Which is the Best British Boarding School?

The UK is renowned for the high quality of its education system.
But with so many fantastic schools, how do you decide which one
is right for your child?

Fettes College
Stonar photo

Placing your child in UK education

With over 450 boarding schools in the UK, there is a huge variety of specialisms and styles. The options are endless!

Not everyone learns the same way and not every boarding school will suit your child. Our team works with a range of boarding schools and we can help you find the school where your child can flourish.

Academic Families is based in the UK and we regularly meet with pupils and parents as well as boarding and academic staff. We’re on a first-name basis with many staff members at boarding schools throughout the UK and we understand what they are looking for when they evaluate student applications.

Due to our history and personal connections, we also understand how much the student experience varies from school to school. This helps us to make the best match between your child and the school.

Our UK-wide network extends to hundreds of schools, including those in city locations and those in more rural, classic settings as well as those that might specialise in sports, music, performing arts and more.

We will be happy to assist you to find the right placement for your child, whatever your needs and requirements might be.

Selecting the right school in the UK

Academic Families’ highly personalised school placement service ensures that international students get the most out of their UK educational experience.

We’re on the ground in the UK and regularly meet with schools across the country, so we know the differences and details that make each school special.

There are several different types of British school curriculum offered throughout the UK. Since our staff have graduated from British schools and because we maintain regular contact with schools across the country, we are able to guide you through the complexities and simplify the UK school system for you.

Through an in-depth consultation with you and your child, we will present you with a customised selection of schools that best fit your needs, and we’ll work with you to facilitate the placement process.

Academic Families

Getting to know you and your child

It’s best to begin looking for a school about 18 months before enrolment, but late applications can still be placed.

Your first step is to contact us so we can begin learning more about what you are looking for, and then create a customised plan just for you.

Finding the best match for your child

You can think of Academic Families as your personal matchmaker.

We have experience in matching each individual student to the right school, and each student to the right host family.

Academic Families’ highly personalised school placement service ensures we meet your expectations for your child’s happiness, safety and successful education.

Our services include:

  • In-depth consultation to ascertain your aspirations for your child’s education as well as their academic and extracurricular interests and strengths.
  • Initial interview and pre-assessment with your child so that we can advise specifically about their level of English and Mathematics.
  • Explanation of the different qualifications on offer – A Levels, International Baccalaureate, BTecs or Scottish Highers. There are several different types of British school curriculum offered and they are all valid for entry to universities worldwide, and we will advise on which one may lead to the greatest success for your child.
  • Overview of the entrance and scholarship requirements of individual schools.
  • Careful selection of a range of schools for you to consider and advice on your child’s start date.
  • An introduction to schools and assistance with arrangements to tour schools if you choose to visit them.
  • Assistance with the school application and registration process to ensure your child is presented at their best and in the format each school prefers.
  • Advice and placement for English language courses that might be needed prior to the start of an academic term.
  • Advice and placement at pre-session academic courses or extra tutoring.
  • Advice and placement at short courses offered during school breaks or in the summer.
  • Advice on British and school culture and general expectations so your child is well prepared from the start.
  • Ongoing support after entry to your selected school through our AEGIS guardianship care.
Students in Art lesson

Our placement process

Academic Families works with a range of educational institutions across the UK and we help families just like yours every day.

We understand how the boarding school placement process works and our team is eager to show you what to expect along the way.

In addition to boarding school placement, we also advise on short courses and university applications - helping your child throughout every stage of his or her academic journey.

Whatever your child’s interests and abilities, there will be a school just right for them - let us help you find it!

Our 10 step process to enrol in a UK boarding school

  • Step 1

    Complete our School Placement Enquiry form.

  • Step 2

    We schedule a call (usually over WhatsApp, Skype or Zoom) to learn more about your child and what you're looking for in a school.

    We also invite your child on the call so we can hear straight from him or her. This lets us get to know your child's personality and language skills so we can make sure we suggest schools where he or she would fit in best.

  • Step 3

    You send us some paperwork including recent school reports, a passport copy, and our signed agreement.

  • Step 4

    We begin our research process, combing through hundreds of schools to find the best boarding schools for your child. Then, we send you our recommendations for your consideration.

  • Step 5

    We arrange your required school assessments, preferably at your current school.

    If you'd like to see some British boarding schools in person, we can also organise school visits.

  • Step 6

    We help you make your final selection of schools to apply to and we manage the admissions process and paperwork for you.

  • Step 7

    Offers are in! We review which schools accepted your application and help you decide which to enrol in.

  • Step 8

    We manage the enrolment process including advising you when and how to pay the school deposit. We can also support your visa application to ensure your documents are handled in a timely fashion.

  • Step 9

    Take off! You'll receive our excellent Parent and Student Handbooks, and we'll make sure you and your child have everything you need in preparation for their journey to their UK boarding school.

  • Step 10

    Your child settles in to boarding school life, and Academic Families continues to support you with our Guardianship Services until your child finishes school.

Understanding the UK education system

Not all boarding schools in the UK follow the same curriculum or teaching style.

Most boarding schools offer A Levels and follow the English curriculum regardless of whether they are located in England or Scotland. Some also offer the IB curriculum or BTechs, and some boarding schools offer a Scottish Highers curriculum. All of them will provide entry level qualifications to British and international universities, and Academic Families can gladly talk you through the advantages and benefits for your child.

Contact us to learn more about the different academic curriculum options in UK secondary schools.

Quality you can trust

Academic Families has both personal and professional experience with boarding schools which extends back to our days when some of our staff were students, all the way through to sending our own children to UK boarding schools.

Most of us are mothers and have also lived overseas, so we understand how important it is to find the very best education for every child no matter where that might be in the world.

Many members of our team have also taught in boarding schools and managed international schools abroad. Today, we regularly visit hundreds of schools across the country and we look after international student boarders throughout the UK.

Our excellent knowledge of the UK education system and British Council agent qualifications means we understand UK boarding education from the inside and out, and know how to match the right school to your child.

In addition, our guardianship service is fully accredited by AEGIS (the Association for the Education and Guardianship of International Students) so you know your child will have the best local support anywhere in the UK.

AEGIS accreditation
British Council
UK English Partner Agency
MHFA England
Academic Families

Guardianship services - Looking after your child at their British boarding school

Getting into a UK school is only the first step; looking after international students while they are here is just as important.

If your personal network doesn't extend to local support near their chosen school, then you will need the services of a guardian agency. Most schools require you to appoint an AEGIS accredited agency to ensure quality support.

UK regulations require students under the age of 16 to appoint a guardian and most boarding schools require their international students to have a guardian regardless of their age. You still need a guardian even if your child is a full time boarder to ensure they have support out of school or when they are staying with a host family, and especially when they are travelling.

Academic Families provides both AEGIS accredited guardianship care and host family services so we can support you properly to make sure your child is safe, happy and successful.

More education options for you

Tapping into Academic Families' expertise to place your child at a top boarding school will speed up your research and save you time and stress.

But our support doesn't stop there! We can also recommend a pre-sessional course to ensure your child is well prepared to start boarding school.

Plus, we can arrange a programme of school visits and interviews if you'd like to see some British boarding schools in person.

Academic Families also helps you find short-term taster experiences and summer programmes. And for children who are unable to return home for half terms, they can join one of our cultural activity half term escorted holiday trips or take an Easter revision course before their exams.

Education isn't only for children, as we can even organise intensive English courses for parents too. During your course, you might also enjoy living with your tutor, which lets you maximise your learning experience.

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