Shiplake College welcome applications from international students across the globe. Our international pupils, including a balance of British and non-British students resident abroad represent approximately 5% of the current school population. International applications are permitted into all year groups, but the majority of pupils usually join at Year 9 (13+), Year 10 (14+) or Year 12 (16+).

Pupils arriving from all nations and continents soon become fully integrated into Shiplake’s inclusive and welcoming environment. Pupils for whom English is an additional language are offered specialist tuition to improve their verbal and written communication. This is essential to excel in the British education system. However, all pupils must have a reasonable level of fluency upon arrival at Shiplake and therefore all non-native English speakers are assessed as part of the interview process and again on their arrival at the College to ensure that we can offer the appropriate provision for their needs.

Boarding at Shiplake

International boarders are fully integrated into the College community. Our small size and inclusive nature ensures all individuals receive the attention they deserve. With less than 10% of boarders arriving from overseas, the boarding lifestyle offers pupils a valuable opportunity to become fully immersed in the English language and culture. Many students take the opportunity to stay with their school friends during Exeat weekends, an indication of the strength of the bonds formed by boarding.  

More information about boarding at Shiplake, including details of our new weekend activity programme, can be found here


Parents and pupils based outside the UK interested in joining Shiplake College are encouraged to contact Keith Settle, Director of Boarding Admissions, to discuss their application. Since joining Shiplake, Keith has held many roles including Housemaster and teacher of Mathematics. With a wealth of experience, Keith is happy to guide you through the process of applying for an international boarding place at Shiplake and is a good source of advice for all questions regarding boarding and admissions.

To get in touch with Keith, please email or call +44 (0) 1189 405 217.

International Application Process 

For entry into Year 9 or 10, pupils are expected to have a good understanding of the English language to enable them to access the curriculum. Students wishing to join the Sixth Form are required to have an advanced level of fluency and understanding. An equivalent of at least 5.5 in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) examination is required.

An overseas student may be asked to sit EAL assessment papers and attend an interview either at the College or via Skype before a place is offered. However, along with many other top independent schools in the UK, Shiplake College is also participating in a new entrance test called UKiset - the UK Independent Schools' Entry Test.

UKiset is an adaptive online test taken in English, which has been designed to support admission into the UK independent education system. UKiset tests a child's underlying academic abilities through four principal reasoning areas - Non-Verbal Reasoning, Spatial Ability, Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Ability - together with a creative writing piece.

If you wish your child to be considered for a place at Shiplake College, please go to the UKiset website to register your child by completing the Student Profile Form. Please list Shiplake on the form and provide as much information as possible, because this will be sent to us and used in conjunction with their UKiset results to assess their application.

Register for UKiset 

Once you have completed the form, the UKiset Team will contact you with details of your closest test centre and the next available test date (UKiset can be taken at approved test centres in over 130 countries worldwide). After your child has taken the test and we have received their UKiset Profile Package we will make a decision as to whether or not we wish to take their application further. If we are happy to pursue the application we will at that point require our registration fee to be paid (£100), request an interview via Skype and seek the school references, reports and any additional information relevant to your child's application

If your child has already taken UKiset and you would like their results to be sent to Shiplake College, please click here to complete the School Selection Form.


As with all other independent schools in the UK, international students at Shiplake College must have a UK-based guardian if their parents are living abroad.

We take our responsibility for the welfare of our international students very seriously and the appointment of a guardian is a vital part of this. A guardian will form part of the team responsible for safeguarding and promoting a student’s welfare while their parents are overseas.

Guardians are expected to represent a pupil’s parents in loco parentis. They will be a vital link for the school especially in times of emergency (such as if the pupil falls ill or otherwise needs to be away from school).

Guardians are also usually expected to provide a home for the pupil during exeats and half term holidays, unless the parents have put other arrangements in place.

We would also hope that the guardian would take an interest in the pupil’s development and progress, as well as supporting the school in good pastoral care. They would usually attend parent/teacher meetings and report back to parents. They would also be able to monitor the academic and social development of the child and will be kept informed via our usual communications systems. A guardian is expected to have an strong command of English and be able to assist with the translation of communications between parents and Shiplake College if necessary.

Parents may select guardians privately (for example a family member or friend they trust) or may arrange this care via a guardianship agency but it is vital that we have full contact details for the appointed guardian before a pupil starts with us.

We recommend that applicants without privately-arranged guardians contact Bright World Guardianships. Bright World is a well established and fully AEGIS accredited company who will take on the important role of guardian to your child while they are studying in the UK. The company offers a total care package throughout their study period, and find a host family for pupils to stay with during holiday periods where they have to leave the College.

For further information, please contact our admissions team or visit the Bright World website.

Pupils arriving from all nations and continents soon become fully integrated into Shiplake’s inclusive and welcoming environment.