Girls Boarding Schools without Exeat

(37 Posts)
SingaporeMum2000 Thu 15-Aug-13 17:07:18

We are Singapore residents looking to send my daughter to an all girls boarding school in UK in Sept 2014 for Year 9

She is not an achiever under the academic driven Singapore system but does relatively OK. Not exactly sporty and not too girly. She is keen on giving overseas education and boarding a try as thinks her current school does not provide much in term of teacher support/ school facilities and resources.

As we are not in UK, we will appoint a legal guardian from one of those registered with the school.

Appreciate if someone could recommend school with NO or minimum exeat so that we do not have to concern about placing her somewhere during these short breaks

Many thanks

Ratchetsmum Thu 15-Aug-13 17:58:56

Hello, why don't you have a look at Oundle School. It is a fabulous Public School and has a good mix of all Nationalities. Not only does my son attend as a boarder but I have friends who have children doing well there too. This school has less exeats than most but once your daughter makes friends she will most probably want to spend some of these exeats with them anyway.

Mutteroo Thu 15-Aug-13 20:00:55

Do you know how much you want to pay? Which part of the country are you interested in, if any?

Doodledumdums Thu 15-Aug-13 20:02:42

Beechwood Sacred heart in Tunbridge Wells has no exeat weekends. It was all girls until a few years ago, but is now mixed, but I think still only girls for boarding.

SingaporeMum2000 Fri 16-Aug-13 00:28:38

Ratchetsmun: Thanks, will have a look at Oundle

Mutteroo: Fees wise, budget for 25 - 30K per year

Doodledumdums: Thanks, will have a look at Beechwood

SingaporeMum2000 Fri 16-Aug-13 00:30:34

Oh ya, regarding the location of the school. Ideally not too far from airport and does direct flight to Singapore

Needmoresleep Fri 16-Aug-13 08:02:01

Mayfield? A fair number of overseas students including a contingent of friendly Mexican girls. Takes a broad academic range and is small enough to be nurturing.

LIZS Fri 16-Aug-13 08:07:23

Don't the guardians normally take them for exeats or other families might . St Catherine's Bramley ? Your issue may well be that increasingly schools are doing flexi boarding so many pretty much empty out over the weekend anyway.

SingaporeMum2000 Fri 16-Aug-13 08:54:50

Thanks Needmoresleep

Lizs: Believe the Guardian do take on the wards if they have no where to go. Just not sure how comfortable daughter would be since the guardian is perfect stranger to her so the boarding house would provide more comfort especially in the first year of boarding

Munashe Sat 17-Aug-13 00:39:41

What kind of feel are you looking for apart from the academics? Roedean for a example has quite a number of Asian girls and its right by the sea in an urban location. You then have Cheltenham girls which is in a city and the intake is mixed, some overseas and then some local girls. Because it is in a city centre location, the girls are more street savvy. Also do you have any preference for single or mixed sex?

On the other end you have Benenden, more of a country(rural) boarding, in the middle of nowhere and most of the students tend to be from the counties or British expats abroad with a handful of overseas girls.

So in brief do you want the school to be in an urban area, country (ie rural) location? If that doesn't matter how about the feel. Do you prefer a school that has a good number of overseas girls or do you prefer ones with more local girls? Most of the rural schools tends to have more local or rather counties student population as overseas normally prefer urban locations.

Most schools cater for airport pick and drop offs so that shouldn't be a big problem to fly out when they need to.

Exists are nearly every other three weeks and plenty of mid term breaks too. For September 2014, some of the popular schools will have closed their lists but always worth emailing them to see if you can have your name down. There will be plenty of other good schools too. I am down in the South, so tend to know a wee bit about boarding schools down here.

For mixed schools you have Sevenoaks (very academic and very international in outlook), Kings Canterbury etc.

The best thing once you have a shortlist is to visit the schools. You will be surprised something that feel good and ticks every box doesn't feel that way when you visit. Since you'll be far away you want to make sure your daughter is in place you'll be happy with and where issues will be dealt with when they do prop up.

Even though you need to exercise caution reading as some of it is tick boxing but they give a bit of an overview, Ofsted reports are a good start because all boarding schools should have them. Some may be a couple of years old. If you just google name of school + ofsted report, they should come up. You can also go on the Independent School Inspector for more reports here

There is also the Good Schools Guide. this isn't official and tends to be more on the comical side look at these schools. By the time you are done you will either be more overwhelmed or you may just scramble a shortlist. Good Luck.

Munashe Sat 17-Aug-13 00:45:04

I don't think you will find a school with no exeat breaks at all. I suspect you are looking more for full boarding. They aren't that many schools left now that are full boarding. Even these they still exeat every three weeks or so. Most boarding schools now tend to empty at weekends so make sure that when you inquire they give you % of boarders who stay during the weekend otherwise your daughter may find herself alone with a few others during weekends.

Dustylaw Wed 21-Aug-13 01:13:20

SingaporeMum, as others have said, it's difficult to find a boarding school with no exeats. It's also difficult to find one that doesn't empty (to varying degrees) for at least part of the weekend. You could look at Uppingham which is very full boarding, no exeats but that is mixed (which perhaps you might consider?). As an alternative, have a look at Roedean. The advantage Roedean has is that it has quite a lot of international boarders (the local girls now tend to be day, flexi or weekly boarders) and the result of that is that the school does not empty at weekends or at exeat weekends - there always seems to be plenty going on. It's also a nice school! Getting to airports at the end of term is easy and there will be others going of course.

Supertrooper88 Wed 21-Aug-13 01:49:49

I think Monmouth girls school does not have exeats. I seem to recall some one at my dds old school mentioning it as they were due to move overseas.
It is somewhere near the Welsh border so not very close to an airport i don't think.

DPotter Wed 21-Aug-13 02:43:25

Rather than trying to find a school just on the basis of no exeats, would you consider your daughter staying with a local family ? A friend of mine has taken in 2 girls in the last 2 years from a local boarding school. It was all arranged by the school as the girls came from China. The school matched girls of the same age as my friend's daughter. Friend was paid a small allowance. Her family have really enjoyed the experience. They would take the girl out to local attractions over the weekends.

lily9478 Wed 21-Aug-13 06:22:59

There's Epsom College in Surrey. Their intake starts at 13, which is Year 9 (or fourth form as they call it), so your daughter wouldn't be the only new girl and making friends would be easier. However, it is an academic school so if your daughter isn't academic then this would probably not be the school for her, although of course it wouldn't hurt to take the entrance exam anyway and see whether she found it difficult or not. It is a mixed school though, not a single sex school.

lily9478 Wed 21-Aug-13 06:28:24

Also, at Epsom College I know they have school on Saturday (might be a half day but not quite sure) so on Saturdays she wouldn't be one of the only people left at school until all the day students have gone home. Just thought I would mention this since others have been bringing it up.

happygardening Wed 21-Aug-13 08:32:05

Dusty Uppingham does have exeats see their website. Monmouth appears not too often schools with a small % of boarders dont. Beware of ISI report they state number of full boarders in a school Im not sure how they define full boarding but it doesn't mean full boarding in the true sense of the word i.e. not going home for the weekend.
"Appreciate if someone could recommend school with NO or minimum exeat so that we do not have to concern about placing her somewhere during these short breaks"
You do need to find a proper full boarding school i.e. a school which is only full boarding or has a high % of full boarding (I would be looking for at least 75% if I was you). Many schools will have lessons Sat morning and games Sat afternoon but will then empty out for the rest of the weekend for a child from outside of the UK who is often homesick in the beginning this can be particularly difficult. Also IME experience full boarders need exeats, this is time away from the school, boarding is very intense. Your DD can go to her guardian.
I know nothing about girls boarding schools but Uppingham is definitely proper full boarding, both St Edwards Oxford and Marlborough although the latter is becoming increasingly selective also have a high % of full boarders and are good for the airport both are seriously sporty, Kings Canterbury is also has a high % of full boarders but is crap for Heathrow although as someone said often the school organises transport.
OP we have friends from your part of the world with a DD starting this year in the 6th form at the Royal High School Bath. It seems a very nice school in a fab location the best of both worlds central Bath is literally a 10 minute walk away, as are rolling hills there are quite a lot of full boarders in the 6th form PM me if you want to know more.

lily9478 Wed 21-Aug-13 08:32:57

I forgot to add that there is also Wellington College in West Berkshire. My friend's children boarded there and they loved it. It is also a 13+ school, like Epsom College, so everyone else would be new as well as your daughter. Most of the students at Wellington board - I think there are more boarding students than day students there.

elastamum Wed 21-Aug-13 08:37:44

Repton does not have exeats and also has a number of students from all over the world. It is mixed ability and seems to offer something for everyone. The school is about 80% boarders I think

Enb76 Wed 21-Aug-13 10:34:59

Pretty sure you don't have to take your exeats. When I was at full boarding school (left 95) I was allowed 1 per half-term for Lent and Summer and 3 for the Michaelmas term. Those were the weekends you could go home, but you certainly didn't have to. Many of us went to friend's houses for exeats.

LIZS Wed 21-Aug-13 11:20:02

dc school enforce exeats (2 per term iirc).

Aren't there schemes where pupils from overseas can be hosted by british families during exeats? Not sure if this is on a paid basis, but I am sure I have seen something along these lines - might be worth investigating, OP.

LIZS Wed 21-Aug-13 11:52:44

Yes you can have employ guardians who also have them for exeats and short holidays, acting as host families. Some Schools Search agents advertise or the school will probably have a list. In practice many go to other pupil's houses for the weekend.

BlackMogul Fri 23-Aug-13 00:14:58

Heathfield at Ascot is full boarding and girls only. There are exeats but at all other weekends school is full apart from upper 6th who have exta exeats as a privilege. I think all schools have exeats but beware the flexible boarding! NO ONE stays in! You must look for full boarding and your guardian should have your DD for the exeat. Soetimes another parent will be a guardian and this can be good if the girls get on ok. Often a girl will get an invite to stay with a friend so don't worry about exeats. Just come and see the schools for yourself.

Lioninthesun Fri 23-Aug-13 00:26:45

My old school's website has this link to help you find a UK guardian It also clearly says all overseas boarders have to have a UK appointed guardian. My old school had 40% international students when I attended in late 80's early 90's and has always had a good mix from around the world. I agree it is important to visit first hand with your child and get a feel for the school and it's surroundings.

SingaporeMum2000 Fri 23-Aug-13 03:04:17

Thanks for all the replies, they are all very helpful

Dd is mediocre in term of academic, not self motivated but do learn well under the right environment. But definitely not one that is too academic

Singapore system is very rote learning and elitist with overbearing focus on grades. Students are taught to be risk-averse in our rigid and conformist education environment. Plenty of precious energy and attention is diverted to practicing answering questions correctly. Thus the notion of sending her away to learn, to grow and to be independent.

I personally like the all girls enviornment to take away the constant distraction of bgr. I disagree with the view that girls from ss school lack the social skill to mingle with the opposite sex as with all the interschools activities going on, believe there would be sufficient interaction between the 2 sexes.

We are unsure about staying with the guardian although it's an option especially when dd is new to UK. Maybe after few months when she is more settled and familiar with the environment, she may feels more comfortable with staying in with the local. But the first exeat is around one month after school starts! It may be too much to take in for a 13 year old

Many schools we approached or checked close for exeats
Some full boarding ss schools such as Wycombe and Benenden are closed for next year admission
Has so far register our interest with the following schools for various reasons:

- Prior's Field
- St Catherine's

Will check on other schools such as Wellington, Heathfield and Kent College over the weekends.

Many thanks again to all the mums for taking time to reply

myah2013 Thu 05-Sep-13 09:01:25

Hi, there are a few other schools which I know of very close to Gatwick Airport, Burgess Hill School for girls is in West Sussex RH15 0EG and has a very nice mix of girls, really lovely school. +44 (0) 1444241050 give them a call. Very friendly staff and welcoming environment.
The other two schools are mixed schools Christ's Hospital Horsham West Sussex RH13 0LJ. And Royal Russell School which is in Croydon, Surrey CR9 5BX. Good luck

LIZS Thu 05-Sep-13 16:20:49

RR is a day school and not hugely academic.

samuelwhiskers Thu 05-Sep-13 16:37:01

Have you considered Marlborough College in Johore Bahru? I've heard it is on the same ethos as Marlborough College in Wiltshire. They do weekly and full boarding. Just a thought.

GetMeOut Thu 05-Sep-13 17:43:31

Royal Russell is boarding and whilst mixed has single sex day and boarding houses Some very good results this year and offers a broad range of activities. They pride themselves on their Mini United Nations activities and hold a large conference each year with attendance from schools from many parts of the world. Agreed, not 'top flight ' but not sure that OP was particularly looking for that.

LIZS Thu 05-Sep-13 18:57:03

My mistake, think I was looking at Juniors. Friend wasn't overly impressed with lack of drive imparted to dc, one resat GCSEs elsewhere.

myah2013 Thu 05-Sep-13 22:00:37

Oh and another wonderful school we visited last year was Marymount International School London. Girls Catholic non -selective day and boarding school. It is in Kingston Surrey KT2 7PE. 020 8949 0571.
They offer IB Diploma and are ranked within the top 5% globally.
Highest fees of all the schools we have looked at. But by a mile one of the best schools I have seen.
Good luck.

iclaudius Thu 05-Sep-13 22:04:35

i think most have one exeat per half term but as others said they will appoint guardians for international students

Labro Fri 06-Sep-13 00:17:07

Not sure if appropriate but there is also the Rikkyo School, which is virtually all chinese/japanese so would definitely be experienced with the exeat problem.

peteneras Fri 06-Sep-13 17:15:16

”Have you considered Marlborough College in Johore Bahru?”

OK, I understand OP wants an all girls school for her DD, nothing wrong with that as I’m a firm believer of ss schools too, but why spend £30K per annum coming to (say) Marlborough College, England, while Marlborough College is coming to you in JB? You could easily walk across to JB from Singapore (I’ve done that myself once upon a time when I couldn’t be bothered being held up in a long queue in a taxi at the checkpoint). I would imagine MC in JB would have the same ethos as the one in Wiltshire. The difference being you save yourself a mint by going to the one across the causeway.

happygardening Sat 07-Sep-13 10:10:07

"I would imagine MC in JB would have the same ethos as the one in Wiltshire"
It certainly will have as the current head was at MC as were many of the other staff. This is not a franchise.

Kenlee Sat 07-Sep-13 12:00:21

To be honest Hong Kong has Harrow but I sent my daughter to Priorsfield as what I have read about it and what I have experienced is virtually the same.

The school is really really nice...

I think most boarding schools will have dealt with overseas students and demanding parents. Priorsfield seems to understand and actually help you with your problems.

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