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Our independent schools

Our United Learning independent school journey began in 1884 with Surbiton High School, and today our group encompasses 13 independent schools including seven all-through schools catering for children from 4-18 years (including some with nurseries); and four standalone prep schools. Four of our schools are co-educational day and boarding schools, and three of our schools offer single sex education for girls (both prep and senior) and boys (prep). Together, our independent schools are an excellent representation of the broad diversity of the independent school sector.   

All our schools provide outstanding pastoral care, an excellent and diverse academic curriculum, and a strong extra-curricular programme covering sport, art, drama and music. Each of our independent schools maintains its own unique identity and traditions, but all are grounded in our mission to bring out the best in everyone.  

The United Learning Way

United Learning independent schools are characterised by the very highest expectations in all areas to bring out the best in everyone. Every child is special and capable of extraordinary things. Their limitless potential flourishes in a culture of hard work and kindness. We challenge them to do what they think they can’t, to persist, to work hard and to be at their best. Every adult working in every United Learning school acts with the utmost respect, care, and professionalism – the highest standards come with the greatest attention to the well-being of all. Inclusion, diversity, and equality are central to everything we do.


Every child’s development – academically, emotionally or practically - is linked to their wellbeing. Our independent schools run extensive wellbeing programmes that ensure our pupils feel happy and well-supported, and have the tools they need to get the most from life - now, and in the future.

Each of our schools runs its own bespoke wellbeing and pastoral programme, designed to suit the needs of their pupil body.


United Learning has four co-educational day and boarding schools situated in quintessential English towns and cities with easy access to London and international airports. Each has a long history of welcoming international boarders and UK students, and strong track records in sending pupils to the best universities.

Our schools celebrate the diverse perspectives our international students bring, whilst retaining the warm, familial atmosphere of traditional British boarding. We offer outstanding pastoral care, excellent academic results and a home-from-home environment. For those with an aptitude for sport, art, drama or music, United Learning schools provide abundant opportunities to pursue and develop talents without compromising on an excellent academic education.

Each of our schools has its own unique identity and traditions but all are grounded in our mission to bring out the best in everyone.

Help with fees

Fee assistance programmes are designed to support children who will benefit from an independent education but do not have the means to pay the fees. Fee assistance varies across our schools: further information is available on school websites.

Our team

The independent school team is led by Fiona Boulton OBE, former Head of Guildford High School and a former Chair of HMC.  The team supports all of our schools, reviewing the standards and the academic outcomes of each school, alongside all aspects of the Framework for Excellence, and supporting with finance, estates, co-curricular, marketing, HR systems and digital programmes.    

Acting centrally, the team are able to transfer collective knowledge and skills around the Group, both within the independent schools and our Academies, meaning that each school has access to a wider range of expertise and resources than they could achieve alone. We support change where change will lead to improvement, especially where difficult decisions are required to make this happen. We help our schools become inspection ready, checking each school is compliant, offering clarification and review, and keeping on top of the latest ISI and legal guidelines. The team also acts as a bridge between our schools and our Central Services, finding answers to questions, linking key personnel, and moving projects forward.  

Independent school news

United Learning comprises: United Learning Ltd (Registered in England No: 00018582. Charity No. 313999) UCST (Registered in England No: 2780748. Charity No. 1016538) and ULT (Registered in England No. 4439859. An Exempt Charity). Companies limited by guarantee.
Registered address: United Learning, Worldwide House, Thorpe Wood, Peterborough, PE3 6SB.

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