Our SN area is not a substitute for expert advice. While many Mumsnetters have a specialist knowledge of special needs, if they post here they are posting as members, not experts. There are, however, lots of organisations that can help - some suggestions are listed here. If you've come across an organisation that you've found helpful, please tell us. Go to Special needs chat, Parents with disabilities, SN teens, SN legal, SN children, SN recommendations.

UK Boarding School for Bright ADHD?

(16 Posts)
Expatmomma Tue 07-Jan-14 18:57:46


We are British expats... Looking for a UK boarding school for our son in a couple of years time when he reaches secondary school age.

And would welcome any recommendations.

He is very bright (measured high iq) and has an Ed Psych and Pediatrician diagnosis of combined type ADHD. He also had an Auditory Processing Disorder.

He is verbally very articulate and reads a lot but due to poor fine motor skills his handwriting is slowing him down. There is a large gap between his potential and his current achievement.

He had no aggression or conduct issues, but is hyperactive and impulsive. Struggling to sit still and not shout out the answers in class are issues for him.

He will be staring medication for the ADHD soon (hospital appointment next week).

We are trying to find either a mainstream boarding school with a track record for supporting children with similar profiles or a specialist boarding school.

I would prefer a school with a prep and senior section so that he can join at 11 and stay at the same school until 18.

We have a preference for Southern England/South East England with easy access to Heathrow or Gatwick.

So far I have pinpointed More House in Surrey as a possible but as he is not dyslexic am not sure of his chances of getting a place.

Any views on More House or other boarding schools would be gratefully received.

Thanks in advance.

LIZS Tue 07-Jan-14 18:59:05

Seaford college ?

Expatmomma Tue 07-Jan-14 19:00:09

Thanks LIZS I will check it out.

Moofy1 Thu 16-Jan-14 03:33:44

Mainstream independents are notoriously backward thinking and simply not geared up supporting ADD/ADHD, BESD, social and communication difficulties or anything beyond mild dyslexia. Beware of Heads who promise the earth and publish any old nonsense in the Good School's Guide, in order to stave off falling numbers. It may be a good idea to speak to another parent who has an ADHD child in a prospective school, to find out their experience, before committing your child to what could turn out to be an expensive disaster.

Expatmomma Mon 03-Feb-14 09:38:26

Thanks Moofy.

You make a good point and after reflection I think he will be happier in a specialist school where he is nurtured and accepted and can reach his fill potential.

We have set up interviews at Bredon and More House later this year. And are have also sent his Ed Psych reports to a Prep with a large learning support section and lots of overseas boarders. They will let is know this week if they think we should apply or not.

Our choices are limited to one international school where we are posted. They just don't have the support he needs.
Poor kid is miserable ..... But excited about the possibility of boarding.

mary21 Thu 06-Feb-14 17:10:06

What about breun abbey for a couple of years

BigBird69 Fri 14-Feb-14 06:09:35

Seaford college is an amazing mainstream school with a very good track record, particularly in dyslexia. More specific specialist schools are Slindon college near Arundel (all boys) or northease manor near Lewes.

Expatmomma Fri 21-Feb-14 04:56:35

Bruen only takes weekly boarders and we need full boarding. Shame as it looks lovely.

Seaford sent me the prospectus... I loved the look of it but they only take full boarders at 13 and we need a solution before then.

We now have interviews in the coming weeks at 4 Crested accredited schools.

1 specialized school and 3 mainstream schools with large learning support centers and a minimum of 25% of pupils needing Learning Support.

Fingers crossed one school will feel right and be able to offer him the understanding and support he needs

Thanks for all the tips .

BigBird69 Fri 21-Feb-14 13:27:39

Good luck and I hope you find what you're looking for!

Expatmomma Sun 23-Feb-14 17:08:47

Ah thanks big bird.

Never imagined would have to consider boarding but life throws curve balls from time to time

Bombaybunty Sun 09-Mar-14 23:21:35

Have you looked at Box Hill School?

Expatmomma Thu 13-Mar-14 18:45:15

Bombay.. Thanks for the recommendation. The school ticks several boxes when looking at their website. We have interviews at 2 schools next week but will bear Box Hill in mind if we are not blown away by options 1 and 2.

ARK99 Mon 21-Apr-14 21:26:15

If your child is going to start medication you may well find that he doesn't need a special school at all. My son is 10, takes ADHD medication daily and is bright and behaves well at school. I have forgotten to give him his medication on 2 or 3 occasions which have resulted in one restructuring of the library room (he was re-arranging the furniture as he couldn't sit still) and a couple of uneventful days of fidgeting. I would suggest that you trial the medication before deciding what to do - we considered More House but our son definitely does not need to be in a special needs school. We will choose a small senior school where they will get to know him properly - will look at the Royal, Seaford, maybe Churchers College.
Good luck anyway!

ACDi Tue 20-May-14 12:24:19

Have you looked at Bethany School in Goudhurst, Kent - I hour from Gatwick and full boarding from Year 7 onwards? - Good luck!

Expatmomma Thu 22-May-14 17:30:15

Thanks for the replies.

DS has been on Ritalin 2 months it does help but he has other SEN. Very poor fine motor skills, language disorder and an auditive processing disorder.

We are abroad and there are no alternative options here

We feel with several needs at the moment he really needs a SN school.

He had a taster at More House and loved it.

He has been offered a place and we were thrilled to accept.

We did have Bethany on our list but needed a solution for 10+. Waiting for year 7 became untenable.

If he improves drastically we would consider a mainstream/inclusive school in a few years time if he wants that.,But I would be more than happy to let him complete the remaining 10 years of his education at More House.

Expatmomma Tue 23-Sep-14 20:22:01

Just wanted to update... DS started at More House earlier this month.

The little boy who suffered from severe anxiety in his old school now jumps up and down with excitement and says his school is brilliant!!

We could not be happier.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now