Kent has retained a two tier state system and this has helped maintain high standards in both the state and private sectors. While the state boarding school at Sevenoaks is outside this area, it is a popular choice for many who live close to it. The presence of the grammar schools has given aspiration within the primary sector, with head teachers encouraging children to attempt the “Kent Test” at 11. Some of the best state grammar schools are found in Canterbury, The Langton for boys and Simon Langton Grammar School for Girls both providing excellent opportunities. But all the local grammar schools achieve sixth form results well above the national average. 

Private Schools: Junior

Junior Kings School

Canterbury, Milner Court, Sturry, Kent CT2 OAY 01227 714000

Ages 3–13, co-ed, day and boarding from 7. Formed as a preparatory school for Kings Canterbury, not surprisingly the majority of pupils still move on at 13 to King’s. There are a number however who win scholarships at other leading public schools.

Kent College Infant and Junior School

Harbledown, Canterbury, Kent CT2 9AQ, 01227 813906 

Ages 3–13 co-ed, day and boarding, while the majority of pupils go onto Kent College senior school, they have a 100% pass rate in the Kent Test.

Northbourne Park

Northbourne Park School, Betteshanger, Deal, Kent CT14 0NW 01304 611 215

Ages 3–13, co-ed, day. An old established prep school with an excellent success rate where most pupils take Common Entrance to the senior schools in Canterbury and many gain scholarships. A minority leave to join a state grammar school.

Spring Grove School

Hartville Road, Wye, TN25 5EZ, 01233 812337 (6 miles from Ashford just outside Wye)

Ages 2–11, co-ed, day. Within a happy atmosphere, Spring Grove prepares children for both grammar and independent preparatory or senior schools.

Wellesley House

114 Ramsgate Road, Broadstairs, Kent, CT10 2DG, 01843 862991

Ages 7–13 co-ed, day and boarding. Wellesley was founded over a century ago and has had a long tradition of sending
boys, and now girls, onto the best known public schools. It regularly achieves a good proportion of awards to these schools and is especially regarded for the sporting ability of its alumni. Gorgeous location near the sea. 

Private Schools: Senior

Ashford School

East Hill, Ashford, Kent TN24 8PB 01233 625171 

Ages 3–18 co-ed, day and boarding from 10. Award winning school which started taking boys in 2006. Good scholarships/bursaries for gifted and academically able children.

Dover College

Effngham Crescent, Dover, Kent, CT17 9RH 01304 205969 

Ages 3-18, co-ed day and boarding from 11. Set in the grounds of a 12th Century Benedictine Priory near the centre of town; encourages casual boarding by day pupils. 

Kent College

Whitstable Road, Canterbury Kent CT2 9DT 01227 763231 Ages 11–18 co-ed day and boarding. Strong international favour, offering a syllabus for the International Baccalaureate and also an International Studies Centre to integrate pupils whose first language is not English.

Kings School Canterbury

Canterbury, Kent CT1 2ES, 01227 595501 

Ages 13–18, co-ed day but mainly boarding. Founded in 597AD, Kings is the oldest school in England and is situated in a World Heritage Site. The school has an excellent academic record with 99% of students getting to their frst or second choice university and it provides a very wide range of subjects all taught to a very high level and with frst class facilities. Editor Emily went to visit and was wowed!

St Edmunds School

St Thomas’ Hill, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 8HU 01227 475600 Ages 3–18, co-ed day and boarding. The School sits on a site next to the University of Kent overlooking the city. With very good academic strength, it has a strong musical tradition and educates the Canterbury Cathedral choristers.