How to Join Us

Your Application Questions Answered

Below are the answers to some of the frequently asked questions by parents considering applying to Bolton School:

Why should I send my child to Bolton School?

We believe we have everything in place for your child to reach their full potential.

Annual examination results at GCSE and A Level continue to rank us amongst the top schools in the North of England. However, academic success is not enough. We provide challenge, encourage initiative, promote teamwork and develop leadership capabilities. Our School has a well-deserved reputation for being a warm and friendly place where each child is encouraged to do their very best. We offer genuine support and guidance to your child and we are passionately committed to their holistic development. We will equip your child with the knowledge, skills and attributes that will allow them to lead a happy and fulfilled life and to make a difference for good in the wider community.

Extra-curricular activities help develop interpersonal skills and broaden horizons: they are an integral part of the Bolton School Experience. In the Senior Schools your child will be actively encouraged to join some of the 100+ clubs and societies available to them. They will make use of our outstanding facilities, including our own outdoor pursuits centre, Patterdale Hall, in the Lake District. There will also be opportunities for them to enjoy sail training on the ketch built by Bolton School, Tenacity of Bolton.

We hold an enviable reputation for sports, with pupil success at national and international level. Our aim is to encourage all students, whatever their level, to achieve their personal best.

Bolton School offers the potential for a continuous education from Nursery to the Sixth Form and we have a good mix of children here - socially, geographically and ethnically. Our bursary provision in the Senior Schools means all academically able children are entitled to a Bolton School education and our coach service that covers over 20 routes ensures pupils are drawn from a wide area.

The separate teaching of boys and girls offers the best of both worlds. Pupils are not distracted by the opposite sex during lessons but the proximity of the Boys' Division and Girls' Division means there is mixing at lunchtimes, through clubs and activities and on the coaches to and from school.

As your child progresses through the School they will undertake an intensive careers programme which ensures they leave us well prepared for future challenges in the world of work and Higher Education. The vast majority of our pupils achieve outstanding A2 results and go on to study at their chosen university.

View our recent inspection reports.

Can I come and have a look around the School?

Yes, of course. We believe this is the best way of truly appreciating our School. During term time, you can arrange a personal visit by contacting the Secretary to the Head in the School that you would like to visit. Alternatively, you can visit us on our Open Morning when the entire campus is open. This is held on a Saturday in mid-October each year. You can view more details about ways of visiting the School.

I'd like to send my child to Bolton School but I am not sure I can afford the fees?

We offer financial help to pupils in the Boys' Division and Girls' Division Senior Schools. Depending on annual income, some pupils are entitled to bursaries that cover the entire tuition fee. The amount of money we allocate to bursaries continues to grow. Typically over 300 pupils receive assistance with their fees every year. We are continually striving to offer an education for all academically able children. This is the ethos of Lord Leverhulme who re-endowed the School in 1913.

Find out more about bursaries that could help finance your child's education.

From September 2015, a number of Scholarships have been awarded to pupils entering either the Girls’ or Boys’ Division in Year 7. These generous Scholarships are not means-tested and are awarded to those pupils who, we believe, will make a strong contribution to the academic and wider life of the School.  

How competitive is it to get into Bolton School?

Each year we do see more applicants than there are places and we do choose the most academically able and well-motivated children. However, this should not put you off applying. The Entrance Exam and interview should reveal whether this is the right school for your child. Your child needs to demonstrate a good level of competence in English, Mathematics and Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning in the Entrance Exam (there is no exam for entry into the Infants' School). Your child will also be interviewed. A good reference from your child's Head Teacher will also help their application. Each year we take approximately 75 new children into our Infants' School (at age 4), up to 50 new pupils into each of our Junior Schools (at age 7) and 120-140 into our Senior Schools (at age 11). Children transfer automatically from our Infant School to our Junior Girls' School and Junior Boys' School.

I know Bolton School has an excellent record for academic achievement but what about extra-curricular activities?

The range of extra-curricular activities is something we are particularly proud of. Due to the size of our school we are able to offer an incredible range of extra-curricular activities and pupils are strongly encouraged to get involved. We know that it helps build character and many pupils develop interests which stay with them for the rest of their lives.

An incredibly diverse and strong extra-curricular programme offers unique opportunities, challenges and fun. There are numerous club activities and many foreign and residential visits, including to our own outdoor pursuits centre, Patterdale Hall, in the Lake District.

How do I apply?

Firstly, you should request an application pack from the relevant secretary and fill out an application form. Admission to our Infants' School is by interview. Entrance to our Junior and Senior Schools is by an Entrance Exam and interview: we will also require a reference from your child's Head Teacher. Candidates considering applying to the Sixth Form will need (the prediction of) six good GCSE grades and will be called for interview. Entry into Bolton School is possible at any age and at anytime. You should consult directly with the School to see if places are available. If they are not, and your child reaches an appropriate level in the Entrance Exam, your child will be placed on a waiting list.

How can I prepare for the Entrance Exam?

The Entrance Exam is held in mid-January each year for entry in September of the same year and is designed to test a child's innate ability. Click here for full details about the Entrance Testing Day in the Girls' Division Senior School and here for full details about the Entrance Examination in the Boys' Division Senior School. 

I don't live in Bolton and I am worried that my child will not know any other children

This is not a problem. Our pupils are drawn from towns from across the region, many of them (over 900) make use of our fleet of coaches which covers over 20 routes. This is a friendly school and pupils get along well together. Friendships develop in form groups, classes and in the many societies and clubs that the pupils are involved in. Friendships often flourish on the bus routes into School.

Where do students go after Bolton School?

It is our aim that your child will leave the School as a self-confident young person ready to face the world. As pupils move up through the School they will become involved in our intensive careers programme, which helps prepare them for application to Higher Education and for the world of work.

The vast majority of pupils stay on into the Sixth Form and then, after their A Levels, go onto university. We have an excellent track record of sending students to the universities to where they aspire to go to. You can see where recent pupils have gone to for Boys' Division and Girls' Division.

Choosing the right school for your child is one of life's most important decisions. Many parents considering sending children to Bolton School express a wish to talk to parents who already have a child at the School. You may well have some questions which you would like to ask of current parents.

If you would like to contact a parent with a child in our infant, junior or senior schools, please email stating which part of our school you are thinking of applying to, where you live, what your question is and whether you would prefer to be contacted by telephone or email. One of our current parents will then contact you shortly.

If you have any other questions about applying to Bolton School, call us on 01204 840201 and we will put you through to the appropriate admissions secretary.

Photo of Bolton School exterior and clock face on the building