Education is an investment into your child and their future, and success begins with making the right choice. Following in the steps of kings and queens, these UK prep schools for boys can help turn your family into an empire.

UK prep schools have a superb reputation that echoes throughout the world. 

Whether you live in the United Kingdom or are considering relocating, the Spear School Index lists these UK prep schools for boys as “Top Flight 2024, UK Prep Schools” to consider. 

Deciding which of the UK prep schools for boys is the right one can be a bit overwhelming – so simply let the wise words of W. Somerset Maugham guide you through the process:

It is a funny thing about life-

if you refuse to accept anything but the best you very often get it.

UK prep schools for boys – A British high society tradition

In the UK, boarding schools date back to medieval times in the forms of monasteries or noble houses. 

Today, the same ethos of prestige persists, though admission is open to a broader demographic, though nonetheless elite.

Standard features of boarding prep schools are small class sizes, excellent sporting facilities, and a host of extracurricular activities. As many are boarding schools, there are also single-sex options. 

Prep schools are often boarding schools, allowing children to develop socially, gain a sense of responsibility that comes with living away from home, and build personal relationships that will later develop into unparalleled professional networks. 

Cothill House

Widely regarded as one of the best prep schools in the UK, Cothill House is set on picturesque grounds in the beautiful Oxfordshire countryside. 

Cothill House benefits from owning a desirably well-connected location, just 20 minutes from central Oxford and an hour from Heathrow Airport. 

Cothill House has always been a dedicated boarding school, but in 2023, it opened its doors to day pupils. In addition, there’s a flexi boarding option, allowing boys to settle in without staying overnight.

The school was traditionally open to boys between eight and 13, but from September 2024, another year group will be added, meaning that seven-year-olds will also be able to enjoy the benefits of becoming a “Cothillian”.

Educational facilities include two academic blocks, a dedicated Craft, Design & Technology Centre, a library, science labs, and a computer lab. 

Class sizes are small, with an average of 14 pupils per class, and the extra attention afforded to pupils is reflected in Cothill’s academic success every year. 

Cothill’s original athletic and fitness facilities include:

  • Numerous high-quality sports pitches
  • A nine-hole golf course
  • An indoor swimming pool
  • Six tennis courts
  • An outdoor climbing wall
  • Skate ramps

But a brand new Sports Centre opened in 2023, that added:

  • An indoor football pitch
  • Basketball court
  • Fitness suite
  • Four cricket nets
  • An indoor climbing wall
  • Squash court
  • Changing rooms

While fitness and athletic competition is important at Cothill House, it is not the only passion it nurtures. All pupils can enjoy music lessons, with 20 practice rooms and two drum rooms.

Any instrument can be learned, and the school has its own:

  • Brass band
  • Jazz band
  • Orchestra
  • Two choirs

There’s even the opportunity to join a rock band or two, with Cothill hosting an annual rock festival during the summer.

Pupils are also encouraged to participate in drama at Cothill. Junior and senior plays are performed during the school year.

Weekend activities include music lessons, sports matches, and various leisure activities on school grounds. Field trips and excursions take advantage of Cothill’s easy reach of London and great location. 

Cothill House is committed to giving its pupils the very best preparation, both academically and socially, while they are enrolled and onward throughout their lives.

Upon graduating from Cothill House, boys typically move on to some of the most prestigious schools in the world, including Eton and Harrow.

Cothill House fees start around £12,000 [approx. $15,300] per term for full boarding, equating to approximately £36,000 [approx. $46,000] for the entire school year, and roughly £8,000 [approx. $10,200] per term for day pupils, which is the equivalent of £24,000 [$30,600] per year.

Ludgrove School

One of the most sought-after UK prep schools for boys can boast the future king of England, William, the Prince of Wales, as a former pupil. 

Ludgrove School is a non-selective school for boys aged 8-13, with no formal entrance exams. It is so popular that parents can and do register their sons immediately after birth, which alone is a significant indicator of not only how well-regarded Ludgrove is, but how difficult it is to get into. 

When it was founded in 1892, Ludgrove bucked the trend of ultra-strict prep schools and focused on creating an academic and social environment that fostered independent thinking. 

This ethos has been maintained to this day, prioritizing a nurturing and caring environment that promotes a love of learning.

Ludgrove has a standout feature amongst the UK prep schools for boys, as it is the only fortnightly school – meaning that during term time, children spend roughly 11 of every 14 days at Ludgrove and go home every other weekend.

Ludgrove is located in rural Berkshire, around 40 miles west of London and just a half-hour drive from Heathrow Airport. It is by far the biggest of the UK prep schools for boys, boasting a 130-acre campus. 

Thus, Ludgrove offers a vast expanse of outdoor space for pupils to enjoy, with lots of playing fields and outdoor sports pitches, an adventure playground and treehouse, and many opportunities to build camps and dens.

In 2021, Ludgrove opened a new scientific and creative learning center featuring science, coding, art, CDT, and ceramics classrooms. Former pupil Bear Grylls cut the ribbon.

Class sizes range from 9-15 pupils, allowing boys to develop independently – 100% of Ludgrove’s top-year pupils passed the common entrance exam in 2023, leading to 80% of the class of 2023 going on to attend Eton, Harrow, Radley, and Winchester.

Ludgrove’s fee is around £12,000 [approx. $15,300] per term or roughly £36,000 [$46,000] for the entire school year. 

Summer Fields

Typically, UK prep schools for boys are designed for older boys, which is why families with young boys are drawn to Summer Fields, as the school accepts pupils between the ages of four and 13.

The school offers full boarding and day school options, with the latter option popular with younger boys.

Summer Fields is just a couple of miles from central Oxford and a 50-minute drive from Heathrow Airport. 

Set on 70 acres; the school offers all of the outdoor sporting facilities expected from a school of its stature, including:

  • A nine-hole golf course
  • Athletics track
  • Astroturf field hockey pitch
  • A clay pigeon shooting range
  • An outdoor swimming pool
  • An adventure playground
  • A maze

The more adventurous pupils migrate to the nearby river to enjoy canoeing, kayaking, and paddle boarding. 

The Sports Hall has a 22-meter heated swimming pool, squash courts, and a shooting range. 

Summer Fields excels in performing arts. The purpose-built Macmillan Building houses 25 music practice rooms and a 300-seat theater that hosts numerous concerts, theater productions, and recitals throughout the school year.

One of Summer Field’s greatest strengths is its approach to boarding. 

Boys are organized into ‘Lodges’ according to age. Each lodge has ‘Lodgeparents’ and other staff who live on-site to provide a familiar and comforting environment for the boys.

Since 2018, Summer Fields has undergone an extensive modernization and renovation program across all accommodations, keeping everything modern, state-of-the-art, and allowing the school to maintain its historic feel while always remaining contemporary. 

Summer Field’s fees are around £12,500 [approx. $16,000] per term for full boarders and approximately £9,000 [approx. $11,500] per term for day pupils. Term fees for four to seven-year-olds range between £5,000 to £6,500 [approx. $6,400 to $8,300].

Astons – Clients who only understand success

HNW entrepreneurs, investors, and families that demand the best, partner with Astons.

We pride ourselves with being an invaluable partner as well as a resource that the HNW community can trust and rely upon – much like the Spear’s School Index

Astons has become a leader in the investment migration and luxury real estate industries by building and maintaining a seasoned team of experts who understand wealth generation to generational wealth.

We count our success client by client, and over the past 35 years, we have surpassed 9000 global success stories. 

Schedule your Free Confidential and Comprehensive Consultation today.