Cheapest Boarding Schools in the UK | Top 10 Best

Cheapest Boarding Schools in the UK

The United Kingdom is blessed with a high number of sophisticated learning institutions at all levels. It houses numerous top-performing schools that are highly regarded all around the world.

It is a land full of many opportunities, especially for local and international students who aspire to acquire an outstanding education that puts them on the path to success in life.

For those with a Boarding school plan, it is important to note that some of the Boarding schools in the United Kingdom are as costly as they are top-notch, especially the Private ones.

They offer high-quality education and outstanding academic facilities that incredibly enhance a learner’s educational experience, but there is a price to pay.

This becomes a conundrum for students with a Boarding school plan or Parents who wish to enrol their young ones in a Boarding environment, especially those with a low or minimal budget.

You’ll be glad to know that there is a perfect solution to this particular problem, a way for you to get these Private school privileges without having to pay such a high price. The answer to your prayers is State Boarding schools which are detailed in this article “Cheapest Boarding Schools in the UK“.

What are State Boarding Schools?

State Boarding schools are the type of Boarding schools that are non-selective, well-resourced, modelled to look and feel like an independent school, and most importantly, offer numerous benefits of a Private education without the cost. 

State Boarding Schools provide students with an exceptionally British education and extensive boarding experience. These schools reflect Boarding in various aspects of school life for both day students and boarders.

They run an extended school day than most state day schools, they offer a wide range of extra-curricular programs that runs every day of the week (and every time of the day), and students may attend compulsory Saturday school.

Regardless of their school status (Day or Boarding), every student is cared for using the Boarding house structure, meaning students participate in several house events and are adequately cared for by house parents and matrons.

Just like any other state school, these schools are funded by the government, so the education it provides is free except for the affordable fees it charges for Boarding. Some of them are operated by local councils, while others are conducted as academies or free schools.

They mostly prioritize students with a special need to board. Securing admission to these schools can be fiercely competitive due to the great benefits they offer and the affordable price they charge for it. 

Levels covered by State Boarding Schools

There are around 40 state boarding schools all across the United Kingdom, with spots varying from 50 up to 650. Most UK state boarding schools are secondary schools that admit students aged from 11 to 18 (Years 7 to 13).

You can also find some primary boarding schools, a small number of single-gender schools, and some grammar schools.

How much do State Boarding Schools charge?

State Boarding fees vary from £10,000 (Ten thousand pounds) to £19,000 (Nineteen thousand pounds) a year, which means an average cost of £4,000 (Four thousand pounds) per term.

This fee is enough to adequately cover every aspect of boarding life, including evening activities, meals and break-time/evening snacks, and weekend excursions. 

According to figures gotten from the Boarding School Association (BSA) and the Independent Schools Council (ISC), the typical boarding fee at a state school is £13,800 (Thirteen thousand, eight hundred pounds) compared to £36,000 (Thirty-six thousand pounds) that independent schools charge. 

How to get into a State Boarding School

Securing admission to a State Boarding school in the United Kingdom is restricted to students who are legal residents of the UK with a legitimate UK passport.

Citizens living overseas can also apply as long as they provide a copy of their United Kingdom passport or right of residency in the UK. Every border coming from Overseas is required to have a guardian in the United Kingdom when they arrive.

Applicants are usually invited for a boarding interview, and once the school confirms their suitability to the board, they offer spots. This often takes place in September and/or January in the academic year coming before entry.

Although, when applying for a day or boarding spot at a selective boarding school, students are required to take and pass an entrance exam set by the school.

State Boarding Schools vs Independent Boarding Schools

1. State Boarding schools are not allowed to charge for education, but Independent Boarding Schools can.

2. State Boarding schools are funded by the state, while Independent schools are funded privately.

3. Class sizes in independent schools are usually smaller compared to State Boarding schools.

4. State Boarding schools may have slightly shorter holiday periods compared to Independent schools. 

Factors to consider when choosing a State Boarding School

1. Proximity: As a parent, is the Boarding school close to home so that you can easily attend sports matches, school plays, school meetings, e.t.c?

2. Boarding Program: The type of Boarding program that the school offers, either Full or Flexible, is a crucial factor that needs to be considered before making a choice.

3. Weekend activities: You should also research the kind of exercise that the school plans for the weekend, whether it is educational or recreational.

4. Location: Find out the area where the school is based, whether it is in the city or rural.

5. Gender: Is it a single-sex or mixed-gender school?

6. Admission process: Find out if an entrance exam is part of the admission process or not.

Now that you are familiar with what State Boarding Schools are and what makes them tick let us proceed to tell you about some of the Cheapest Boarding Schools in the UK, all of which are State-owned and funded.  

Cheapest Boarding Schools in the UK

1. The Royal School, Wolverhampton

One of the Cheapest Boarding Schools in the UK with exceptional services is The Royal School, a co-educational free school and sixth form that offers an outstanding education to Day and Boarding students aged from 4 to 18 in a safe and learning-friendly environment located at Penn Road, Wolverhampton, West Midlands, WV3 0EG, England.

It was formerly a fee-paying independent school, and it is now one of the finest state boarding schools in the country. The school’s patron is Prince Edward, the youngest son who succeeded his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, in this role. 

Being a State Boarding School, The Royal is a very desirable option for students with British passports or the right of residency in the UK.

Tuition is free and Boarding costs are £13,284 (Thirteen thousand, two hundred and eighty-four pounds) for the year 2021/22. The school aims to prepare the young ones for Oxbridge and other first-class universities in the United Kingdom. 

Contact Information:

Phone Number: 01902 341230

Fax: 01902 344496



Twitter: @TheRoyalSchool

Principal: Mark Heywood

2. Liverpool College

Located at Queen’s Drive, Liverpool, Merseyside, L18 8BG, England, is a Day and Boarding Academy committed to educating able boys and girls aged from 3 to 19. It was founded in 1840 and had its motto as “Not only the intellect but also the character”.

It offers the option of weekly Boarding or full Boarding from Year 7 through Year 13. The school’s highly motivated team of staff inspires the young ones to work hard to achieve their full potential. 

Liverpool College offers a broad range of co-curricular activities that develops the young ones physically, mentally, and socially.

The school directly collects tuition fees in three instalments, and its tuition fees are set as follows: Full-time fees which range from £6,586 (Six thousand, five hundred and eighty-six pounds) to £8,278 (Eight thousand, two hundred and seventy-eight pounds) per year and Part-time fees which range from £3,233 (Three thousand, two hundred and thirty their pounds) to £5,519 (Five thousand, five hundred and nineteen pounds) per year.

Contact Information:

Phone Number: 0151 724 4000

Fax: 01517 290105



Twitter: @LiverpoolColl

Head of Primary: Pre-Prep – Gail Gannon; Prep – Anne Pease

Principal: Hans van Mourik Broekman

3. Reading School

Founded in 1125, Reading School is a mixed selective grammar school with Day and Boarding facilities. It is the 10th oldest school in England and was previously affiliated with the Church of England.

The school doesn’t charge tuition fees, except for Boarding students who pay for accommodation and food. It is located at Erleigh Road

Reading, Berkshire, RG1 5LW, the United Kingdom, where it caters to the academic and emotional needs of over a thousand boys and girls aged from 11 to 18.

The Boarding Fees charged by this prestigious school are £13,293 (Thirteen thousand, two hundred and ninety-three pounds) per year and £4,431 (Four thousand, four hundred and thirty-one pounds) per term.

These fees take care of every one of their boarding needs (all evening activities, meals, and evening snacks), except uniform, additional school trips, or confectionary. 

Contact Information:

Phone Number: 0118 901 5600



Twitter: @RSBoarding

Headmaster: A M Robson

Chaplain: C Evans

4. Beechen Cliff School

Formerly, City of Bath Boys’ School, Beechen Cliff is a large boys’ secondary school with a co-educational sixth form. It was established in 1896 and had a specialism in technology.

It offers excellent boarding provisions to students who wish to remain on campus and strives to provide equal support and resources for every student. 

The school is located at Alexandra Park, Kipling Avenue Bath, Somerset, BA2 4RE, England, under the local authority of Bath and North East Somerset.

It provides free education for Day students and charges £11,300 (Eleven thousand, three hundred pounds) a year for a boarding place. The fee covers seven-day Boarding, including the costs for weekend activities. 

Contact Information:

Phone Number: 01225 480466

Fax: 01225 314025



Twitter: @BeechenCliff

Headmaster: Timothy Markall

Chair of Governors: Helen Eastwood

5. Lancaster Royal Grammar School (LRGS)

LRGS is a vibrant grammar school (day and Boarding) located at East Road, Lancaster, Lancashire, LA1 3EF, England. It is one of the Cheapest Boarding Schools in the UK that is considered an excellent education provider.

It was founded by John Gardyner in 1235 and has remained one of the biggest state schools both regionally and nationally. It strives to provide an outstanding education to boys aged 11 to 18.

It began to accept girls into its sixth form in 2019. Lancaster Royal is a state boarding school that operates four boarding houses, namely; Storey, Frankland, Ashton, and School Houses.

Its boarding provisions were rated ” Outstanding” by Ofsted in 2013 and have continued to improve. The school offers free education but charges for boarding provisions.

For the 2022/2023 session, students in Years 7 through 11 are expected to pay £4,429 (Four thousand, four hundred and twenty-nine pounds) per term, which makes it a total of £13,287 (Thirteen thousand, two hundred and eighty-seven pounds) per year.

Sixth form students are charged £4,744 (Four thousand, seven hundred and forty-four pounds) per term which makes a total of £14,232 Fourteen thousand, two hundred and thirty-two pounds) per year.  

Contact Information:

Phone Number: 01524 580600

Fax: 01524 847947



Twitter: @LRGSLancaster

Headteacher: Chris J Pyle

6. Brymore Academy

Originally established as a Secondary Technical School of Agriculture, Brymore is a boys’ secondary school with academy status, located at Cannington, Bridgwater, Somerset, TA5 2NB, England.

It was established in 19an 51 by Somerset County Council, and it provides an exceptional education for Day and Boarding students aged from 11 to 17 in a warm and communicative environment where every child is believed to possess the ability to succeed.

It offers numerous co-curricular activities that include beekeeping, canoeing, and cycling. The cost of Boarding per year at Brymore Academy is £11,175 (Eleven thousand, one hundred and seventy-five pounds) for weekly boarders and £12,120 (Twelve thousand, one hundred and twenty pounds) for full-time boarders, which can be paid at once or spread throughout the year. 

Contact Information:

Phone Number: 01278 652369

Fax: 01278 653244



Twitter: @BrymoreSchool

Headteacher: Mr. Mark Thomas

7. Peter Symonds College

Another top-performing state boarding school worth mentioning here is Peter Symonds, an extraordinary sixth form college with fantastic boarding provisions. Established in 1607 and re-established in 1897, this co-educational learning institution caters to brilliant and enthusiastic students aged from 16 to 18.

Some of the subjects this wonderful college offers include Fine Art, Photography, Textiles, Biology, Business, Chemistry, Computing, Criminology, Dance, Drama, Economics, English Language, English Literature, French, German, Geography, Politics, History, ICT, Law, Italian, Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Media Studies, and more.

The school operates two boarding houses, namely; School House and Falkland Lodge, and Boarders are often from British Armed Forces families or the Falkland Islands.

The boarding fees charged per year are £16,800 (Sixteen thousand, eight hundred pounds) per annum for Falkland Lodge and £15,600 (Fifteen thousand, six hundred pounds) for School House.

Once a student is assigned a boarding place, the school requests a deposit of £1,500 (One thousand, five hundred pounds) which will be refunded once the student graduates.

Contact Information:

Phone Number: 01962 857500

Fax: 01962 857501



Twitter: @Symonds_College

Principal: Sara Russell

8. Richard Huish College, Taunton

Besides being one of the Cheapest Boarding Schools in the UK, Richard Huish is considered one of the highest-ranked state boarding schools with exceptional academic facilities and a highly motivated team of staff whose sole aim is to shape the minds of Day and Boarding students in an engaging and inclusive setting.

It is a further education and sixth-form college located at South Road, Taunton, Somerset, TA1 3DZ, England. 

Through the school’s sports enrichment program, over 500 students participate in Huish Sport across 19 different sports, including Basketball, Cricket, Cross Country, Equestrian, Football, Hockey, Netball, Racquet Sports Rugby, Volleyball, and so on.

It offers both Flexi-boarding and Full-time boarding and is also a member of the Boarding Schools Association (BSA). It provides free education but charges an affordable fee for its boarding provisions.

Contact Information:

Phone Number: 01823 320 800

Fax: 01823 324 181



Twitter: @richuish

Head Teacher: Emma Fielding

9. Wymondham College

As one of the largest state boarding schools in the country, Wymondham is a mixed secondary school with specialisms in technology and modern languages. The wonderful academy was established in 1951 by Lincoln Ralphs and is maintained by the local authority of Norfolk.

It educates over a thousand young boys and girls aged from 11 to 18 in a warm and supportive setting located at Golf Links Road, Morley, Wymondham, Norfolk, NR18 9SZ, England. 

The school’s boarding provisions were inspected in 2019 by Ofsted, and it got an “Outstanding” rating. Its dedicated team of staff shares the school’s passion for excellence and would go to any length to make the young learners comfortable in their temporary homes.

Sixth form students are expected to pay £4,591.00 (Four thousand, five hundred and ninety-one pounds) per term, which amounts to £13,773.00 (Thirteen thousand, seven hundred and seventy-three pounds) per year.

Other classes are charged £4,307.00 (Four thousand, three hundred and seven pounds) per term making it £12,921.00 (Twelve thousand, nine hundred and twenty-one pounds) per year. 

Contact Information:

Phone Number: 01953 609000

Fax: 01953 603313



Twitter: @WymondhamCol

Head Teacher: Mr Dan Browning

10. Haberdashers’ Adams School

Founded in 1656 by William Adams, this fantastic learning institution is a grammar school that educates boys aged from 11 to 18 and girls aged from 16 to 18. It is dedicated to developing the whole child by striving to improve them, not just academically but also physically, socially, mentally, and morally.

Its team of highly qualified staff delivers exceptional lessons using a broad and balanced curriculum that has been designed to ensure the success of every student.

The school offers a variety of co-curricular activities such as sports, music, drama, art, and so on. The boarding fees charged at Haberdashers’ Adams School are £12,144 (Twelve thousand, one hundred and forty-four pounds) per year for students living in the UK and £13,644 (Thirteen thousand, six hundred and forty-four pounds) per year for overseas students. 

Contact Information:

Phone Number: 01952 953810

Fax: 01952 386301



Twitter: @HabsAdamsGS

Chairman of Governors: Anthony Cann

Headmaster: G Hickey

Deputy Headmasters: D Biggins and P Pack

To conclude, getting a boarding education doesn’t necessarily have to cost an arm and a leg, especially in the United Kingdom, where you have top-performing state boarding schools that provide quality education at an affordable price.

Being the Cheapest Boarding Schools in the UK doesn’t make these aforementioned learning institutions inferior.

Many People Read:

How Faith Schools are funded