From mindfulness coaching to Swahili lessons and a sushi-making club: Tatler reveals its annual pick of the UK’s best prep and public schools (with ‘Hippie Hogwarts’ in Wales commanding the biggest fee at £16,750 per term)
- Tatler has unveiled its annual Schools Guide showcasing world-class educational institutions for children aged four to 18 – though many ask eye-watering fees
- This year UWC Atlantic College – Hippie Hogwarts – demands highest at £16,750
- Other schools on the list offer lessons in skiing, Mandarin and a beekeeping club
As children head back to the classrooms, society bible Tatler has unveiled its annual pick of the best prep and public schools in the UK.
The publication’s Schools Guide 2022 showcases the world-class educational institutions on offer for children aged four to 18 – though parents will have to dig deep, as unsurprisingly many come with eye-watering fees.
Schools that offer Mandarin, Swahili, mindfulness coaching and therapy dogs all make the yearly guide – as does one that boasts a Feminist Society and another with a beekeeping club.
UWC Atlantic College in Wales, often referred to as ‘Hippie Hogwarts’ and increasingly popular among European royals, topped the list when it came to fees, charging an eye-watering £16,750 per term. Dulwich College wasn’t far behind at £15,078 a term for boarders.
Gordonstoun School in Scotland, attended by the late Prince Philip and Prince Charles, also made the list, where pupils are able to sail its 80ft yacht.
There are dozens of fee-paying primary and secondary schools in Tatler’s guide, available in the October edition of the magazine, but here FEMAIL shares a selection of the most impressive…
Alleyn’s School (mixed)
Term fees: £6,275
Currently 10 per cent of pupils at Alleyn’s School in south London receive means-tested financial assistance, and entry to the senior school is assured if they attend the junior one
With new head Jane Lunnon at the helm, Alleyn’s School in Dulwich, south London places focus on fun as well as learning. Students are encouraged to partake in Swahili, fish tank and unicycle clubs while parents praise its community spirit.
Currently 10 per cent of pupils receive means-tested financial assistance, and entry to the senior school is assured if they attend the junior one – a big plus given its 11+ entry is heavily oversubscribed – with a number of students going onto prestigious universities in the US, including Brown and Harvard.
DLD College (mixed)
Term fees: day £8,223; boarding: £14,723
This London school’s futuristic building, located opposite the Houses of Parliament, matches its progressive vision; here there is no uniform and pupils call teachers by their first names.
It pioneers a ‘modern alternative to traditional boarding schools’, with a student body made up of 57 nationalities, and it champions intolerance, supports a local East London foodbank and children’s hospital, and offers its students ‘life coaching’.
Courses range from fashion management to digital media production and its alumni includes Fleabag star Phoebe Waller-Bridge.
This London school’s futuristic building, located opposite the Houses of Parliament, matches its progressive vision
Francis Holland Regent’s Park (girls only)
Term fees: £7,150
Joan Collins, Tamara Ecclestone and Emilia Fox all attended FHRP, which head Charles Fillingham insists is ‘the finest school in London’ and now boasts a newly revamped Sixth Form centre.
The arts scene is thriving here, with 12 concerts produced every year and many students going on to complete Art Foundation courses.
It also has an active Feminist Society and its Women of Influence lecture series attracts high profile speakers including Professor Patricia Daley, VP of Jesus College, Oxford.
Joan Collins, Tamara Ecclestone and Emilia Fox all attended Francis Holland Regent’s Park, which head Charles Fillingham insists is ‘the finest school in London’
Lady Eleanor Holles (girls only)
Term fees: £7,246
Results continue to impress at this school in Hampton, with 85 per cent of GCSE grades hitting 9-8 and 87 per cent of A-Levels A* to A in 2020.
Pastoral care is pivotal here, with students offered mindfulness training, an annual wellbeing day, talks for parents on substance missuse and a therapy dog called Barney who had a cameo in the school’s pantomime.
Mandorin and computer science are now on its increasingly diverse timetable.
Results continue to impress at Lady Eleanor Holles, with 85 per cent of GCSE grades hitting 9-8 and 87 per cent of A-Levels A* to A in 2020
Merchant Taylors’ School (boys only)
Term fees: £7,175
Head teacher Simon Everson has a vision that every student at his school will go on to be the ‘person you want to sit next to at the dinner party’ by the age of 40.
This North London day school offers watersports including dinghy sailing, kayaking and windsurfing and made national news when its Design, Engineering and Technology department helped produce more than 12,000 PPE face shields for NHS workers.
It also boasts an artist-in-residence, a kiln and pottery wheel and a strong sense of community.
Head teacher Simon Everson has a vision that every student at Merchant Taylors’ will go on to be the ‘person you want to sit next to at the dinner party’ by the age of 40
Ardingley College (mixed)
Term fees: day £8,395; boarding £12,552
This school in West Sussex boasts its own reservoir, so it’s unsurprising that watersports are among the 160 clubs and societies on offer. Parents say headteacher Ben Figgis has taken it ‘to the next level’ in recent years.
The school won the TES Science School Project of the Year with its solar powered car which pupils then drove across Australia. There are plans in the pipeline to open a school in China in the future.
This school in West Sussex boasts its own reservoir, so it’s unsurprising that watersports are among the 160 clubs and societies on offer
Benenden School (girls only)
Term fees: £13,616 (boarding)
Attended by the Princess Royal, it’s easy to see why this Kent school, set on 240 acres of countryside, appealed to the outdoors-loving royal.
Pupils are encouraged to eschew stereotypes and race self-built cars, earn thousands of pounds in Dragon’s Den style initiatives, climb mountains and do parachute jumps.
Boarders enjoy weekend pool parties and murder mystery dinners, and Bedenden won the 2021 Tatler Schools Best Food Award after it sent brownies to its alumnae who were stuck in university halls during lockdown.
Attended by the Princess Royal, it’s easy to see why this Kent school, set on 240 acres of countryside, appealed to the outdoors-loving royal
Caterham School (mixed)
Term fees: day £6,875; boarding: £13,710
Located within the Surrey Hills, this 200-acre campus school offers rugby tours to Dubai, choir tours to Prague and a wide variety of clubs including beekeeping, puppetry and gender sexuality alliance.
It had a record number of applicants for 2021, with eight per cent of its leavers going onto Oxbridge universities. Alumni include the actor Angus Deayton and conductor Geraint Jones.
Located within the Surrey Hills, this 200-acre campus school offers rugby tours to Dubai, choir tours to Prague and a wide variety of clubs
The King’s School Canterbury (mixed)
Term fees: day £9,165; boarding: £12,985
The King’s School is the oldest in the country and a World Heritage Site, with services held in Canterbury Cathedral. The music department is, unsurprisingly, a popular attraction and its 12 music scholarships are hotly contested.
Drama is also big on the school’s curriculum and it adapted well to Covid, staging productions in outdoor settings around the Cathedral Precincts. The school regularly raises upwards of £45,000 a year for charity and its clubs are broad in their appeal – from sushi making to Russian culture.
The King’s School is the oldest in the country and a World Heritage Site, with services held in Canterbury Cathedral
Radley (boys only)
Term fees: £13,375 boarding
With an on-campus art gallery and extra-curricular activities ranging from opera appreciation to wine tasting and flight simulation, Radley in Oxfordshire is a historic school with a modern outlook.
It also features a Countryside Centre which provides experience of animal husbandry, which is popular with students.
The school will soon publish a book about its history called Untold Stories to mark its 175th anniversary.
With an on-campus art gallery and extra-curricular activities ranging from opera appreciation to wine tasting and flight simulation, Radley in Oxfordshire is a historic school with a modern outlook
Wellington College (mixed)
Term fees: day £10,380; boarding £14,210
Founded in 1853, this Berkshire school boasts lessons in Happiness and Positive Psychology which it’s even extended to parents.
Sporty students benefit from 16 rugby and football pitches as well as a climbing wall and nine-hole golf course, as well as an outdoor pool where some take part in the Maniacs challenge, swimming two lengths before 7:30am.
The school even has its own TV channel, WTV, where budding journalists can present news programmes.
Founded in 1853, this Berkshire school boasts lessons in Happiness and Positive Psychology which it’s even extended to parents
Term fees: day £8,005; boarding: £12,995
Green-fingered pupils thrive at this Devon school, where gardening is one of the most popular extra-curricular activities.
Students have planted up raised beds, nurture their crops in polytunnels and have established a pond, while they also run a cafe selling soups and smoothies made from their produce.
Its Christmas Olympics during the pandemic featured a tree-throwing competition, while punishments at the school involve writing essays on a subject chosen by a prefect, such as ‘the taste of oxygen’.
Green-fingered pupils thrive at this Devon school, where gardening is one of the most popular extra-curricular activities
Term fees: £9,252 day; boarding £12,608
Dorset’s ‘best kept secret’ – according to one parent – boasts in excess of 140 clubs, including robotics and clay pigeon shooting, with strong hockey and cricket teams and a thriving performing arts scene.
It takes a holistic approach to education and rewarded its pupils last year with an ice rink installed in the grounds for 10 days along with a shepherds hut serving hot chocolates.
Its Saturday school is set to be replaced by a new LEX programme with a focus on excursions and exploration.
Dorset’s ‘best kept secret’ – according to one parent – boasts in excess of 140 clubs, including robotics and clay pigeon shooting
Malborough College (mixed)
Term fees: £12,985
Attended by the Duchess of Cambridge, Marlborough students are a well-rounded bunch. One of its pupils recently became an Olympian while two play lacrosse for England and the polo team won the intermediate section of the national championships.
It has just opened a new Innovation Centre set to teach STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) in a new, more dynamic way.
Attended by the Duchess of Cambridge, Marlborough students are a well-rounded bunch
UWC Atlantic College (mixed)
Term fees: £16,750
Colloquially known as Hippie Hogwarts, this school in the Vale of Glamorgan is proving increasingly popular among young European royals.
The future Queen of Spain, Princess Leonor, and Princess Alexia of the Netherlands (who is following in her father King Willem Alexander’s footsteps) were among its most recent cohort, with the college’s 356 pupils coming from 90 different countries.
As such, its attraction to parents is diverse friends and experiences for their children – many of whom go on to an appropriately diverse group of universities across the world.
The future Queen of Spain, Princess Leonor, pictured, and Princess Alexia of the Netherlands were among UWC’s most recent cohort
Oundle School (mixed)
Term fees: day £8,090; £12,630 boarding
Attended by England rugby player Tom Curry, this Northamptonshire school boasts a state-of-the-art sports centre housing a 50m swimming pool as well as a 70 station fitness suite and dance studio.
It describes itself as a school with a big heart, and supports The Exchange podcast in which activists discuss issues such as body image and consent.
Attended by England rugby player Tom Curry, this Northamptonshire school boasts a state-of-the-art sports centre
Term fees: day £8,150; boarding £13,164
It hails itself a place for forward thinkers, but Uppingham in Rutland – once attended by Stephen Fry and Rick Stein – is not short of quirky traditions.
Head boys and girls can keep a goat on the Head’s Lawn and the entire school takes part in an annual run called the Routh which dates back to 1895.
It recently produced a ‘West End standard’ 120-strong production of Oliver and offers a Space Club which is working towards launching a probe.
Uppingham hails itself a place for forward thinkers, but Uppingham in Rutland – once attended by Stephen Fry and Rick Stein – is not short of quirky traditions
Term fees: day £9,950; boarding £13,750
Attended by both the late Prince Philip and Prince Charles – who described it as ‘Colditz in kilts’ – this remote Scottish school appears to place a greater emphasis on fun than it used to. For Movember, a maths teacher grew a moustache in the shape of pi.
Its character-building ethos puts emphasis on children finding their passion, be that sailing its 80ft yacht or making furniture. Dance is also compulsory for all students.
Attended by both the late Prince Philip and Prince Charles – who described it as ‘Colditz in kilts’ – this remote Scottish school appears to place a greater emphasis on fun than it used to
Yarm School (mixed)
Term fees: £4,691
This Teesside school offers an abundance of co-curricular activities ranging from debating and journalism to mindfulness.
The Duke of Edinburgh Award is very popular among students, with 15 achieving the Gold Award last year. The school has also developed its own junior version called the Yarm Baccalaureate.
It also runs an eco-week to encourage pupils to think about environmental issues, including no-meat Monday to highlight the problem of greenhouse emissions from meat production.
This Teesside school offers an abundance of co-curricular activities ranging from debating and journalism to mindfulness
…and the very best prep schools
Broomwood Hall (mixed)
Term fees: Upper £7,140; lower £5,820
Girls now play rugby, football and cricket thanks to a new enrichment programme at this London school, while at the lower school, coding, street dance and yoga clubs are on offer to pupils.
Pembridge Hall School (girls only)
Term fees: £7,815
This Notting Hill school recently introduced current affairs lessons for its Year 5 and 6 pupils which are proving such a hit that some girls have set up a lunchtime club to continue their debates.
Headteacher – and father-of-two primary school age daughters – Henry Keighley-Elstub is well-respected and has a hands-on approach with good emotional understanding of raising girls, according to parents.
Thomas’s Battersea (mixed)
Term fees: £7,810
Attended by Prince George and Princess Charlotte, it’s no surprise this south London school boasts impressive academic results, facilities and excellent sports teams.
Up to 90 per cent of pupils play an instrument and every child is involved in one of its nine annual theatre shows.
Attended by Prince George and Princess Charlotte, it’s no surprise this south London school boasts impressive academic results, facilities and excellent sports teams
L’Ecole de Battersea (mixed)
Term fees: £4,800
This bi-lingual and bi-cultural Franco-British prep school in south west London now boasts a state-of-the-art air purifier system – installed two years ago.
The hospital grade kit not only reduces pollution but can filter out airborne virus droplets including Covid-19.
Cottesmore School (mixed)
Term fees: £9,950
The headteacher of this West Sussex school used to be in a band with Lewis Capaldi’s songwriting partner, and is now in numerous rock bands with pupils.
Cottesmore also offers animal care – from tending to atlas moths to corn snakes – code club or join the student-led Kindness Council which runs a ‘lone diner’ policy which ensures no child eat their dinner on their own.
Milbourne Lodge School (mixed)
Term fees: £5,385
This small yet diverse Surrey school surrounded by woodland sees children – who between them speak more than 15 languages – enjoy art lessons in a field, go foraging or get covered in mud during cross-country.
It hosts an annual Dickensian evening, where the garden is lit up by fairylights, and Christmas jumpers are a must.
New College School (boys only)
Term fees: £5,900
This Oxford school offers weekly wellbeing lessons and has partnerships with schools in Sweden and France. One of the oldest schools in the world, it’s set for a multi-million pound revamp in the coming years.
New College School in Oxford offers weekly wellbeing lessons and has partnerships with schools in Sweden and France
Saint Ronan’s (mixed)
Term fees: day £6,208; boarding: £7,499
Run by a husband and wife team and set in a Victorian pile on 249 acres of land, pupils at this Kent boarding school are encouraged to climb trees and tend to its farm animals.
All teachers are trained in mental health first aid and the school has its own meditative garden.
Port Regis (mixed)
Term fees: day £7,250; boarding £9,760
Two Dorset Down sheep and bantam chickens roam this countryside Dorset school set in 140 acres. The headteacher and his wife have recently rewilded the parkland and constructed an open air stage in the rose garden, with a barn their next target for regeneration to provide more activity space.
Abberley Hall (mixed)
Term fees: day £6,200; boarding £8,200
This Worcester school’s annual sports day features a tradition whereby eggs are hurled across the field by a specially designed catapult.
Outdoor education is a big deal, with a treehouse classroom and a fly fishing lake. It recently merged with Malvern College.
Term fees: day £5,550; boarding £8,340
Skiing is a big sport at this Perthshire school, largely down to its close proximity to Glencoe. It’s also strong when it comes to academics, with 19 out of 20 leavers last year offered scholarships, which included a Thring award for drama and piping.
Skiing is a big sport at Ardvreck school, largely down to its close proximity to Glencoe
The Elms (mixed)
Term fees: day £6,665; boarding £8,710
Pupils here are able to bring their ponies to school with them thanks to its on site farm, where they can also collect milk and eggs, watch piglets be born and grow their own produce. It also boasts a thriving art and music department.
St Mary’s Melrose (mixed)
Term fees: day: £5,611; boarding £6,150
Ideal for sporty students, this school boasts a 4G pitch and a full-size astro turf. In the classroom there is an algebra club for maths enthusiasts and a Greenhouse project is in the pipeline for aspiring botanists. At the end of school assembly, pupils imitate teachers and host the St Mary’s Staff Have Talent Show.
Source: Read Full Article