Boarding in the UK

UK boarding schools have consolidated their position as world leaders in education. UK boarding schools provide more than just good qualifications and a route to university; they provide students with a wealth of opportunities outside the classroom.

The top boarding schools in the UK provide students with unparalleled academic preparation coupled with guidance and access to world class sporting, cultural and leisure facilities, within a structured, focused environment.  

As well as providing a stable academic pathway to university, the school environment also help to shape the maturity and social responsibility of the student, preparing them for life in ways that living at home often can not.


Lucan Education is vastly experienced in helping international students enter the best schools in Britain, at all age groups and from all starting points, with a record of excellent results. 

There are more than 500 boarding schools in the UK, the majority of which charge similar fees. However, a quick glance at any of the published 'league tables' or similar guides show a wide spectrum of academic results at GCSE, A' Level and IB, which means that there is a very clear 'preferred group' of schools for academically focused parents. Likewise this has created intense competiton at the top. 

Boarding schools can be divided into three categories:

Competitive, Selective & Non-Selective. 

We typically only work with schools which are Competitive & Selective. 


Competitive Schools are an elite group of high-achieving schools which are characterised by extremely high exam results, and demand for places. 


The entrance process for these schools typically follows a three-year cycle (beginning as young as 9 years old for 13+ entrance) encompassing pre-testing, interviews and entrance examinations. For such schools there can be as many as 5 - 10 applicants for every place. 

These schools often stipulate that children must have studied a minimum of two years in an English-medium school (either international school, or school in an English-speaking country), and have an immaculate academic record as well as a strong extra-currciular profile.  The examinations in English Literature and Mathematics are often much harder than the standard for the year group. 

Selective Schools encompass a wider group of schools that have an 'above average' academic entrance requirement, and maintain focus on optimising students' results in their final examinations in order to enter first-choice universities. 


The entrance procedure is shorter (normally beginning 18 months before entry) and although the entrance exams and interviews mirror those for competitive schools, pre-testing is not a stipulation. There are can be up to 5 international candidates for each place as such schools employ quotas for international students. 

Candidates for selective schools must display a satisfactory level of academic ability, but such schools can make individual allowances for talented students from international backgrounds, taking into account their linguistic ability, academic record and extra-curricular profile.  The examinations in English Literature and Mathematics are often challenging for the year group, with no seperate papers for foreign students. 

Non-Selective Schools make up the largest group of schools. These schools traditionally do not only focus solely upon students of above-average academic ability, but rather look to provide optimal education to children from a wide spectrum of abilities. 


The facilites and teaching at such schools is often of a good standard, though the overall average examination results are inevitably lower than other groups of schools as higher numbers of applicants naturally gravitate towards more competitive schools. 

The entrance requirements for non-selective schools are based upon the minimum skills required for a student to integrate into the classroom, with students required to pass minimum requirements in mathematics and English Literature (or with alternative tests in English for international students in some schools).

How we can help?


We understand that all parents wish their children to fulfill their academic potential, and the key point of reference for us when helping to select a school is the academic abiliy of the student; we begin each assignment with a unique assessment of each student's key academic knowledge and skills. 


Taking into account the time remaining for preparation and other factors, we can then formulate an acadmemic strategy and study plan for the student. In parallel we can begin academic preparation.

Following a logical, informative and systematic school selection process, the next step is registration and administration, organisation of visits, and finally, interviews and tests.


The time frames for these processes depend on the individual schools and  point of entry. 

Please contact us for further information.