The King's School Canterbury independent private school the scholarship hunt

Traditionally, in the UK a public school is a selective independent secondary school that provides education for children aged from 13 (or in some cases 11) through to 18.

The word ‘public’ references their origins, being schools that were open for children of the public who could not pay their fees.

Over time, however, their reputation for providing a good education grew and those wealthy parents who could afford to pay for schooling recognised this.

Thus, as time progressed, those schools began to accept pupils whose parents could pay for their education.

This meant the schools were able to improve their existing arrangements, expand their facilities and expand to offer boarding for their students.

The first of these schools were for boys only and were full-boarding only, too, however, over time their remit expanded to include schools for girls only, then both sexes and also day only attendance as well.

These public schools do not receive any Government funding and are dependent upon the termly fees they charge along with funds built up over previous years.

Being free from Government funding has meant they have also had more flexibility in their syllabuses, the selection of examination boards and timetabling.

Whilst each school is independent, the vast majority are members of specific organisations who act to ensure the highest standards and best practices are applied.

Schools by type and county

Many people are unaware of the different types of schools in their nearby area.

We’ve therefore prepared outline details of state and independent schools for some local counties.

Please note, however, that we work with parents in a variety of locations and circumstances, so please contact us if your specific region isn’t listed.

More flexibility provides for more choice

For parents who are considering private education for their children the choices available can appear overwhelming.


Here are just a few examples of the types of issues to consider:

  • Should they attend a Nursery (2-4 years), wait until Pre-Prep School (4-7/8 years) or should we wait until they are of Prep School age (8-13 years)?
  • Should we send them to a day school, a week-day boarding school or full-board?
  • How far am I willing to travel?
  • Should the school (or the classes) be mixed or single sex?
  • Is there a specific senior school that we’d like to have our child attend?

There many more issues to consider in addition to those above and by following a structured approach it is possible to create a workable plan for your child’s educational progression.

We explore these points further and provide additional guidance and comments in our blog which you can subscribe to here.

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