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Private schools in Buckinghamshire

Region guides
Independent schools in Buckinghamshire

Contents

Are you considering a private school in Buckinghamshire for your child? Discover everything you need to know about Buckinghamshire's private senior schools, including:

  • Day and boarding schools

  • Girls' or boys' schools

  • Co-educational schools

What are private schools?

Private schools, also known as independent schools, are fee-paying. State schools (including academies, grammar and comprehensive schools) are funded by the government and are free for children to attend.

Private schools at the primary education level are known as preparatory (prep) schools, and at the secondary education level they are known as senior schools.

Learn more: What is the difference between prep and primary schools?

Unlike state schools, teachers at private schools do not need to follow the national curriculum, although they still cover many of the same topics on their curriculum. Pupils attending most private senior schools in England take GCSE exams at the age of 15–16. If the school incorporates a sixth form (ages 16–18), most pupils will take A level exams.

Some schools may offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme alongside or instead of A levels, and the Middle Years Programme instead of GCSEs. For example, The Chalfonts Independent Grammar School in Buckinghamshire offers these programmes.

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What is the best private school in Buckinghamshire?

Every year in December, the Sunday Times Parent Power releases league tables for all the schools in the UK based on their most recent exam results. In December 2022, Wycombe Abbey was rated the top private school in Buckinghamshire and 11th nationally.

The private girls' day and boarding school boasts excellent academic results. In 2022, 96.8% of A level grades were A*–B and 96.4% of GCSE grades were 9–7 (A*–A equivalent).

How much do private schools cost in Buckinghamshire?

Tuition costs vary a lot between schools. Fees for Buckinghamshire private senior schools range from £3,000 to £10,000 or more per term. Boarding school costs are typically 50–100% more than day fees. We've included fee details for each Buckinghamshire private school below.

What is included in the fees?

Fees always include the cost of teaching and often include the cost of textbooks, materials, and most co-curricular activities. At some schools, lunch is included, while others charge this separately (normally around £200–300 per term, per child). Most schools charge separately for taking public exams (e.g. GCSEs and A levels).

Before registering your child with a school, be sure to check the school website and admissions policy to find out what's included in the school fees, as well as any additional payments you will have to make. Most schools charge a non-refundable registration fee, typically £100–300, as well as a refundable deposit when you accept a school place, usually equal to a term's fees.

Help with school fees in Buckinghamshire

Many private schools are able to offer financial assistance to students who meet their entrance criteria. The two main types of financial assistance are bursaries and scholarships.

Buckinghamshire private school bursaries

Bursaries are means-tested financial assistance, usually offered on a sliding scale, so students from households with a lower income are eligible for more funding than those with a higher income.

Not all private schools in Buckinghamshire offer bursaries, but some offer bursaries to cover up to 100% of tuition fees depending on your income. See below for details. At some schools, children who are eligible for a bursary are also eligible for additional assistance to cover related costs such as uniforms, lunches, transport, and extra-curricular activities.

To apply for a bursary, you'll need to provide detailed financial evidence to prove that you meet the criteria. You will likely be interviewed and visited at home by a professional appointed by the school to assess your circumstances.

Buckinghamshire private school scholarships

Scholarships are awards offered to children who are exceptionally talented in a particular area of their education. Many schools in Buckinghamshire offer scholarships to children who excel academically, as well as those who are accomplished in sport, visual arts, music or drama.

Scholarships often cover only a small percentage of school fees (typically 10%). Some schools don't offer any financial award for scholarships, making them honour-based instead. This allows the school to fund more bursaries so that children with financial need can attend the school. For schools that offer both bursaries and financial scholarships, it is usually possible for a child to qualify for both.

If your child is applying for a scholarship, they will usually need to complete an additional assessment, interview or audition alongside their school entrance process. They will also need to maintain a standard in their chosen discipline throughout their time at the school.

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Girls' schools in Buckinghamshire

There are four girls-only private senior schools in Buckinghamshire.

Pipers Corner School

  • Area: High Wycombe

  • Number of pupils: 603

  • Type: day school

  • Age range: 4–18

  • Gender: girls only

  • Sixth form: yes

  • Religious affiliation: Church of England

  • Fees per term: £6,940

  • Scholarships: academic, art, drama, music, PE

  • Bursaries: up to 100% of fees

  • GCSE results: 73% 9–7

  • A level results: 63% A*/A

  • 11+ entry process: exam (English and maths), interview, school report

  • Admissions information

St Mary's School

  • Area: Gerrards Cross

  • Number of pupils: 413

  • Type: day school

  • Age range: 3–18

  • Gender: girls only

  • Sixth form: yes

  • Religious affiliation: Church of England

  • Fees per term: £6,480

  • Scholarships: academic, art, drama, music, sport

  • Bursaries: yes

  • 11+ entry process: exam (English, maths, verbal and non-verbal reasoning), interview, school report

  • Admissions information

Thornton College

  • Area: Milton Keynes

  • Number of pupils: 395

  • Type: day and boarding school

  • Age range: 3–18

  • Gender: girls only

  • Sixth form: yes

  • Religious affiliation: Roman Catholic

  • Fees per term: £5,945 (day students), £8,365 (weekly boarders), £10,195 (termly boarders)

  • Scholarships: academic, drama, music, sport

  • Bursaries: no

  • GCSE results: 54% 9–7

  • A level results: 59% A*/A

  • 11+ entry process: day visit and assessment (non-selective)

  • Admissions information

Wycombe Abbey

  • Area: High Wycombe

  • Number of pupils: 656

  • Type: day and boarding school

  • Age range: 11–18

  • Gender: girls only

  • Sixth form: yes

  • Religious affiliation: Church of England

  • Fees per term: £10,315 (day students), £13,750 (boarders)

  • Scholarships: academic, music

  • Bursaries: up to 100% of fees

  • GCSE results: 99% 9–7

  • A level results: 63% A*

  • 11+ entry process: online CAT4 test, assessment day (English and maths) and interview

  • Admissions information


Boys' schools in Buckinghamshire

There is only one all-boys private school in Buckinghamshire.

Thorpe House School

  • Area: Gerrards Cross

  • Number of pupils: 266

  • Type: day school

  • Age range: 4–16

  • Gender: boys only

  • Sixth form: no

  • Religious affiliation: Church of England

  • Fees per term: £6,365 (Years 7–8), £6,510 (Years 9–11)

  • Scholarships: academic, art, performing arts, sport

  • Bursaries: up to 100% of fees

  • GCSE results: 48.4% 9–7

  • 11+ entry process: taster day and assessment (non-selective – English, maths and science)

  • Admissions information


Co-educational schools in Buckinghamshire

Co-educational (co-ed) schools educate both boys and girls together. There are five co-educational private schools in Buckinghamshire.

Akeley Wood House

  • Area: Buckingham

  • Number of pupils: 455

  • Type: day

  • Age range: 11–18

  • Gender: co-educational

  • Sixth form: yes

  • Religious affiliation: non-denominational

  • Fees per term: £5,925

  • Scholarships: academic, sport, music, creative and performing arts

  • Bursaries: yes

  • GCSE results: 49% 9–7

  • A level results: 71% A*–B

  • 11+ entry process: interview, school report and reference

  • Admissions information

International School of Creative Arts

  • Area: Slough

  • Number of pupils: 60

  • Type: boarding school

  • Age range: 14–19

  • Gender: co-educational

  • Sixth form: yes

  • Religious affiliation: non-denominational

  • Fees per term: £15,140

  • Scholarships: academic excellence, exceptional endeavour, extraordinary studio-based practice, superb critical and creative thinking skills, ambassador award

  • Bursaries: no

  • 14+ entry process: portfolio assessment, interview, academic reports

  • Admissions information

Stowe School

  • Area: Buckingham

  • Number of pupils: 883

  • Type: day and boarding school

  • Age range: 13–18

  • Gender: co-educational

  • Sixth form: yes

  • Religious affiliation: Church of England

  • Fees per term: £7,873 (day students), £13,598 (boarders)

  • Scholarships: academic, art, music, drama, sports, design, Roxburgh (academic + sport or arts)

  • Bursaries: available only to successful scholarship candidates. Up to 100% of fees

  • GCSE results: 56% 9–7

  • A level results: 60% A*/A

  • 13+ entry process: school report, interview, ISEB Common Pre-Test

  • Admissions information

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The Chalfonts Independent Grammar School

  • Area: High Wycombe

  • Number of pupils: 126

  • Type: day

  • Age range: 11–18

  • Gender: co-educational

  • Sixth form: yes

  • Religious affiliation: non-denominational

  • Fees per term: £5,098.50

  • Scholarships: no

  • Bursaries: no

  • GCSE results: N/A, school offers IB Middle Years Programme

  • A level results: N/A, school offers IB Diploma Programme

  • 11+ entry process: school report, interview, exam (English and maths)

  • Admissions information

The Webber Independent School

  • Area: Milton Keynes

  • Number of pupils: 308

  • Type: day school

  • Age range: 0–16

  • Gender: co-educational

  • Sixth form: no

  • Religious affiliation: all faiths

  • Fees per term: £4,646 (Years 7–9), £4,695 (Years 10–11)

  • Scholarships: academic, music, art and design, drama, sport and dance

  • Bursaries: no

  • GCSE results: 46% 9–7

  • 11+ entry process: online assessment (verbal and non-verbal reasoning), school reference

  • Admissions information


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