10 Top Boarding Schools in Scotland (Cost, FAQs) | 2023

Boarding Schools in Scotland provide a diverse range of options and opportunities.

Because each form of school has something unique, this article has highlighted some of the top boarding schools in Scotland that could be the greatest fit for your son or daughter.

How much are Boarding Schools in Scotland?

Secondary education at Scotland’s best private boarding schools will cost between 20,000 and 35,000 GBP per academic year, while children’s language camps cost between 700 and 1,000 GBP per week.

List of 10 Best Boarding Schools in Scotland in 2023

  • Ardvreck School
  • Cargilfield Prep School
  • Dollar Academy
  • Gordonstoun School
  • ESMS School
  • Queen Victoria School
  • Kilgraston school
  • Fettes College
  • Loretto School
  • St Leonards School

Top 10 Best Boarding Schools in Scotland in 2023

1. Ardvreck School

Ardvreck is widely considered one of Scotland’s finest preparatory schools. Their comprehensive academic and co-curricular program enables all students to develop their abilities and interests in a holistic learning environment.

Each child at Ardvreck School is respected as an individual, and they make every effort to meet their requirements.

Unlike larger institutions, they can take a sympathetic approach to each child’s needs, interests, and academic excitement, creating a sense of home at Ardvreck. More so, children feel secure, loved, cherished, and nurtured.

As one of the best boarding schools in Scotland, Ardvreck’s day and boarding learning environments are nestled in the picturesque Perthshire countryside.

Children can play and explore in the ponds, dens, and wide green areas, allowing them to thrive in a natural setting that encourages them to make the most of their formative years.

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2. Cargilfield Prep School

Cargilfield Prep school, Scotland’s oldest independent junior school, understands how to make education a happy but fulfilling experience.

Additionally, they provide the greatest possible start to their children’s education before they move on to the leading senior institutions in Edinburgh, Scotland, and the United Kingdom.

Cargilfield is pleased to be one of Canada’s few independent prep schools and one of the best boarding schools in Scotland.

They prepare girls and boys for the top independent schools in Edinburgh, Scotland, and the United Kingdom.

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3. Dollar Academy

Dollar Academy is widely considered one of the best boarding schools in Scotland, and they believe that you will be hard-pressed to find a school with a more diverse selection of studies and extracurricular activities.

Their outstanding facilities and inviting community create the ideal learning environment for day children and boarders. Since 1818, Dollar Academy has been where students can reach their greatest potential.

Their exciting 70-acre campus is located in the charming market town of Dollar in Central Scotland and is home to over 1300 pupils aged five to eighteen years.

There is competition for places at Dollar Academy, and admission is based on prior achievement and perceived academic potential, as well as an assessment of a pupil’s likelihood of positively contributing to the school’s aims, ethos, and co-curricular life through good behavior, hard work, and enthusiasm.

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Related: 10 Best High Schools in Canada in 2023 (Full Research)

Best Boarding Schools in Scotland in 2023

4. ESMS School

ESMS is a unique family of independent schools in Edinburgh, providing Nursery, Primary, and Secondary education to boys and girls.

Children are taught together from Nursery to Primary 7, they transition to a single-sex but highly integrated senior education before rejoining a co-educational Sixth Form.

A one-of-a-kind family of boys’ and girls’ independent schools. They welcome everyone to the ESMS family of independent schools in Edinburgh for children aged 3 to 18.

For almost 150 years, their schools have collaborated to produce world-class boys and girls.

They have a co-educational Junior School, a single-sex but closely twinned secondary school for boys and girls, and a co-educational Sixth Form.

Additionally, ESMS offers flexible boarding alternatives beginning at the age of ten at Dean Park Boarding House.

They offer over 300 clubs and societies, as well as a diverse range of opportunities in sport, music, drama, outdoor education, trips, and community involvement, all to assist your child in discovering their talents, learning or exploring something new, having fun, and meeting new people.

The Boarding House is located in Edinburgh’s historic core, near the west end of Princes Street. Edinburgh, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is steeped in history and culture, making it an ideal location for children to attend school.

Rated as one of the best boarding schools in Scotland, each year, pupils enjoy field trips to nearby attractions such as Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace, the National Museum of Scotland, the National Portrait Gallery, and the Scottish National Galleries.

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5. Fettes College

Fettes school is a cooperative community that values cooperation and mutual support.

This joyful, purposeful atmosphere fosters boys’ and girls’ growth and development of their inherent abilities and interests.

Being surrounded by supportive professors and peers encourages their students to attempt new skills and discover abilities they were unaware they possessed.

Fettes aims to cultivate individuals who are well-educated, confident, and thoughtful and who are equipped for life beyond Fettes and all of the changes and difficulties that will come with it. A world-class education does not end at the age of thirteen.

Rated as one of the best boarding schools in Scotland, they feel that each Fettes Prep School student has received an education that will prepare them for success in any senior school on the globe.

That is because their school has a distinct character, with outstanding faculty and resources.

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6. Gordonstoun School

Gordonstoun academy believes that a more diverse curriculum broadens both brains and opportunities.

It is a conviction that has benefited the school for over 80 years and has helped Gordonstoun become the global leader in character education.

Their unmatched range of curriculum enables each child to reach their greatest potential. Gordonstoun maintains this approach to character education by combining compelling classroom instruction with a stimulating and richly varied spectrum of out-of-classroom learning experiences.

All students participate in the School’s world-class outdoor education and sail training programs, compete in team and individual athletics, experience the performing arts, and volunteer for one of the School’s nine community service projects.

These vastly different difficulties instill a can-do attitude in our children and equip them with the ability to adapt swiftly and confidently to new situations, which are critical in later life.

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Read more: 25+ General Boarding School Rules and Regulations

Best Boarding Schools in Scotland in 2023

7. Kilgraston school

Even for girls whose families reside within commuting distance of the School, boarding is a very popular option.

The Kilgraston school boarding community is critical in preserving the school’s vitality and pulse and providing fresh chances for various cross-curricular connections with other schools and organizations.

The girls maintain an active social calendar and participate in various activities, ranging from ‘getting to know you’ evenings to Highland Balls with our sister school, Merchiston. Additionally, boarders participate in various voluntary activities within the local community.

A boarder at Kilgraston will discover an entirely new world of social and cultural opportunities, adding a fresh dimension to her Kilgraston school experience.’

In the Sixth Form, there are separate boarding houses, where each girl has her room, where she can study, listen to music, or simply enjoy speaking with her classmates and other students.

An excellent approach to learning about other cultures is to board at a school like Kilgraston, which currently has students from South America, Asia, and Europe on campus.

As a result, boarding becomes a worldwide experience, and the cosmopolitan thinking that results is a tremendously beneficial one both academically and socially for the students.

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8. Loretto School

Loretto School, founded in 1827, is one of the leading co-educational boarding and day schools in the United Kingdom.

Rated as one of the best boarding schools in Scotland, Pre-School accepts children between the ages of three and five, their Junior School accepts children between the ages of five and twelve. In contrast, their Senior School accepts children between twelve and eighteen.

Loretto is located on an 85-acre secure, lush campus just outside Edinburgh and is home to the industry-leading Loretto Golf Academy. Loretto is well-known for emphasizing the holistic development of the individual, mind, body, and soul.

Loretto’s modest size enables them to get to know each student individually and provides opportunities to grow and develop in their areas of interest.

Their Pre-School atmosphere exemplifies and fosters this individualized approach to learning that pervades the entire school.

Moreover, they can assist learning and teaching in new and interesting ways because of their small class sizes and highly qualified teachers.

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9. Queen Victoria School

The Queen Victoria School is a nurturing environment where students are encouraged to reach their full potential in every aspect.

At QVS, they strive to guarantee that every one of their students reaches their academic potential. They have a full curriculum that lets students choose their path through the senior phase.

They endeavor to improve their kids intellectually and enhance their life skills, which are critical beyond QVS.

As a P7-S2 student, a diverse range of disciplines is studied, eventually narrowing to nine in S3.

This maintains a range of curricula for kids but allows for a more targeted approach to individual abilities as they enter the senior phase of education.

S4 students commonly study seven subjects at the National 4 and National 5 levels.

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10. St Leonards School

St Leonards is proud of its Scottish background and continues to attract a sizable proportion of its students from Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom.

As one of the best boarding schools in Scotland, the IB’s attractiveness has also fostered an international vision inside the School, with pupils representing 37 different nationalities now enrolled.

St Leonards’ internationalism guarantees that their students learn about the global aspect of today’s world.

St Leonards, located in the picturesque University town of St Andrews, provides a superb boarding and day education for boys and girls aged five to eighteen. From the age of ten, full, Flexi, and weekly boarding are available.

The International Baccalaureate program lies at the center of St Leonards’ offerings.

They are happy to be Scotland’s first IB continuum school, and indeed the only school in the United Kingdom, actively offering all four inspirational IB programs, from the PYP through the MYP to the IB Career-related Program and Diploma Program in the Sixth Form.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Boarding Schools in Scotland

Are there any boarding schools in Scotland?

Many different types of boarding schools can be found in Scotland.

Is Scotland expensive for international students?

Living expenses for students average between 700 and 1,100 GBP per month, which is well within reach. Although living expenses in cities like Glasgow may be higher than in other locations, this is often a function of personal choice regarding lifestyle and housing.

Does Scotland have good job opportunities?

Scotland’s work market is distinct and varied, with a population of about 5.45 million. Scotland’s cities and towns are home to a diverse range of businesses, including those involved in financial services, construction, logistics, digital, and oil and gas industries, to name a few.


Some academies in Scotland provide free education to all students who reside in the country.

Scottish schools follow a Curriculum for Excellence that aims to equip all children from three to eighteen years old with the information, skills, and traits necessary for learning and life.

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Paschal Uchechukwu
Paschal Uchechukwu

Paschal Uchechukwu Christain is a professional and passionate SEO writer on Education, including homeschool, college tips, high school, and travel tips.

He has been writing articles for over 5 years. He is the Chief Content Officer at School & Travel.

Paschal Uchechukwu Christain holds a degree in Computer Science from a reputable institution. Also, he is passionate about helping people get access to online money-making opportunities.

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