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A complete guide to private schools in Berkshire

Local guide

Jan 31, 2023, 1:26 PM

A complete guide to private schools in Berkshire

Contents

If you’re considering a private school in Berkshire for your child’s secondary education, find out everything you need to know, including:

  • The full list of single-sex and co-educational private secondary schools in Berkshire

  • Which private schools in Berkshire offer boarding

  • The admissions process for each school

  • A level and GCSE results

  • How much private education in Berkshire costs, and what financial assistance is available

What are the best private schools in Berkshire?

Every year, The Sunday Times Parent Power releases a league table for all schools in the UK based on their recent exam results.

The following 10 private schools were ranked the highest in Berkshire based on their academic results in 2022:

  1. Eton College

  2. St Mary's School, Ascot

  3. Wellington College

  4. The Abbey School

  5. Downe House

  6. Reading Blue Coat School

  7. The Marist School

  8. Queen Anne's Caversham

  9. Bradfield College

  10. St Joseph's College

The top 10 private schools in England

How much do private schools cost in Berkshire?

The cost of private education in Berkshire is extremely variable, but more expensive than the rest of the country on average (typical day fees are in the region of just over £7,000 per term). Some of the smaller day schools in Berkshire charge less than £6,000 per term, while you can expect to pay upwards of £12,000 per term for boarding education at one of the county’s larger and more well-known schools.

The cheapest private secondary school in Berkshire is St Joseph’s College in Reading, where fees are £4,410 per term. The most expensive private school in Berkshire is Eton College; all pupils board at a total cost of £15,432 per term.

We’ve included the fees for all the private secondary schools in Berkshire below.

What’s included in the school fees?

Day fees always include the cost of tuition, and may include the cost of textbooks, materials and extracurricular activities. Some schools include the cost of lunch in their fees, while others may charge for this separately. Most private schools charge separately for entry to public exams (e.g. GCSE and A levels). In Berkshire, boarding fees normally include the cost of tuition.

Before registering your child with a school, we recommend that you check the school website and admissions policy in detail to find out what the school fees cover, as well as any additional payments you will have to make. You will normally need to pay a registration fee on application (typically £100–£300) which is often non-refundable, and a refundable deposit when you accept a school place.


Help with school fees in Berkshire

Most private schools in Berkshire offer financial assistance and/or financial rewards to children who meet or excel in the entrance criteria. The main type of financial assistance is a bursary, while some schools additionally offer sibling and other discounts. Most schools have scholarships available, which usually carry a financial reward.

Bursaries

Nearly all the private secondary schools in Berkshire provide means-tested financial assistance in the form of bursaries. These are offered on a sliding scale, meaning that children from households with a lower income are eligible for more assistance than those with a higher income.

Most private schools in Berkshire offer bursaries that cover up to 100% of tuition fees. Some schools offer additional assistance, such as help with the cost of school uniforms, lunch, transport and extracurricular activities, to pupils who receive 100% bursaries.

If you think you might be eligible for a bursary for a particular school, you will need to supply detailed financial evidence. You may also be visited at home by a professional appointed by the school to assess your financial circumstances.

A guide to bursaries


Scholarships

Scholarships are awards offered to children who demonstrate exceptional talent in their entrance exams (academic scholarships) or in a co-curricular area (such as art, dance, drama, music, or sport). Most scholarships come with a financial reward, such as a small discount on school fees (normally around 10%).

If your child is applying for a scholarship, they will usually need to complete additional testing and an interview, alongside the main entrance process. They will also need to maintain a high standard in the area to which their scholarship applies throughout their time at the school.


Sibling discounts

Several private schools in Berkshire offer discounts to families who have multiple children enrolled at the school at the same time. Sibling discounts are normally available for the third and any subsequent children (although some schools provide a discount for second siblings) and usually carry around 15% fee remission.


British Armed Forces discounts

Queen Anne’s School (Caversham), Luckley House School and The Oratory School all offer discounted boarding fees to families in the British Armed Forces.

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Private boys’ schools in Berkshire

Eton College

Full boarding education in Windsor for boys aged 13–18.

  • Address: Eton, Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 6DW

  • Number of students: 1,300+

  • Sixth form: yes

  • Religious affiliation: Church of England

  • Fees per term: £15,432

  • Financial assistance: means-tested bursaries ranging from 5% to 100%

  • 13 plus scholarships: King’s Scholarships (academic), New Foundation Scholarship (means-tested academic scholarship for state school applicants), and music awards

  • A level results (2022): 95.8% A*–B

  • GCSE results (2022): 94.2% 9–7 (A*–A)

  • 13 plus entry process: ISEB Common Pre-Test, The Eton List Test, interview and school reference

  • Open day: tours can be booked through the admissions office

How to apply to Eton College

Private girls’ schools in Berkshire

Downe House

Day and boarding education in Thatcham for girls aged 11 to 18.

  • Address: Downe House, Cold Ash, Thatcham, Berkshire, RG18 9JJ

  • Number of students: 550+

  • Sixth form: yes

  • Religious affiliation: Church of England

  • Fees per term: £10,960 (day pupils), £14,470 (boarding pupils)

  • Financial assistance: means-tested bursaries up to 100% plus an allowance towards school extras

  • 11 plus scholarships: academic, creative arts, drama, music, and sport. Downe House scholarships do not come with a financial award

  • A level results (2022): 91.7% A*–B

  • GCSE results (2022): 88.4% A*/A/9/8/7

  • 11 plus entry process: assessment day (including team-building workshops, creative/persuasive writing task and an interview), ISEB Common Pre-Test for boarding places or on-site adaptive computerised test for day places, and school report

  • Open day: Saturday 18th March, Saturday 22nd April and Saturday 10th June 2023. Book a place via the school website

How to apply to Downe House

Heathfield School

A day and boarding school in Ascot for girls aged 11 to 18.

  • Address: Heathfield School, London Road, Ascot, Berkshire, SL5 8BQ

  • Number of students: approx. 250

  • Sixth form: yes

  • Religious affiliation: Christian

  • Fees per term: £7,990–£8,160 (day pupils), £12,255–£13,200 (boarding pupils)

  • Financial assistance: means-tested bursaries up to 100%

  • 11 plus scholarships: academic, art, drama, music, and sport

  • A level results (2022): 71% A*–B

  • GCSE results (2022): 60% A*/A/9/8/7

  • 11 plus entry process: CEM Select test, interview and school reference

  • Open day: Friday 10th March 2023

How to apply to Heathfield School

St Joseph’s College

Day school in Reading for boys and girls aged 3 to 18.

  • Address: St Joseph’s College, Upper Redlands Road, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 5JT

  • Number of students: 580+

  • Sixth form: yes

  • Religious affiliation: Roman Catholic

  • Fees per term: £4,410

  • Financial assistance: means-tested bursaries and sibling discounts (15% discount for the third and subsequent child)

  • 11 plus scholarships: not available

  • A level results (2022: 74% A*–B

  • GCSE results (2022): 68% A*/A/9/8/7

  • 11 plus entry process: CEM InCAS online assessment, descriptive writing and maths tests, interview, school report and reference

  • Open day: 8th February and 11th May 2023

How to apply to St Joseph’s College

Queen Anne’s, Caversham

Day and boarding school in Caversham, near Reading for girls aged 11 to 18.

  • Address: Queen Anne’s School, 6 Henley Road, Caversham, Reading, Berkshire, RG4 6DX

  • Number of students: 400+

  • Sixth form: yes

  • Religious affiliation: Church of England/interdenominational

  • Fees per term: £8,535 (day pupils), £12,740–£14,135 (boarding pupils)

  • Financial assistance: means-tested bursaries and discounts for siblings and families of the British Armed Forces

  • 11 plus scholarships: academic, art, drama, music, and sport

  • A level results (2022): 81% A*–B

  • GCSE results (2022): 64% A*/A/9/8/7

  • 11 plus entry process: CEM Select test and written English paper, interview and school reference

  • Open day: Friday 3rd March and Saturday 20th May 2023

How to apply to Queen Anne’s, Caversham

St Mary’s School, Ascot

Boarding school in Ascot for girls aged 11 to 18.

  • Address: St Mary’s School, St Mary’s Road, South Ascot, Berkshire, SL6 9JF

  • Number of students: approx. 400

  • Sixth form: yes

  • Religious affiliation: Roman Catholic

  • Fees per term: £15,190

  • Financial assistance: means-tested bursaries

  • 11 plus scholarships: academic, all-rounder, art and music

  • A level results (2022): 93.3% A*–B

  • GCSE results (2022): 94.6% A*/A/9/8/7

  • 11 plus entry process: entrance exam (English, maths and general paper), interview and school report

  • Open day: Saturday 11th March and Saturday 13th May 2023. Booking is essential

How to apply to St Mary’s School, Ascot

The Abbey School

Day school in Reading for girls aged 3 to 18.

  • Address: The Abbey School, 17 Kendrick Road, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 5DZ

  • Number of students: 1,000+

  • Sixth form: yes

  • Religious affiliation: Church of England

  • Fees per term: £6,610

  • Financial assistance: means-tested bursaries and sibling discounts

  • 11 plus scholarships: academic, art, drama, music, and sport

  • A level results (2022): 92.2% A*–B

  • IB results (2022): average of 40.1 diploma points

  • GCSE results (2022): 90.2% A*/A/9/8/7

  • 11 plus entry process: English, maths and reasoning tests, interview, workshop and activity session

  • Open day: 21st April 2023 – reserve a place online

How to apply to The Abbey School

The Marist School

Day school in Ascot for girls aged 2 to 18.

  • Address: The Marist School, Kings Road, Sunninghill, Ascot, Berkshire, SL5 7PS

  • Number of students: 420+

  • Sixth form: yes

  • Religious affiliation: Roman Catholic

  • Fees per term: £5,505

  • Financial assistance: means-tested bursaries and sibling discounts (10% discount for the second child, 35% for the third child and 75% for the fourth and any subsequent child)

  • 11 plus scholarships: academic, all-rounder, art, drama, music and sports

  • A level results (2022): 84% A*–B

  • GCSE results (2022): 64% A*/A/9/8/7

  • 11 plus entry process: CEM Select test, English and maths papers, and group interview

  • Open day: Friday 3rd February and Saturday 10th June 2023

How to apply to The Marist School

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Private co-educational schools in Berkshire

Bradfield College

Day and boarding education in Bradfield for boys and girls aged 13 to 18.

  • Address: Bradfield College, Bradfield, Berkshire, RG7 6AU

  • Number of students: 800+

  • Sixth form: yes

  • Religious affiliation: Church of England

  • Fees per term: £11,244 (day pupils), £14,055 (boarding pupils)

  • Financial assistance: means-tested bursaries up to 100%

  • 13 plus scholarships: academic, all-rounder, art & design, drama, music and sport. Scholarships do not come with a financial award

  • A level results (2022): 81.5% A*–B

  • IB results (2022): average of 38 diploma points

  • GCSE results (2022): 62.2% 9–7 (A*–A)

  • 13 plus entry process: ISEB Common Pre-Test, admissions assessment (interviews and a problem-solving challenge), and school reference

  • Open day: contact the admissions team to arrange a visit

Admissions guide for Bradfield College

Claires Court

Day school in Maidenhead for boys and girls aged 2 to 18. Boys and girls are taught separately from the ages of 4 to 16.

  • Address: Claires Court, 1 College Avenue, Maidenhead, Berkshire, SL6 6AEW

  • Number of students: 900+

  • Sixth form: yes

  • Religious affiliation: Christian

  • Fees per term: £6,015–£6,330

  • Financial assistance: sibling discounts, loyalty discounts (Years 6–8) and instalment discounts

  • 11 plus scholarships: academic, art, drama, music, and sport

  • A level results (2022): 58% A*–B

  • GCSE results (2022): 39% 9–7 (A*–A)

  • 11 plus entry process: CEM Select, interview, school report and reference

  • Open day: Friday 28th April 2023

How to apply to Claires Court

Crosfields School

Day school in Reading for boys and girls aged 3–16. Formerly a prep school, 2022–2023 saw the school’s Year 10 cohort.

  • Address: Crosfields School, Shinfield Road, Shinfield, Reading, Berkshire, RG2 9BL

  • Number of students: 700+

  • Sixth form: no

  • Religious affiliation: interdenominational

  • Fees per term: £5,935–£6,095

  • Financial assistance: means-tested bursaries

  • 11 plus scholarships: academic, art, dance, drama, music, sport, and swimming

  • 11 plus entry process: CAT4 test, interview and school report

  • Open day: 23rd February 2023 and 20th May 2023

How to apply to Crosfields School

Holme Grange

Day school in Wokingham for boys and girls aged 3 to 16. The senior school (ages 11–16) is called Eaton Grange.

  • Address: Holme Grange, Heathlands Road, Wokingham, Berkshire, RG40 3AL

  • Number of students: 670+

  • Sixth form: no

  • Religious affiliation: Church of England

  • Fees per term: £5,380–£5,545

  • Financial assistance: means-tested bursaries

  • 11 plus scholarships: academic, art, drama, music and sport

  • GCSE results (2022): 63% A*/A/9/8/7

  • 11 plus entry process: assessment day, including baseline tests in verbal and non-verbal reasoning

  • Open day: individual tours – book online

How to apply to Holme Grange

Leighton Park School

Day and boarding education in Reading for boys and girls aged 11 to 18.

  • Address: Leighton Park School, Shinfield Road, Reading, Berkshire, RG2 7ED

  • Number of students: 500+

  • Sixth form: yes

  • Religious affiliation: Quaker

  • Fees per term: £7,150–£8,715 (day pupils), £9,725–£13,895 (boarding pupils)

  • Financial assistance: means-tested bursaries

  • 11 plus scholarships: academic, art & design, dance, drama, music and sport

  • A level results (2022): 74.3% A*–B

  • IB results (2022): average of 33 diploma points

  • GCSE results (2022): 62.2% 9–7 (A*–A)

  • 11 plus entry process: entrance tests (English, maths and creative writing), interview, school report and headteacher’s reference

  • Open day: Friday 17th March and Friday 16th June 2023. Book a visit online

How to apply to Leighton Park School

Long Close School

A non-selective day school in Slough for boys and girls aged 2 to 16.

  • Address: Long Close School, Upton Court Road, Slough, Berkshire, SL3 7LU

  • Number of students: 260+

  • Sixth form: no

  • Religious affiliation: all faiths

  • Fees per term: £5,705–£5,745

  • Financial assistance: sibling discounts (5% discount for the second child, 10% for the third child and 15% for the fourth and any subsequent child)

  • 11 plus scholarships: academic, art, music and sports

  • GCSE results (2022): 52% A*/A/9/8/7

  • 11 plus entry process: taster day including age-appropriate assessments (for setting purposes only)

  • Open day: 4th March 2023

How to apply to Long Close School

Luckley House School

Day and boarding education in Wokingham for boys and girls aged 11 to 18.

  • Address: Luckley House School, Luckley Road, Wokingham, Berkshire, RG40 3EU

  • Number of students: approx. 350

  • Sixth form: yes

  • Religious affiliation: Christian

  • Fees per term: £6,358 (day pupils), £8,828–£11,115 (boarding pupils)

  • Financial assistance: means-tested bursaries, 10% sibling discount and Armed Forces discount

  • 11 plus scholarships: academic, art, drama, music, and sports

  • A level results (2022): 73% A*–B

  • GCSE results (2022): 44% 9–7 (A*–A)

  • 11 plus entry process: CAT4 test, creative writing task, interview and school report

  • Open day: Wednesday 22nd March and Thursday 15th June 2023 – book a place on the school website

How to apply to Luckley House School

LVS Ascot

A non-academically selective day and boarding school in Ascot for boys and girls aged 4 to 18.

  • Address: LVS Ascot, London Road, Ascot, Berkshire, SL5 8DR

  • Number of students: approx. 800

  • Sixth form: yes

  • Religious affiliation: all faiths

  • Fees per term: £6,600–£6,955 (day pupils), £11,760–£12,220 (boarding pupils)

  • Financial assistance: no

  • 11 plus scholarships: academic, art (art/photography/textiles), performing arts (drama/music/dance) and sport

  • A level results (2022): 47.4% A*–B

  • GCSE results (2022): 36.2% 9–7 (A*–A)

  • 11 plus entry process: interview and school report

  • Open day: TBC – refer to the school website for the most up-to-date information

How to apply to LVS Ascot

Pangbourne College

Day and boarding education in Pangbourne for boys and girls aged 11 to 18.

  • Address: Pangbourne College, Pangbourne Hill, Pangbourne, Berkshire, RG8 8LA

  • Number of students: 450+

  • Sixth form: yes

  • Religious affiliation: Christian

  • Fees per term: £6,750–£8,960 (day pupils), £8,465–£13,440 (boarding pupils)

  • Financial assistance: means-tested bursaries. Significant financial support is unlikely for Year 7 applicants

  • 11 plus scholarships: academic, art & design, dance, drama, music and sport

  • A level results (2022): 56% A*–B

  • GCSE results (2022): 46% 9–7 (A*–A)

  • 11 plus entry process: computer-based assessment, team-building activities, school report and school reference

  • Open day: Saturday 18th March 2023. Book a visit online

How to apply to Pangbourne College

Reading Blue Coat School

Day education in Sonning, near Reading for boys and girls aged 11 to 18.

  • Address: Reading Blue Coat School, Holme Park, Sonning Lane, Sonning, Reading, Berkshire, RG4 6SU

  • Number of students: 800+

  • Sixth form: yes

  • Religious affiliation: Church of England

  • Fees per term: £6,305

  • Financial assistance: means-tested bursaries up to 100%

  • 11 plus scholarships: academic and music

  • A level results (2022): 80.8% A*–B

  • GCSE results (2022): 79.5% 9–7 (A*–A)

  • 11 plus entry process: assessment day (academic tests, interview and team-building activities) and a school reference

  • Open day: Saturday 13th May 2023 and regular mini tours on Thursdays. Find out more and book a place on the school website

How to apply to Reading Blue Coat School

Reddam House

Day and boarding education in Wokingham for boys and girls aged 0 to 18.

  • Address: Reddam House, Bearwood Road, Singlesham, Wokingham, Berkshire, RG41 5BG

  • Number of students: 700+

  • Sixth form: yes

  • Religious affiliation: non-denominational

  • Fees per term: £6,416 (day pupils), £9,747–£11,232 (boarding pupils)

  • Financial assistance: means-tested bursaries up to 80%

  • 11 plus scholarships: academic, dance, drama, music, and sport

  • A level results (2022): 76% A*–B

  • GCSE results (2022): 52% 9–7 (A*–A)

  • 11 plus entry process: entrance assessment morning

  • Open day: Saturday 13th May 2023 and regular individual tours. Book a place on the school website

How to apply to Reddam House

St Gabriel’s School

Day school in Newbury for children aged 0 to 18. The school has been historically been girls-only from the age of 11–18, but will be welcoming boys into Year 7 for the first time in September 2023.

  • Address: St Gabriel’s School, Sandleford Priory, Newbury, Berkshire, RG20 9BD

  • Number of students: 450+

  • Sixth form: yes

  • Religious affiliation: Roman Catholic/Christian

  • Fees per term: £6,338–£6,569

  • Financial assistance: means-tested bursaries up to 100%

  • 11 plus scholarships: academic, art, dance, drama, music and sport

  • A level results (2022): 75% A*–B

  • GCSE results (2022): 60% A*/A/9/8/7

  • 11 plus entry process: entrance exams (English, maths and verbal reasoning), interview and school report

  • Open day: Saturday 4th March and Saturday 13th March 2023

How to apply to St Gabriel’s School

St Joseph’s College

Day school in Reading for boys and girls aged 3 to 18.

  • Address: St Joseph’s College, Upper Redlands Road, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 5JT

  • Number of students: 580+

  • Sixth form: yes

  • Religious affiliation: Roman Catholic

  • Fees per term: £4,410

  • Financial assistance: means-tested bursaries and sibling discounts (15% discount for the third and subsequent child)

  • 11 plus scholarships: not available

  • A level results (2022: 74% A*–B

  • GCSE results (2022): 68% A*/A/9/8/7

  • 11 plus entry process: CEM InCAS online assessment, descriptive writing and maths tests, interview, school report and reference

  • Open day: 8th February and 11th May 2023

How to apply to St Joseph’s College

The Oratory School

A day and boarding school near Reading for boys and girls aged 11 to 18.

  • Address: The Oratory School, Woodcote, Reading, Berkshire, RG8 0PJ

  • Number of students: 370+

  • Sixth form: yes

  • Religious affiliation: Roman Catholic

  • Fees per term: £6,625–£9,185 (day pupils), £9,147–£13,368 (boarding pupils)

  • Financial assistance: means-tested bursaries and military subsidies (MoD families who claim the Continuity of Education Allowance will only need to pay the minimum parental contribution of 10% of the basic boarding fees)

  • 11 plus scholarships: academic, all-rounder, music and sports

  • A level results (2022): 39% A*–B

  • GCSE results (2022): 45% A*/A/9/8/7

  • 11 plus entry process: CAT4 test, English and maths tests

  • Open day: Saturday 4th March 2023

How to apply to The Oratory School

Wellington College

Day and full boarding education in Crowthorne for boys and girls aged 13 to 18.

  • Address: Wellington College, Duke’s Ride, Crowthorne, Berkshire, RG45 7PU

  • Number of students: 1,100

  • Sixth form: yes

  • Religious affiliation: Church of England

  • Fees per term: £10,980 (day pupils), £15,030 (boarding pupils)

  • Financial assistance: means-tested bursaries ranging from 10% to 100%

  • 13 plus scholarships: academic and music

  • A level results (2022): 92.8% A*–B

  • GCSE results (2022): 90.4% 9–7 (A*–A)

  • 13 plus entry process: ISEB Common Pre-Test, assessment morning or afternoon (involving collaborative lessons, problem-solving activities and an interview), and a school reference

  • Open day: Saturday 21st January, Saturday 18th March and Saturday 22nd April. Events can be booked via the school website

How to apply to Wellington College

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