Choosing a School

Choosing a school for your child will be one of the most important decisions you ever make. Your chosen school should be able to provide your child with a solid educational foundation for future academic, career and personal success. There are many factors you need to consider:

Boarding prepares youngsters for living away from home but in a structured way with an appropriate level of pastoral support and increasingly parents and the pupils themselves are seeing the benefit of that. 

Richard Harman, former Chairman of HMC and Headmaster of Uppingham School

  • Location: proximity to home
  • Age Range: entry at 11 or 13?
  • Gender: single sex, co-educational or "diamond"?
  • Examinations: GCSE's or IGCSE, A-levels, IB or Pre-U?
  • Day, boarding or flexi-boarding?
  • Admissions criteria: selective or non-selective?
  • Religion: Protestant, Roman Catholic, Jewish, Quaker, Secular?
  • Fees: fees range from £3,100 to £10,000 per term depending on location and type of school.
  • Affiliation: by choosing a school affiliated to HMC, you can be assured that you are choosing a high quality establishment that will adhere to certain values and ethos and commitment to excellence in education.
  • SEN: does the school offer provision for your child's special educational needs?
  • Co-curricular Activities: does the school offer the range of co-curricular activities you want your child to be involved in whether that is sport, arts, music or drama?

Every child is unique and by understanding what type of student your child is you will be able to select the environment best able to help them succeed. HMC independent schools are individual and distinctive offering you a diverse choice of education options: co-educational, single sex or diamond; day, boarding or flexi-boarding; rural or urban; or outstanding in specialist, such as sport, music, art or drama as well as in academic subjects. But, at the heart of every HMC independent school is a commitment to the benefits of a holistic educational experience: academic excellence coupled with a strong emphasis on pastoral care and exceptional co-curricular provision.

Please click here, to find out why you can be assured that by choosing a HMC independent school you are choosing the very best education for your child.

Do your research

Contact the schools to request a prospectus and find out more about their admissions policies. Some HMC independent schools are selective while others have non-selective policies. Many use the Common Entrance examination, however, some schools have their own entrance exam. It is best to contact the schools direct to check their individual admissions policies.

Start early. Open Days usually take place in the Autumn with offers being made in January for the following academic year.

You can also view ISI (Independent Schools Inspectorate) inspection reports for all HMC independent schools by visiting the ISI website.

Visit the school

Contact the school's admissions department to arrange a visit or to find out about set Open Days where you can also meet other parents and pupils. By visiting the school you will be able to get a feel for its ethos, values and the learning environment your child would experience.

What does the HMC logo tell you about a school?

HMC independent schools are internationally recognised as the world’s highest achieving schools. HMC is a kite mark of global quality, innovation and excellence in education.