Can anyone tell me if there are any academic full boarding schools for girls in UK. Parents are abroad and want a school where most girls stay in on a Saturday night. They want to avoid anywhere where the girls all disappear up to London.
Check out Heathfield at Ascot. Not as academic as some but the girls have traditional exeats and are in school at weekends (and busy) more than many schools. Can get brilliant results for the brighter girls there.
Cheltenham Ladies College. Academic, excellent pastoral care, amazing co-curricular opportunities and although they have day girls the boarders stay in at weekends other than fixed exeats. PM me if you want more information. Downe House also full boarding. Wycombe Abbey is definitely academic, but seems to empty of UK boarders on a Saturday. Benenden also recommended to me, but no personal knowledge.
Just be aware, schools can always change their policies. Even though DD's school attracts a lot of international pupils, they had pressure from parents asking for pupils within driving distance to be allowed home at weekends.
If your friend's daughter does end up at a school where some pupils go home, suggest she looks at what sporting/music events her daughter could take part in at weekends, as she'll then get to know other girls who are also having to stay at the school. eg, my DD belongs to choir who have to be in early Sunday morning, but she's starting to get to know a couple of other girls who go and has brunch with one. Her other three friends are international so stay and two others are near to the school and can visit at weekends.
It may be asking very direct questions of any school your friends are considering, as a lot of schools don't distinguish between weekly and full boarding in their fee structure, so pupils aren't "weekly boarders", they just choose to go home at the weekend.
The family has already had an unsatisfactory experience with a ds at a well known “full boarding” school where he found himself one of a very small number of boarders in on a Saturday night. This was a particular problem in y9; y10 and y11 and they want to avoid a repeat of this for their dds.
They know that many schools claim to be full boarding but are not - so they have ruled out Benenden and Roedean for that reason. I dont think St Ethelburgas is what they are looking for. Its coed for a start. Heathfield might not be academic enough but perhaps they should visit. Cheltenham Ladies and Downe House might fit the bill.
Does anyone know about St Marys Ascot? Is there a mass exodus on Saturdays.
I was going to post st marys ascot but from hear say only, I think that is less full boarding then Beneden or Rodean. Both of these would have boarders in at the weekend after matches on Saturday. Some girls do go home on Saturday night or to a friends house, but I would guess less at Beneden, Rodean & Cheltenham ladies then elsewhere. I agree with poster about Heathfield being a good option. If family is abroad what about a good guardian to go to when other girls go?
@Caulk - I think Edinburgh is a bit too far north, but thanks for the suggestion. @trudylady12 - my understanding is that a lot of younger English girls at both Benenden and Roedean go home on Friday and/or Saturday nights and that there is a relatively small number of girls - often mainly those from HK/China - in the house on a Saturday night and that that can make it a bit lonely. Happy to be told I am wrong !
I have suggested they look at WA, Downe House and CLC in the first instance. They also have St Mary’s Ascot and St Catherines on the list.
@nextstopplease - they want to avoid coed for 11-16.
They are just a bit wary after their son’s experience - and worry that 11 year olds might be even more likely to leave at the weekend if they can.