School Name

Wellington College


UK Senior Schools


Senior school

Pupil type











Pupil age range


Wellington College


Innovative and outward-looking

Day fees


Boarding fees







86 per cent of IGCSE results are 7–9 grades.

68 per cent of A-Level results are A* or A grades.

Average IB score is 38.6.

Spear’s Review

A culture of ambition and aspiration is what sets Wellington College apart, according to its master, James Dahl. The school has a long and rich history, yet this does not hold it back from adapting to meet the future. In fact, part of its declared purpose is to empower young people to be the change-makers of tomorrow. Constantly evolving, Wellington was the first school to embed wellbeing into the curriculum and is now developing a centre with space for mindfulness, yoga and counselling sessions: the perfect way to counter any stress involved in maintaining an excellent academic record.

Head teacher

James Dahl has been master of Wellington College since September 2019. Educated at the Royal Grammar School in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and then as a boarder at Haileybury for his Sixth Form, James read classics at Jesus College Cambridge before teaching at Brighton College (as head of classics and head of Sixth Form), Repton School (boarding housemaster) and then Wellington College (director of admissions and marketing, then deputy head pastoral before becoming head). 

Dahl serves as a governor at two prep schools, is a trustee at AQA, the UK’s largest examination board, and also serves as a trustee for the Old Wellingtonian Charitable Trust and the Haileybury Society. He is a Grade 8 flautist, pianist and percussionist, and represented Cambridge at second team level in both cricket and rugby. He is therefore passionate about holistic models of education, as well as the transformative power of coeducation and boarding to develop character within young people. 


According to the school:

Most pupils enter the school in September (at the start of Year 9), when they are between 13 and 14 years of age. Places are also available for pupils joining at 14+ (Year 10). Around 60 pupils join the college for the Sixth Form; applications open at the end of Year 10, with exams and interviews in the autumn of Year 11. Registration is online. Those registered for 13+ entry (by the end of Year 5) sit the ISEB common pre-test in the Michaelmas term of Year 6. Selection for a subsequent assessment day (usually in the Lent term of Year 6) is based in small part on the results of the pre-test and in much larger part on a school reference. Those who are successful are then offered a place conditional on a satisfactory reference from their current school at the end of Year 8. A waiting list also operates. 

Pupils who have missed the registration date for 13+ entry have the opportunity of going through a late admissions route. In addition to a strong academic profile, Wellington is looking for candidates who are both interesting and interested. Given the wealth of co-curricular opportunities at the school, musical, dramatic, artistic or sporting abilities are often associated with successful candidates. Above all, the school seeks candidates who will strive to make the very best of themselves and to take full advantage of all that is on offer here.

Feeder schools

Eagle House, Lambrook, Dragon School

University and college places

6.5 per cent advance to Oxford or Cambridge (average over last three years).

4 per cent advance to Ivy League schools (average over last three years).


Heathrow; 40 minutes


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Rank: Top Flight

Top Flight 2024, UK Senior Schools

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