unpredictable life in the Navy can be and how it affects children, the Royal Navy offers money to help pay school fees for families who choose to place their children in boarding schools. This is claimed as Boarding School Allowance (BSA), which goes a long way towards paying the fees of boarding schools.
More Information: Educational Allowances
Help with fees - Greenwich Hospital
Greenwich Hospital is the Royal Navy's oldest charity. A Crown charity established by Royal Charter in 1694, it provides charitable support to serving and retired men and women of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines and to their dependants, including the education of their children.
The Hospital owns the Royal Hospital School, a co-educational boarding school at Holbrook near Ipswich, principally for the children and grandchildren of naval and other seafaring families. Also it makes some other educational grants.
If you are a serving member of the Royal Navy or Royal Marines you are eligible for educational support from Greenwich Hospital at the Royal Hospital School. This support does not depend on whether or not you are eligible for Continuity of Education Allowance (CEA) (formerly Boarding School Allowance).
If you are eligible for CEA, this will go most of the way towards the fees at the Royal Hospital School.
If you are ineligible for CEA, you are eligible for a means-tested bursary at the Royal Hospital School.
If you are ineligible for CEA and are unable to take up a place at the Royal Hospital School (for example if you have special educational needs), you may still be eligible for an educational grant to assist with attendance at another school suitable to your needs.
For further information go to:
Web site: www.grenhosp.org.uk
Web site: www.royalhospitalschool.org
Types of School
As a parent you have a selection of schools to consider in both the independent and 'maintained' sectors of education. The types of school you choose for your child will depend on the age you wish him/her to start boarding. The schools can be placed under the following headings:
Independent Preparatory Schools - age 7 to 13+
Independent Senior Schools - age 11+ or 13+ through to 16 or 18
Independent Integrated "All Age" Schools
Maintained Schools - age range 11 to 18+
Preparatory schools prepare children for entry into more senior (Public) schools at the age of 13+. Normal entry is at age 8 or 9 and pupils are generally prepared for the Common Entrance Examination taken at 12+.
UK Prep Schools offer parents a staggering variety of style and choice and a visit is essential before a final decision. In general, as they are dealing with very young children, these boarding schools make much of the care they offer through creating a friendly, family type, boarding atmosphere with house parents. All try to give pupils access to the widest range of activities in and out of the classroom. Classes tend to be small and there is normally a strong emphasis on sport and games, or at least outdoor activities. But many of these schools are expensive with fees much higher than the 'junior rate' of services Boarding School Allowance.
Independent Senior Schools (Public Schools)
Independent Senior schools offer a good choice to parents of children aged 11+ to 16 or 18 and may be single sex or co-educational. Entry is usually at 11 or 13. This usually depends on completing an exam (mostly Common Entrance) and facing an interview. In some cases a previous school report and interview are all that is needed.
Independent Integrated Schools
Independent Integrated schools are schools with their own preparatory schools. The schools may be called the same and be co-located or be quite separate. They provide education for children between the ages of 7/8 on through to 16 or 18 (though a few do not have sixth forms). These schools clearly offer the best continuity of all.
Maintained Boarding Schools
It is a common myth that boarding is only offered in independent (private) schools. This is not the case: boarding is offered in a number of state maintained schools. In addition, maintained boarding schools only charge for boarding fees; tuition is free, paid for by Government. The Department for Education and Skills produces the 'Parents' Guide to Maintained Boarding Schools' publication, this can be downloaded from The Parent Centre by clicking the link below:
Web site: Maintained Boarding Schools
Independent Schools Council Information Service
This is the official website for the 1,300 UK schools accredited by the Independent Schools Council. This site is provided and maintained by the Independent Schools Council information service to help parents find the right school for their children.
Web site: Independent Schools Council Information Service
The Scottish Council of Independent Schools (SCIS)
The Scottish Council of Independent Schools (SCIS) promotes and supports the significant contribution made by independent schools to education in Scotland. Within the web site you will find full and comprehensive details of all independent Scottish schools represented by SCIS. You can search for a school's details by specific categories and by location, email an online school and visit its own website.
Web site: The Scottish Council of Independent Schools
The Boarding Schools Association
The Boarding Schools Association is a UK based association, aiming to promote quality boarding school provision in all types of boarding schools. It encourages high standards of welfare for boarding pupils in its member schools as well as offering a consultancy service to parents and young people considering boarding education.
Web site: The Boarding Schools Association
Children's Education Advisory Service
Choosing a suitable school for your son or daughter can be difficult. Most parents gather as much information as possible before making a choice. You can obtain further advice and assistance through the Children's Education Advisory Service who provide specialist advice and assistance for Service families on all aspects of education, including choosing a school.
Phone: 01980 618244 - CEAS
Boarding School Links
The links below may be of assistance in helping you to identify a school that suits your child's educational needs. This is not an exhaustive list of links and you will find much more available on the Internet!
Web site: Boardingchools.co.uk
Web site: Serviceschools.com
Web site: Boarding-schools.com