How to Join Us

Why Independent Education

If you are assessing whether independent schooling and the accompanying fees give you value for money, please read some of the compelling evidence below which suggests they are worth every penny!


Independent schools offer great academic results at all levels, thanks to highly qualified teaching staff and excellent facilities. The small student-teacher ratio allows for lots of individual attention, and gives staff the opportunity to get to know the pupils they teach. This helps pupils to excel academically whilst facilitating strong pastoral care which ensures each pupil feels secure and happy and can realise their full potential.

As well as academic excellence, pupils are offered a wide range of extra-curricular clubs and activities. Sports teams, drama productions and music concerts give students the chance to excel outside of the classroom in addition to achieving good grades. An incredible range of trips and visits supplement lessons taught in school and broaden each pupil's horizons.

Independent schools are adept at offering lots of personal assistance with university applications and careers advice for the future. After leaving school, former pupils enjoy access to strong alumni networks that spread throughout the professions.

Pupils gain access to Bolton School based on merit and academic ability. One in five of our Senior School pupils receives financial assistance through various bursaries, which ensure that pupils are drawn from diverse backgrounds, regardless of financial circumstances. 0.5% of all independent school pupils attend Bolton School but we spend about 2.5% of the total independent school bursary spend nationally, which means we spend 5 times the average that a school would typically spend on bursaries (ISC Census, 1 May 2015). We also offer a number of Scholarships 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.  

Independent Education: The Facts

Bolton School Boys' Division is a member of the HMC (Headmasters' & Headmistresses' Conference), which is a professional association of Heads of the world's leading independent schools.

Bolton School Girls' Division is a member of the GSA (Girls' School Association), which represents the UK's independent girls' schools.

The Sutton Trust is the UK's leading organisation improving social mobility through education. The Trust conducts research into all aspects of education as well as funding and evaluating programmes in order to improve educational opportunities for young people.

Over 80% of GSA schools have students who routinely represent their region or county in their chosen sport and a sizeable proportion of these compete at international level. Children with the talent and dedication to excel are encouraged; some schools, like Bolton School, even have special support programmes to help them manage their studies alongside their training (GSA).

HMC schools are renowned for excellence in specialist areas such as sport, music, the arts, drama, expeditions, outdoor education, fieldwork studies and community service (HMC). Pupils in HMC schools play on average between 5 and 6 hours of sports and games a week in over 40 different sports - double the amount played by pupils in state schools (HMC).

Pupils from independent schools are over-represented in the country's professional elites: 74% of High Court Judges, 51% of leading journalists, 52% of Senior Bankers, 61% of Medics, 50% of Cabinet Ministers and 32% of MPs (Sutton Trust and BBC News). 

The quality of personal statements may affect students' chances of being admitted to a leading university: a study of students with identical A-Level grades showed 70% of applicants from Independent schools were admitted compared to 50% of applicants from comprehensives and 6th form colleges (Sutton Trust).

One in four students attending the UK's top ten universities come from HMC schools (HMC). 

94% of sixth formers in independent girls’ schools go on to higher education and 92.5% to university. This is the highest university transition rate in the independent schools sector (GSA).

65% of undergraduates from independent schools gain a 1st or 2:1 degree compared to 53% of their state-school classmates (HMC).

Undergraduates from independent schools are a third more likely than other students to be in a top graduate position three years later (HMC).

Pupils in HMC schools play on average between 5 and 6 hours of sports and games a week in over 40 different sports - double the amount played by pupils in state schools (HMC).

There is one teacher for every 9 pupils in HMC schools and for every 8.3 pupils in GSA schools in England compared with one per 
22 in the state sector.

Nationally, there are only 175 girls' schools and 113 boys' schools and Bolton School is in the top 10 biggest day schools in the UK (ISC Census, 1 May 2015).