We know all about Eton, Ludgrove and Downe House, but what about those schools that offer an equally excellent education on less eye-watering fees? Catherine Austen lists the schools you should know about but probably don’t.
St Mary’s School, Melrose
Jolly co-ed prep school with a small boarding department in the Scottish Borders. Small, but punches above its weight. Very sporty – it offers clay-pigeon shooting, cycling and a nine-hole golf course with buggies.
Small prep school which makes full use of its position on the edge of the Highlands, with outdoor pursuits-skiing at Glenshee, exploring Torquil Johnson-Ferguson’s private West Coast island, Rua Fiola, and a Munro club-a big part of school life. Co-ed from 3-13, and gets pupils into a wide range of big-name senior schools.
Has moved up a gear and is now one of the best girls’ schools in Scotland – it’s the only one with an on-site equestrian centre and in-house pony club. Has invested heavily in facilities, such as a theatre and swimming pool, and is really booming. Half-boarding, half-day, it offers the ‘full package’ from 21⁄2 to 18. Produces nice, well-rounded girls.