Eton College, known informally as Eton, is one of the world’s best-known schools. Offering an all-male, all boarding school education, Eton College caters to 1315 students between 13 and 18.
Eton is one of only five remaining single-sex boys’ public schools in the United Kingdom. The school has educated nineteen British Prime Ministers and has historic associations with Britain’s political and social elites. When private schools – anywhere in the world – want a benchmark, Eton is the school that is used. It is not a surprise then that when the world’s largest private school provider, GEMS Education, went in search of a name, they headhunted Tony Little, the headmaster of Eton College until 2014, to be Head of Education for the group.
Students at Eton College are drawn from a variety of nationalities and backgrounds. One in ten students come from overseas and 75% of its students are drawn from London and the South East of England. Special learning support is offered to students whose first language is not English and its Special Educational Need resources are provided through a dedicated Learning Centre. In 2013/14, 8% of boys in the school receive SEN assistance with the aim to ensure all children do full justice to their abilities.
The school scored the highest possible accolades from the Independent School’s Inspectorate in 2010 in all three categories of educational provision, personal development and school governance. Eton College was rated Excellent in its most recently available ISI Educational Quality report (2016).
Its pupil to teacher average ratio is 8:1 with entry class sizes between 20 and 25 pupils. Eton is in the top 3 independent feeder schools to Oxbridge.
Sports provision is diverse, but focused on football, rugby and rowing.
Entrance to the school is by competitive tests, Common Entrance and interviews. Most students enter the school at age 13. Candidates go through a pre-assessment at age 11 consisting of an interview, a reasoning test and a report from the boy’s current school. Those offered conditional places must then pass the qualifying examination (Common Entrance) at age 13 to secure their place or pass the King’s Scholarship examination. Account is taken of Special Educational Needs, including dyslexia and dyspraxia.
Demand for places is high and competition is likely to prove the single biggest hurdle faced by parents set on an Eton education. Sixth Form Scholarships are awarded to boys in their GCSE year, but these are almost exclusively awarded to maintained schools or where students are in receipt of substantial bursarial assistance and their school has no provision for schooling years 12 and 13. Fee-paying places to Sixth Form Entrants is very limited to candidates with exceptionally high academic potential and additional strengths to offer in sports or in the arts.
The school is predominantly Christian, but provision is made for Roman Catholic, Jewish, Islamic and Hindu faiths.
Eton’s fees can be offset by bursaries according to merit and circumstances. Eton aims to provide 70 boys full fee remission and 25% of boys in the school with financial assistance. Bursaries are decided through means testing. Its scholarships program offers fee reductions of not less than 10% through competition on academic or musical merit.
Results in external examinations
A’ Level grades secured at A*/A/B 96%
A’ Level Grades A*/A 83%
A’ Level Grades A* 40%
AS Level Grades A/B 92%
AS Level Grades A 78%
GCSE Grades A* 71%
Eton deserves its reputation for excellence if you are looking for an all boy, all boarding school, with excellent results and a reputation for providing a rounded education. Within these parameters Eton College does provide the finest classical English boarding school education available in the world.
Whilst an Eton education has become associated with members of the aristocracy, the British royal family and government, Eton students have pursued successful careers in almost every part of public life. The success of its students in such a broad spectrum of careers is suggestive that its ideals to develop rounded individuals and nurture individual talent is as important as its academic focus.
However, although Eton College continues to broaden its student catchment to children from a variety of backgrounds with a generous bursary system, competition for places remains the biggest stumbling block to all prospective parents seeking an Eton education.
Exceeds excellent across the board in ISI scoring
Provision of a genuinely “happy” education
Outstanding whole child education – probably the best available
Near impossible to secure a place
Residing association with being elitist
Getting the best from children of all abilities
An educational “experience” beyond the classroom
Top 5 performer in league tables
Those seeking a mixed education
An exclusively academic education (Winchester is better)
• Sixth Form: 531 pupils
• Number of total staff: 800
• Number of full time teaching staff: 160
• Address: Eton College, Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 6DW, England
• ISI Rating Education: Exceptional
• ISI Rating Personal Development: Exemplary
• ISI Rating Governance: Outstanding
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