How all of Wales’ private schools compare on fees and results

Across Wales, there are 9,756 pupils who attend one of Wales’ fee-paying independent schools.

Their parents pay huge sums to ensure their children benefit from being in smaller classes and for the privilege of using the schools’ facilities.

Those sums average more than £11,544 a year for a place at a day school for the year or £30,951 for a boarding school for a year. Figures from the Welsh Government suggest there are more than 2,000 pupils at Wales’ boarding schools.

Here we’ve looked at the 30 private schools in Wales which offer secondary education and compared what they offer and what they charge.

Westbourne School

Westbourne School

This small co-educational school in Penarth topped the league tables for sixth form results this year for the fourth year in a row in the Daily Telegraph league tables for the UK’s leading independent schools in the smaller sixth forms category.

In a listing of 2,000 UK schools The Sunday Times Parent Power Schools Guide 2019 ranked Westbourne third.

A small cohort of 17 students achieved A*-B equivalent A-level grades of 97.9% in their Higher Level IB papers in 2018, the best results of any school offering only the IB in the sixth form. Westbourne also scooped International Baccalaureate School of the Year 2019.

Pupil number: 174

Type: Day and boarding

Religious affiliation: Non denominational

Motto/ethos: “Westbourne develops well-rounded scholars who go on to the best universities in the UK and around the world”

Fees: From £4,200 per term or £12,600 a year for day pupils in year six and up to £13,470 a year for sixth form. Boarding and International fees are available on request.

Exam results 2018

Westbourne teaches the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme in Sixth Form alongside GCSE and IGCSEs in its senior school.

That’s equivalent to 40% getting A*s with an average of 55-60% A*-A grades and 99% A*-C International Baccalaureate

Estyn verdict: Last inspected by Estyn March 2018. It rated the school the highest excellent in all five categories looked at; standards, Wellbeing and attitudes to learning, teaching and learning experiences, care, support and guidance and leadership and management. 

www.westbourneschool.com

Christ College Brecon

Christ College, Brecon - part of Cadw's Open Doors scheme

Christ College, Brecon

One of the UK’s oldest schools Christ College was founded by Royal Charter in 1541 by King Henry VIII and today takes girls and boys aged seven to 18.

Pupil numbers: 372

Type: Day and boarding

Religious affiliation: Church in Wales

Motto/ethos: Possunt Quia Posse Videntur – They achieve because they think they can achieve.

Fees: – From £15,522 annually for day pupils in years seven to 11 or £5,174 a term rising to £18,536 a year in sixth form.  Boarding fees from £21,642 annually for years seven to 11 to £29,043 in sixth form.

Exam results 2018

The school takes England’s number GCSEs graded 9-1 where eight is an A* and 9 is equivalent to an A**, which does not exist in Wales.

Some 31% achieved grades 8 or 9 and 52% achieved grades 7,8,9 (an A or higher)

At A level, 46% got A* or A and 70% achieved A* or B. The overall pass rate was 98%.

 

Gareth Pearson, new head teacher of Christ College Brecon

Gareth Pearson, head teacher of Christ College, Brecon
(Image: Effective)

Estyn verdict: Last inspected by Estyn October 2017 when the school ranked the highest possible excellent across all five areas inspectors looked at, standards, wellbeing and attitudes to learning, teaching and learning experiences, care, support and guidance and leadership and management. 

Haberdashers’ Monmouth School for Girls (Part of Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools)

Established by the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers in 1892 the school is part of a family of schools known as the Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools and takes girls from seven to 18 as day or boarding pupils, depending on age.

Pupil number: 575

Type: Day and boarding

Religious affiliation: Church in Wales

Motto/ethos: Serve and Obey

Fees: £4,926 a term for day pupils  in years seven to 11  or £14,778 a year. £10,687 a term  or £32,061 a year for boarders in sixth form.

Exam results 2018

GCSEs: Pupils took a mixture of Wales letter graded GCSEs and England’s number graded GCSEs.

Nearly one in four of all grades achieved on the reformed 9-1 grading were 9 – equivalent to a high A*.

A* to A – 69.3%

A* to C – 98.4%

A level

A* – 17.3%

A* to A – 45.7%

A*-B – 75.3%


Estyn verdict: Last inspected by Estyn in December 2015 – under Estyn’s old inspection regime. it ranked the school’s performance and prospects for improvement the highest possible excellent. Standards, wellbeing, learning experiences, teaching,care, support and guidance, learning environment, leadership and management were also rated excellent.

Head: Acting head Tom Arrand. From April 2019 – Jessica Miles

www.habsmonmouth.org

 

Monmouth School for Boys (part of Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools)

A level students at Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools,

Founded in 1614 the school takes boys aged 11 to 18. It also has a prep school.

Pupils share trips, expeditions, events and community projects with Monmouth School for Girls.

Voted Archant’s Best British Boarding School in 2011 in a vote by parents.

From this September co-educational teaching in sixth form was launched at Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools bringing together students from Monmouth School for Boys and Monmouth School for Girls

Pupil number: 565

Type: Day and boarding

Religious affiliation: Anglican

Motto/ethos: Serve and Obey

Fees: Day pupils £15,816 a year, £5,272 a term. Boarders £29,982 a year, £9,994 a term. Sixth form external entrants boarding £32,061 a year.

Exam results 2018

GCSE and IGCSE

Pupils take a mixture of England’s letter and Wales’ number graded GCSEs

A*-A (or 9-7)- 71%

A* – C (or 9-4) – 98%

30% of grades, awarded on England’s 9-1 GCSEs were the top grade 9.

A levels 2018

A*-A – 43.5%

A*-B – 64.7%

Estyn ranking: Last inspected by Estyn March 2014 under Estyn’s old inspection regime. It rated the school’s performance and prospects for improvement the highest, excellent. Standards, wellbeing, learning experiences, teaching,care, support and guidance, learning environment, leadership and management were also all rated excellent.

Headmaster: Dr Andrew Daniel

www.habsmonmouth.org/boys

St John’s College Cardiff

Co-educational day school for students aged three to 18. In September 2018 the college’s new sixth form centre opened at Eastern Business Park in St Mellons.

Founded in 1987 St John’s is the choir school of Wales’s national Catholic cathedral, Cardiff Metropolitan Cathedral.

Pupil number: Around 537

Type: Day

Religious affiliation: Roman Catholic

Motto/ethos : Ubi amor, ibi oculus (Wherever there is love, there is vision)

Fees: Projected fees for 2019-20 range from between £3,040 and £3,805 for primary pupils and £4,225 for secondary and £4,800 sixth form without a bursary.

Exam results 2018

GCSE

A* grades – 41%

A*/A grades – 67%

A* – B grades – 85%

A level

A* 32%

A*-A – 65%

A*- B – 86%

Pass rate 100%

Estyn Verdict:

Last inspected by Estyn February 2018. Outcome: standards, wellbeing and care, support and guidance were judged excellent while teaching and learning experiences and leadership and management deemed good.

Headmaster: Shaun Moody 

www.stjohnscollegecardiff.com

Howell’s School

Howell’s School, Llandaff, Cardiff,

This school for girls from the age of three to 18 years and boys from 16 to 18 was founded in 1860. The sixth form is known as Howell’s College. Founded in 1860

Pupil number: 778

Type: Day

Religious affiliation: Interdenominational

Motto/ethos: Nurturing Excellence

Fees: From £13,383 a year for pupils from year seven to £14,070 a year for the sixth form (college).

Exam results 2018

GCSEs

Pupils sit England’s numbered GCSEs

Grades 9-8 (equivalent to A*) – 53%

Grades 9,8 and 7 (equivalent to A*- A) – 74%

Grades 9,8,7,6 (equivalent to A* to B) – 90%

A levels 2018

A* – 26%

A*-A – 49%

A*-B – 74%

Estyn verdict: Last inspected in February 2015 under Estyn’s old inspection regime. Estyn ranked the school’s performance and prospects for improvement the highest possible, excellent. Standards, wellbeing, learning experience, teaching, care support and guidance, learning environment and leadership were all deemed excellent.

Principal: Sally Davies

www.howells-cardiff.gdst.net

Ruthin School

Ruthin School
(Image: Wikipedia)

One of the oldest schools in the UK Ruthin was founded in 1284 and now takes boys and girls from 11 and up. The school, which takes boys and girls from the age of 10, is ranked 6 in the Top Co-Educational Boarding School League Tables (www.best-schools.co.uk)

Type: Day and boarding

Pupil number: 360

Motto/ethos: Die Gratia Sum Quod Sum – By the Grace of God I am what I am.

Fees: Full Boarding fees for the academic year 2019-20- £37,500. Day fees for academic year 2019-20 from £12,000 to £14,500.

Exam results 2018

GCSE

A* – 43.2%

A*/A – 65.5%

A*/B – 86.9%

Pass rate – 100%

A level

A* – 32.5%

A*/A – 71.3%

A*/B – 90.4%

Pass rate – 100%

100% success rate getting students offers of university places. Seven students got into Oxbridge in 2018

Estyn verdict: Last inspected by Estyn  in February 2019. Standards and wellbeing and attitudes to learning were judged excellent while teaching and learning experiences, care, support and guidance and leadership and management deemed good.

Toby Belfield, principal of Ruthin School
(Image: UGC TNW)

Principal: Toby Belfield

www.ruthinschool.co.uk/about-us

The Cathedral School

Founded in 1880 this co-educational day school in Cardiff takes pupils aged three to 16.

Number of pupils: 807

Type: Day

Religious affiliation: Church in Wales

Motto/ethos: Says on website “Our school aims to nurture the talent and personality of each pupil, enabling all to thrive within a mutually respectful and supportive environment.”

Fees: Per term – £4,238 in years seven to 13

Exam results 2018

GCSE

The school takes England’s numbered GCSEs.

A* equivalent – 49%

A* -A equivalent – 69%

A level

A*-A – 53%

A*-B – 75%

Overall pass rate – 100%.

Estyn verdict: Last inspected in September 2018 the school was ranked the highest possible excellent in all five categories looked at; Wellbeing and attitudes to learning, teaching and learning experiences, care, support and guidance and leadership and management.

Cathedral School pupils celebrate their GCSE results
(Image: Cathedral School)

Head: Clare Sherwood

www.cathedral-school.co.uk

Cardiff Sixth Form College

Cardiff Sixth Form College

Co-educational day and boarding college established in 2004 and registered as an independent school in 2016. It caters for international and local students. The college has developed a reputation for having the best A-Level results in the UK and prepares students for entry to top universities in the UK and overseas.

In 2018 it ranked number one for A Level results in league tables published by the Telegraph and the Times.

Cardiff Sixth Form College has been top of the academic league tables , published by The Times and Daily Telegraph for the past six consecutive years.

Pupil number: 286

Type: Day and boarding

Religious affiliation: Non-denominational

Motto/ethos: Website says “Cardiff Sixth Form College is for the ambitious student whose aspirations are broad and whose academic dreams are big”.

Fees: Yearly – day students £16,600 and boarding from £34,600-£36,950

Exam results 2018

A levels

A*-A grades -89%

A*-B – 96%

Estyn verdict: The college is on the list for its first inspection which is due to take place within five years. Estyn has completed an initial registration visit and a follow up registration visit and has entered the college into its core inspection schedule saying if “may be inspected anytime in the seven years from 2016”.

Claire Williams, 19, from Bridgend , pictured with her broither Matthew, got into medical school this year after A level success at Cardiff Sixth Form College.

Principal: Gareth Collier

Address – 1 – 3 Trinity Court, 21-27 Newport Road,

Cardiff CF24 0AA

02 92049 3121

www.ccoex.com

Kings Monkton School

Kings Monkton School in Roath
(Image: Kings Monkton School)

One of the fastest growing independent schools in Wales and one of only two schools in Wales that is a mainstream independent school with SEN status.

Co-educational for pupils aged three to 18 it was formed in 1994 from the amalgamation of two of Cardiff’s oldest schools – King’s College and Monkton House – both of which were established in the 1870

Number of students: 303

Type: Day

Religious affiliation: All faiths

Motto/ethos: Says on website “our vision is to create an inclusive school community built on a happy, innovative and outstanding learning environment”.

Fees: Yearly from £8,100 to £12,205

Exam results 2018

GCSE

A*-A –40 %

Pupils achieving five or more A*- C grades – 82%

A level

A*-A – 57.9%

A*-B – 79%

Pupils celebrate their GCSE results at Kings Monkton school in Cardiff

Estyn verdict: After an Estyn monitoring visit in June 2018 inspectors said: “The school provides a nurturing and inclusive environment where pupils develop positive attitu des about themselves and others. Most pupils make strong progress from their starting points and gain a wide range of qualifications. They engage well in lessons..The school’s provision for personal and social education is a strong feature of the school”.

Principal: Paul Norton

Address 6 West Grove, Cardiff CF24 3XL

Tel 02920 048 285

www.kingsmonkton.org.uk/

Rougemont School

This co-ed school day school for children aged three to 18 began life based in Clevedon Road in Newport in 1925.

Pupil number: around 531

Type: Day

Religious affiliation: Non denominational

Motto/ethos: Education is more than imparting knowledge

Fees: Termly: seniors (years seven to nine) £4,017, seniors and sixth form (years 10 to 13) £4,512.

Exam results 2018

GCSE

A*-A grades – 63%

A*-B 85%

A levels 2018

Pass rate – 100%

A*-A grades – 50%

A* grades – 19%

Pupils at Rougemont School

Estyn verdict: The last Estyn inspection report in November 2016 found Rougemont was the highest possible excellent across all five areas inspected; standards, wellbeing and attitudes to learning, teaching and learning experiences, care, support and guidance and leadership and management.

Headmaster: Robert Carnevale

Rougemont School, Llantarnam Hall, Malpas Road, Newport NP20 6QB, 01633 820 803

www.rougemontschool.co.uk

Rydal Penrhos

Rydal Penrhos School in Colwyn Bay

Founded in 1885 the school takes boys and girls aged two and a half to 18. 

Pupil number: 317 

Type: Day and boarding 

Religious affiliation: Methodist 

Motto: Veritas, Scientia, Fides (Truth, Knowledge, Faith) 

Fees: From £4,652 per term for day pupils to £9,053 for full boarding in years seven and eight to £5,595 per term for day pupils and £11,150 for boarders in years 12 to 13. 

Exam results 2018  

GCSE

A* (9 and 8 equivalent) – 33.9%

A* – A (9-7 equivalent) – 51.1%

A*-C (9-4 equivalent) – 94.4%

A level

A*-A -45.1%

A*-B – 63.7%

Ewan Luke and Zac Blomeley, pupils at Rydal Penrhos who retained their place in the GB Youth 29er squad this year.

Estyn verdict: Last inspected under Estyn’s old regime in October 2013 at which time the school’s performance and prospects for improvement were ranked as good. Standards, wellbeing, learning experiences. Teaching, care support and guidance and leadership were also rated good while the learning environment was ranked the highest possible of excellent.

Headmaster: Simon Smith

Pwllycrochan Ave, Colwyn Bay, Conwy LL29 7BT, Tel:01492 530155

www.rydalpenrhos.com

St Clare’s School

 

Founded in 1938 this co-educational day school takes pupils aged three to 18. The school’s nursery was a ‘Top 20’ Daynurseries Award Winner in 2018.

Pupil number: 299

Type: Day

Religious affiliation: Non-denominational

Motto: Achievement Challenge Excellence

Fees: From £3,656 a term in year seven to £3,933 a term in years 12 and 13.

Exam results 2018

GCSE

St Clare’s pupils take England’s number graded GCSEs

A*- A equivalent – 51.3%

A*-C – 95.6%

A levels

A* – 16%

A*-B – 78.4%

A*-C – 92%

Pupils at St Clare’s School, celebrating results when they took England’s new number graded GCSEs in English and maths.

Estyn verdict: The school was last inspected in April 2015 at which time erformance and prospects for improvement were rated as good. Standards, learning experiences, teaching, care, support and guidance, learning environment and leadership were all also ranked good.

Head teacher: Helen Hier

Newton, Porthcawl, CF36 5AS, Tel: 01656 782509

www.stclares-school.co.uk

Ffynone House School

Pupils at Ffynone House School, in Swansea

Swansea’s only independent co-educational secondary school Ffynone House takes pupils from 11 to 18 years and was founded in 1973. Ffynone has a tradition of extra-curricular sporting activities.

Pupil number: Unknown

Type: Day

Religious affiliation: None recorded

Motto/ethos: Where Individuals Matter

Fees: Per term: Years seven to nine,£3,615, and years 10 to 13 £3,670

Exam results 2018

GCSE: No figures available but the school website says more than three quarters were A* to B and: “At GCSE, attainment is very high across all disciplines and results are regularly at least 25% above the Welsh national average. Early entry GCSE students gain particularly high results.”

A level: A*-B – 68%

Caitlin Hannah hugs a fellow pupil after receiving 2 As and a A* in her A Level results at Ffynone House School in Swansea in 2017
(Image: Matthew Horwood)

Estyn verdict: Last inspected September 2013 under Estyn’s old regime at which time its performance and prospects for improvement were rated good. Standards were rated the highest excellent while teaching, care support and guidance, wellbeing, learning experiences, learning environment and leadership were rated good.

Headteacher: Michael Boulding

Ffynone House School Trust, 36 St James’s Crescent, Uplands, Swansea, SA1 6DR, Tel: 01792 464967

www.ffynonehouseschool.co.uk

St David’s College, Llandudno

This school for girls and boys aged nine to 19 is highly regarded for its SEN provision, helping pupils with dyslexia and associated learning needs.

It boasts an unrivalled outdoor education programme and was awarded the best for extra-curricular activities by the Independent Schools Association.

Pupil number: 225

Type: Day and boarding

Religious affiliation: Interdenominational

Motto/ethos: “Discover the freedom to flourish”

Fees: Boarding fees per term: £7,750 to £12,080. Day fees per term £3,750 to £7,500

Exam results 2018

GCSE

A*-C – 79%

A level

A*-A – 33%

A*-C – 67%

A*- E – 89%

Estyn verdict: Last inspected in October 2012 when Estyn found performance was good and prospects for improvement the highest excellent. Standards, teaching, care, support and guidance, learning environment and leadership were all rated good, while wellbeing, learning experiences and improving quality were all ranked excellent.

Headmaster: Andrew Russell

St David’s College, Gloddaeth Hall, Llandudno, LL30 1RD, 01492 875974

www.stdavidscollege.co.uk

 

St Michael’s School

St. Michaels Geography students won the Worldwise Geographical Association Quiz for the third time in 2017

Co-educational school for pupils aged three to 3-18 years.

Top 30 in the UK for A-Level results Welsh Independent School of the Year (Sunday Times)

Pupil number: 503

Type: Day and boarding

Religious affiliation: Non-denominational

Motto/ethos: School says in website that it places “Great emphasis on pastoral care and extracurricular life enriching activities to help great minds grow.”

Fees: Per Term: Tuition from £3,774 in years seven and eight to £4,124 in years 12 and 13. Annual boarding fees are from £8,400 in years seven to 10 to £9,000 in years 11 and up with a supplement for a single room

Exam results 2018

GCSE   

A* – 42.6% 

A – 26.6% 

B – 19.2% 

C – 8.7% 

D – 1.9% 

E – 0.6% 

F – 0.4% 

A level:  

A* – 20.5% 

A – 40.4% 

B – 27.6% 

C – 7.7% 

D – 3.2% 

E – 0.6%

St Michael’s School leavers in fancy dress on their final day.

Estyn verdict: Last inspected January 2014 at which time current performance was ranked good and prospects for improvement adequate. Standards, teaching, learning experiences were rated good while the learning environment, care, support and guidance and leadership were rated adequate.

Headmaster: Benson Ferrari

St Michael’s School, Pen y Bryn, Bryn, Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, SA14 9TU, 01554 820325 

www.stmikes.co.uk

Myddelton College

Myddleton College, Denbigh

Sited on the former Howell’s School, Denbigh Myddelton College was registered as an independent school in 2015. A co-educational school for pupils aged nine to 18 which promises “a unique set of elements that provide so much more than a traditional independent education for our students.” 

The school is a A Microsoft Associate Showcase School in recognition of its innovative approach to integrating technology into education. 

Fees: From £9,000 a year for prep school day pupils to £12,000 a year for senior day pupils and from £25,500 a year to £28,100 for boarding depending on age and £36,600 a year for international boarding students. 

Pupil number: 148 

Type: Day and boarding

Motto/ethos: Says on website:“A unique set of elements that provide so much more than a traditional independent education for our students.” 

Exam results 2018  

GCSE: Does not publish on its website  

A level: Does not publish on its website 

Estyn verdict: Inspectors have completed an initial registration visit and a follow up registration visit. The school has now been entered into Estyn’s core inspection schedule and may be inspected anytime in the seven years from 2015.

Mark Roberts, headteacher of Myddleton College, Denbigh.

Headteacher: Mark Roberts 

Myddelton College, Peakes Lane, Denbigh, LL16 3EN, 01745 472 201 

www.myddeltoncollege.com

St Gerard’s School Trust 

Founded in 1915 by the Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy the school now takes boys and girls aged four to 18 

Pupil number: around 182 

Type: Day 

Religious affiliation: Described on website as a “Christian setting”. 

Motto/ethos: “St Gerard’s aims to create a Christian setting in which every young person has the opportunity to make the most of his or her individual gifts.” 

Fees: From £7,050 a year in reception to £10,695 in years 10 to 13 

Exam results 2018 

GCSE:  A*-A – 66% 

A level: Does not publish on its website

Estyn verdict: Last inspected November 2014 when Estyn ranked performance good and prospects for improvement adequate. Standards, learning experiences, teaching and learning environment were all deemed good while care support and guidance and improving quality were rated as adequate 

Headteacher: Campbell Harrison

Ffriddoedd Road, Bangor, Gwynedd, LL57 2EL, Tel:01248 351 656 

www.st-gerards.org

Cardiff Academy

The oldest independent  sixth form college in Cardiff was opened in 1999 and teaches A level and GCSE courses. Past students have got into a range of universities including Oxford and Cambridge. Minimum entry requirement is six GCSE subjects at grade A or above, with a minimum requirement of grade A or above in subjects to be studied at A-level.

Pupil number:   23 

Type: Day 

Religious affiliation: Non-denominational  

Motto/ethos: Our ethos is student-centred, family-orientated and supportive of student needs, be these academic or pastoral. Our aim is to create a safe, secure, supportive environment in which all students can achieve their maximum potential at A-level and go on to become well-balanced, ambitious, high-achieving individuals in their chosen professional career. 

Fees: Two year A level course £12,000 a year.  Intensive one year A level course £15,000. Two year GCSE course (for years 10 and 11) , £12,000 a year. Intensive one year GCSE course £15,000.  

Estyn verdict: Because of the number of pupils on roll the school does not have a full Estyn inspection 

Exam results 

The college says on its website that since opening in 1999 66% of grades achieved are A* to A and more than 80% of students achieved places at Russell Group universities. Of students applying to Oxbridge 22% have been successful. 

Head teacher: Dr Stephen Wilson

Cardiff Academy Ltd, 40-41 The Parade, Cardiff, CF24 3AB,  02920 409 630

www.cardiffacademy.co.uk

Llandovery College

Pupils at Llandovery College, Carmarthenshire

Founded in 1848 the school now takes boys and girls aged four to 18. The College has over 50 former pupils who have collectively notched up close to 550 caps for Wales – a record exceeding any other Welsh School in the history of rugby.

Pupil number: 220 in the senior schoolr

Type: Day and boarding

Religious affiliation: Church in Wales

Motto/ethos: Gwell Dysg Na Golud – Our Education is Our Wealth

Fees: From £5,535 for day pupils in year 10 to £8,820 for boarders in year 13

Exam results:

Pupils mainly take England’s numbered GCSEs although some of Wales’s letter graded GCSEs are also taken.

GCSE

Pass rate: 100% and a “pleasing clutch” of the highest grade 9s.

A level

A* – 12%

A*-A – 37%

A*-B – 58%

Llandovery College students celebrate exam results

Estyn verdict: When Estyn last inspected the school in March 2013 under the old inspection regime the school’s performance and prospects for improvement were rated adequate. Standards, wellbeing, care, support and guidance and learning environment were judged as good while learning experiences, teaching and leadership were adequate.

Warden: Guy Ayling

www.llandoverycollege.com

 

Article source: https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/education/private-school-independent-wales-cardiff-15516098