From academic progression to building confidence and more time for extracurricular activities, here are reasons why you should consider sending your child to a boarding school…


Boarding schools put a strong focus on truly preparing children for life. Children learn to live with others, forming close friendships and learning life skills that day schools are unable to offer. Pupils are able to discover who they are as individuals and become mature, resilient and resourceful as a result. For those worried about the parent-child relationship, families often report that quality time is improved because parents can focus on having fun (rather than nagging their child to limit their screen time or do their homework!). 


Boarding schools provide an environment that encourages children to focus on their learning. Students are immersed in the fabric of school life without outside distractions like computer games and TV. This puts boarding schools in the unique position of being able to cultivate a love of learning without other things getting in the way. Unsurprisingly, boarding schools often report significantly lower absenteeism than day schools.   


All independent schools attract highly talented teachers, but boarding schools have the extra benefit that staff tend to live on campus. This means that boarding school teachers are highly dedicated, making themselves available for extra tutoring, mentoring and know the children well. For example, at Cothill House in Oxfordshire, Headmaster Duncan Bailey meets with every pupil on a weekly basis to discuss their learning and progress, encouraging even greater levels of academic excellence. Peer learning is another plus point of boarding schools, with more opportunities for collaboration – especially outside of the classroom.

A boarding school education is also highly individualised and smaller class sizes mean that teachers can tailor learning to each child’s specific needs. At Cothill, class sizes average 14 and for a non-selective school, pupils achieve exceptionally good results. The boys progress to the likes of Eton, Harrow and Radley, many with scholarships. Cothill credits their highly creative and imaginative teaching strategies for their success and the school has a history of innovation in academic study. With a strong focus on making learning fun for pupils, the boys benefit from immersive experiences such as spending time at the school’s château in France. Day schools are often unable to offer such unique and immersive learning opportunities.


By cutting out travel time, boarding school students can spend more time developing other skills, through playing sports and participating in after school activities and clubs. Boarding schools tend to have outstanding extra curricular programmes developing excellence beyond the classroom. For example, Cothill House benefits from 26 acres of grounds and playing fields, surrounded by a nature reserve. Weekends are spent building dens in the woods, fishing and playing sports with local club teams or professional sports coaches. The school also excels in art, design and CDT – students recently built a full-sized shepherd’s hut. Cothill even has an annual summer rock music festival (dubbed Rock Hill) where the boys get to live out their rock star fantasies, performing live on stage. Extra curricular activities are important for children because they foster skills including teamwork and promote confidence and self esteem.


Students will often tell you that life at boarding school is like having a sleepover with your friends every night. More opportunities for socialising means that boarding school pupils are often more confident, which in turn benefits their mental health, happiness and ultimately their life outcomes. The mentality at many boarding schools is that you are part of one big family, and this environment encourages deeper connections that are likely to last a lifetime.

It is always advisable to visit in person or arrange a meeting over Zoom to get a feel for a school. At Cothill, prospective parents are welcome to visit throughout the year and they have two annual open events as follows: Virtual Open Day – Saturday 27th February 2021 at 10.30am. Summer Open Day in the grounds of Cothill House – Saturday 15th May 2021 at 10.30am.