School Life: The best schools in Scotland

* Read Country Life’s Autumn 2013 School Life supplement in full

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
01896 822517 

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.

Ardvreck, Perthshire
01764 653112 

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.

Kilgraston, Perth
01738 812257

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.

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