Marlborough College

schools outside of london

The school ethos has always been to do more than just achieve grades and have managed to avoid the ‘hothouse’ label that accompanies some of the other independent boarding schools. The school focuses on a more well-rounded approach, teaching the students to learn for the love of it. Additionally, the school strives for their students to be inclusive and compassionate members of society.

School information

Marlborough College was founded in 1843 and is a co-educational independent boarding and day school in Marlborough, Wiltshire. The school’s academic results are on the rise and they enjoyed their highest average last year with an impressive 91% of grades being A*/A/B at GCSE, and 83% of grades being A*/A/B/D1-D3 for A-Level/Pre-U.

The typical Marlburian is still academically gifted but curiosity, self-motivation, self-discipline and independence are all traits they share. Pastoral care is vital at boarding school and Marlborough has a tutor system, whereby the tutors act as a first point of contact for students with any problems they may be experiencing.

The school’s dedication to co-curricular activities is excellent and Marlborough really work hard on making sure their students are challenging themselves and having fun outside of the classroom.

Marlborough takes sports seriously and the school boasts a number of national sportsmen among the list of ex-students. A quick glance at their Hall of Fame will give you an idea of the quality that Marlborough attracts and produces through its top-class coaching and exceptional sports facilities.


Those who prefer to tread the boards rather than battling on the field will find a fine space for their performances. The school has a 135-seat studio theatre, and the Ellis theatre acts as a multifunctional theatre seating between 200 and 450 seats, depending on what configuration the audience is in.

There are a number of societies students can attend throughout the week. The College often invites speakers to address the societies but students are also encouraged to actively participate, delivering their own presentations, seminars or discussions.

Entry into the school is now at 13+ and 16+, with the 13+ entry coming into effect for the 2022 entry.

For 13+ entry, the initial enquiry is made when your child is in Year 5. This is followed by a visit to the college, registration and a boarding house visit. Your child then sits the ISEB Pre-Test in year 6. This is a computerised online exam and tests candidates on English, maths, verbal and non-verbal reasoning. Selection at 13+ is based on the results from this test, a report from your child’s current headteacher and an interview with a member of staff from Marlborough. Some students are also required to sit the 13+ Common Entrance exams in year 8.

For 16+ entry, students go through a similar enquiry, visit and registrations as the 13+ entry. In year 11, they are required to sit the schools lower sixth papers in the student’s chosen subjects for A-Level. Candidates also have to attend an interview.

Marlborough College are looking for well-rounded individuals, so success at the interview is just as important as the exams. The school can still afford to be highly selective and good preparation will give your child the best possible chance to attain a place. There are plenty of past papers that can be obtained for the common entrance, so start early and be consistent so that by the time the exams arrive, your child will be relaxed and ready.