11 Affordable & Free Boarding Schools UK in 2024/2025

Truth be told, there are no truly free boarding schools UK in the sense that both education and boarding are completely free of charge. However, several options can make boarding schools more affordable or even fully covered for certain students. 

If you really want completely free boarding schools you can find some of those in Georgia, New York, Texas, Florida, etc.

You should note that you don’t get to pay any tuition fee in state-funded boarding schools in the UK, so you only pay for their boarding fees which are moderately low per term or annually.

Let’s get started with these schools. 

free boarding schools UK

Affordable Boarding Schools UK

Since there is no free boarding school in the UK, we’ll be focusing mostly on affordable State boarding schools which offer significant cost savings compared to traditional private boarding schools.

1. Dallam School, Cumbria

Boarding fees: 

  • £4,769 (Whitbarrow Hall) or £4,280 (Old Boarding House), per term — full-time boarding
  • £12,838 per year — full-time boarding

Grade: 11-19 year olds

You can see that the state boarding fees at Dallam are extremely competitive compared to independent options. Instead of paying £30,000+ a year at an independent boarding school, at Dallam, you pay a much lower cost. 

They even reduce the fee more for siblings, NHS, blue light services families, and forces families. To even spice it up, you don’t get to pay tuition fees because it is a State Boarding School.

Most importantly, they don’t sacrifice excellence for affordability, the school follows the National Curriculum and students are taught by fully qualified teachers.

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2. Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Wakefield

Boarding fees: 

AnnuallyTermly
Years 3 & 4£12,168£4,056
Years 5 & 6£12,846£4,282
Years 7+£16,248£5,416

Grade: 

  • Junior Boys (7-11 years)
  • Senior Boys (11-18 years)

Besides the fact that this is among the most affordable boarding schools UK, they also help their students to enjoy learning. And this joy of learning from their pupils started more than 400 years ago when the school was established.

Also, QEGS understands that boys respond best to teaching styles that fit their needs that’s why it offers a learning environment tailored to meet their specific learning requirements. 

Furthermore, QEGS awards bursaries or scholarships to 1 in 5 students to help with fees which can cover up to 75% of their school fees. 

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3. The King’s School, Macclesfield

Boarding fees: 

AnnuallyTermly
Pre-School (Age 3)£9,867£3,289
Infant & Junior (Ages 4-11)£12,420£4,140
Senior & Sixth Form (Ages 11-18)£15,315£5,105

This is one of the most affordable boarding schools in the United Kingdom that goes further to provide more than a 10% sibling discount and a 3% annual fee discount.

The King’s School trains its pupils to understand the need for hard work, striving for excellence, and independent learning. Also, the school is using five learning habits that they plan to deliberately develop during lessons alongside the usual subject content, which include; Collaborating, Resilience, Reasoning, Questioning, and Reflecting.

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4. Cranbrook School, Kent

Boarding fees: 

AnnuallyTermly
Years 9-11£15,900£5,300
Years 12-13£19,059£4,140
Senior & Sixth Form (Ages 11-18)£15,315£5,105

Grade: Year 9 – Year 13

Cranbrook School is not just one of the most affordable boarding schools UK, it also doesn’t charge tuition fees due to they are state-funded school. Also, Armed Forces families who receive Continuity of Education Allowance (CEA) will only pay 8% of the annual boarding fee, £404 per term (£1,212 per annum). 

As a boarder one of the things your kid(s) will benefit from is supervised homework time as well as increased access to the School’s resources outside of class hours. You’re also free to book a tour of their boarding houses because the website can’t do proper justice to their boarding lifestyle.

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5. Colchester Royal Grammar School

  • Boarding Fees: £5,475 per term

Just like every other affordable state-funded boarding school in the UK that we’ve listed, you don’t need to pay any tuition fee at Colchester Royal Grammar School. Being a border at CRGS gives students access to the school facilities in the evenings and at weekends, including the school gym, tennis courts, music department, and smart board technology for their studies.

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6. Holyport College

Boarding fees:

AnnuallyTermly
Years 7 to 11 and Year 13 £16,158£5,386
Year 12 only£17,157£5,719
Senior & Sixth Form (Ages 11-18)£15,315£5,105

Even though most boarding schools partake in co-curriculum, one of the things that makes Holyport College’s co-curriculum unique is the fact that they see it as an integral part of life. They also believe it is one of the reasons their students are so rounded, positive, and successful, that’s why they spend 60 minutes per day on their co-curriculum.

To help their students even further, Holyport College hosts guest speakers, weekly, from both the academic and professional world to stretch pupils’ academic capability and delve deeper into a variety of academic topics.

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7. Brymore Academy

  • Boarding Fees: £11,970 (weekly boarder) and £12,975 (full-time boarder)
  • Grades: boys aged between 11 and 17

This is among the affordable boarding schools UK that believe that academic success is achieved through small class sizes, a practical curriculum, outstanding facilities and an emphasis on traditional values. We are a state boarding school for boys aged between 11 and 17, which means the education is free and we are open to day pupils.

Brymore Academy doesn’t only focus on building the academic intellect of its students, it also ensures that its boys are hard-working, have good manners, and are respectful. No wonder employers, members of the public and parents alike often comment ‘You can always recognise a Brymore boy.’ They offer ‘an experience to last a lifetime.

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8. Burford School

  • Boarding Fees: £11,250 per annum (£3,750 per term)
  • Grades: 11 to 18 years old.

Burford School is not just affordable, but it also gives precise attention to the welfare and academic and social progress of each student. Also, the school provide a team of three Independent Listeners to students, should they wish to discuss any issues or concerns with a member of staff who is not part of the boarding team.

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9. St Bede’s College

Boarding Fees:

AnnuallyTermly
Prep £9,525£3,175
Senior£13,309£4,436
International£15,934£5,311
  • Grades: aged 3-18

This is a Catholic HMC Independent College for boys and girls that have the vision of growing their pupils as true leaders in the 21st century. Their Pupils are allowed to learn about issues in the world which directly affect them in PSMEE lessons which will equip them with the tools to build resilience.

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10. Christ’s Hospital

  • Tuition: £13,970 per term
  • Grades: AGED 11-18

You can see that their tuition fee is quite higher than the schools we’ve listed so far, but we listed them because they provided bursaries and academic excellence. The total bursary (fee-assisted) support given by Christ’s Hospital each year is over £20 million and 11% of pupils receive a fully supported bursary place. 73% of pupils receive some level of bursary support and only 22% pay full fees.

They also offer scholarships worth up to 20% for academic excellence and outstanding ability in music, art, drama and sport.

Speaking of academic excellence, the school has strong GCSE and A-level results and 98% of leavers go on to top universities.

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11. City of London Freemen’s School

Boarding Fees:

Termly
Year 9 to Year 11 £13,958
Year 12 to Year 13£14,311

This is another boarding school in the United Kingdom in which the fee is a little bit higher than the affordable boarding schools UK but uses scholarships and bursaries to reduce pupil’s fees. Their bursaries are offered based on the amount of need required and the child’s performance in their entrance assessments.

Also, transformational bursaries could be up to 110% of the school fees. Scholarships are limited to a 5% discount on the fees.

The school also has hardship funds provided for families who already have children at Freemen’s.  

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Key Takeaway 

You can see that free boarding schools UK, aren’t entirely free as we stated earlier. This means focusing on affordable prices is not a bad idea, whether through state boarding options or generous bursaries and scholarships.

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