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Below are some of the questions prospective parents may have if you are considering Shiplake College for your son or daughter. If any of your questions are not answered here, please do not hesitate to contact the Registrar, Mrs Esther Pasmore, on 0118 9405 221 or email [email protected].

How many boys and girls are there at Shiplake?

As of September 2023, there are a record 522 pupils at Shiplake College. This includes 25 girls in Year 7 which is 42% of that year group and 62 girls in Years 12 and 13, making up 32% of the Sixth Form.

51% of our teachers are women and 49% are men.

How many day pupils and boarders are there at Shiplake?

As of September 2023, there are 157 boarders, made up of 28 full boarders, 91 weekly boarders and 38 flexi boarders, with 365 day pupils. Boarders, including flexi-boarders, make up 30% of the entire school population. 

What proportion of pupils live overseas?

We currently have around 19 pupils (4%) who are coming from overseas, most of whom are non-British. They come from 8-10 countries, including Germany, Ukraine, Switzerland and China.

What is the average class size?

In Years 7-11 class sizes do not normally exceed 16. For GCSE and Sixth Form subjects, the class sizes are normally up to about 10 pupils, but not exceeding 16 for the more popular subjects.  

What time does school start and finish?

Registration is at 8.00am. Day pupil prep and academic clinics takes place between 4.45pm and 5.45pm and day pupils will also normally enjoy supper before being collected or taking a school bus, which depart at 6.15pm. On a Friday the buses depart at 5.00pm, with most day pupils collected around 4.45pm.

Pupils in Years 7 and 8 can finish at 4.30pm if preferred, although not recommended. Boarders’ have prep in the evenings as well as free time and organised activities. On a Saturday, pupils may go home after they have finished any school commitments they may have. Click here to view the structure of the day.

Will my child require Learning Development?

Shiplake has, in the past, enjoyed an excellent reputation for providing for pupils with specific learning difficulties, such as dyslexia. Whilst the numbers accepted with some form of learning need have reduced in recent years, we believe the quality of our provision has increased. In our experience, some pupils who receive some form of learning support in their current schools find that their needs can be effectively met within the mainstream classes at Shiplake without the need for any additional support. If, after the assessment day, it is felt your child may benefit from some additional support at Shiplake College he or she will be offered a Learning Development (Core) place. Please note that additional fees are required for Learning Development/Core places. Current rates are available on the school website fees page.

What proportion of pupils receive Learning Development?

Learning Development lessons are provided to pupils in Year 7 and above who have been identified as having a special learning need and have been offered ‘Learning Development/Core places. Core pupils will receive lessons from specialised Learning Development teachers during the week as part of their timetable (often in lieu of other subjects such as languages). About 13% of the College receive this form of additional support. 

Is there Saturday school?

There are no academic lessons on a Saturday morning for pupils in Years 7 to 13, however, they may be asked to attend a Saturday open day or a sporting fixture (normally these take place in the morning but some are scheduled in the afternoon).

Is there a school bus service available?

Yes. Shiplake runs nine bus routes to and from the College on Mondays to Fridays, and to the College on Saturday mornings for those who require it for school commitments. Please note that the cost of transport will be in addition to the published school fees. Further details here.

What universities do students apply to?

Over 90% of our sixth form leavers progress to university, either directly or after having taken a Gap Year. The remaining pupils take up an internship or apprenticeship, or go straight into employment. More details about our University and Careers guidance here.

Is the school a religious foundation?

Shiplake’s religious affiliation is Church of England but we welcome pupils of all faiths or no particular faith. There is an extensive programme of worship, very often provided in the neighbouring Parish Church. The Chaplain, whose role is purely pastoral, is always available to any member of the College community. Further details about the spiritual life of the College

Is there any assistance with those who can’t afford the fees?

As a registered charity, the Governors of Shiplake College are committed to broadening access to the school by offering to eligible parents/guardians means-tested financial support with the payment of school fees. Such support is known as a Bursary and these may be awarded in the form of a discount on tuition fees payable, depending on the financial, compassionate or other pertinent circumstances of applicants. However, as a relatively small school the available funds are limited. Please contact the College Bursary for further details and an application form.

Applications for bursaries should be submitted by 30 September each year. Late applications will not be considered as awards are determined before offers of places are made.

Are there scholarships available?

Academic scholarships at Year 7 and Year 9 are awarded based upon exceptional results in the assessment papers and a corroborating report from the current school. Academic scholarships are available at Year 12 and are awarding following an assessment day in March with candidates sitting a written test in a chosen subject.

All Year 7 and Year 9 prospective pupils are eligible to apply for a Music or Sport (Rugby or Cricket) scholarship, with Art and Drama scholarships also available at Year 9. Candidates should apply with a recommendation from their current school. Pupils who achieve more than one scholarship will be a awarded an All Round scholarship.

Is there are a fee discount with a scholarship?

A scholarship normally carries 10% remission of fees, unless otherwise stated, with Exhibition Awards available at 5%. If financial circumstances warrant it, parents should simultaneously apply for a means-tested bursary and the award may be increased.

How much are the fees?

Click to view the fees for the current year.

What is included in the fees?

Fees are charged termly in advance and are inclusive of all the normal maintenance and recreational requirements of each pupil. Also included in the fees are: Academic lessons and text books; sports coaching; 2 meals a day and snacks (plus breakfast for boarders); laundry (not day pupils); pastoral support from Housemaster and Tutor; medical cover; a full time Chaplaincy; access to ICT and the internet; a 45 acre riverside site for outdoor activities; wide range of extra-curricular activities; concerts and plays in the Tithe Barn and Sports Hall; music rehearsal facilities; The Thinking Space; transport to matches, museums and plays (if mandatory part of the curriculum); accommodation for private study; careers advice; Personal Accident Insurance; House Subscriptions; Old Viking Membership.

We make every effort to ensure our fees are as close to 'all-inclusive' as possible but there will inevitably be some additional charges added to the bill. Please see the fees page for further details. 

Can my child receive instrumental or vocal lesson?

Yes. For an additional fee pupils may receive individual music lessons in a range of woodwind, brass and string instruments. Piano, vocal, drum and electric, bass or classical guitars lessons are also available.

In addition, our ‘music for all’ policy allows every pupil in Years 7 and 8 to enjoy free lessons on a range of orchestral instruments, with all achieving Grade 1 by the end of Year 8. Year 7 and 8s will become part of the Lower School Orchestra and Lower School choir and consequently play a key part in the termly College music concerts. 

525 pupils attending the College (2023-2024)
We have had such a consistently positive experience at every touchpoint – from registration, to joining, to the rest!
Mother of Year 9 Pupil