If you’re looking for schools in West Yorkshire, consider Ackworth School. It’s the UK’s oldest independent day and co-educational boarding school. It offers a wide variety of education for all its students.

Each child is valued in Ackworth School. There’s an overwhelming sense of acceptance and respect created by the school’s culture. Students of all ages learn to respect and value the contribution of everyone they encounter. All students are taught how to manage conflict positively and peacefully.

Visit the Ackworth School website

Academic life at Ackworth School

Academic life at Ackworth encourages students to follow their interests and really engage with their lessons. They are able to put forward their own thoughts and ideas in lessons without fear of ridicule from their peers. Students learn to express themselves coherently and passionately.

Small class sizes in Ackworth School allow for each student to get lots of valuable one to one time with their teachers. They receive individual feedback on their learning and are able to work closely with the staff. They’re encouraged to think and reflect critically on what they’ve been taught and how they can improve. All students help each other to achieve more in their lessons.


Ackworth’s nursery school inspires learning and challenges its students. Children get to be creative and learn about music, drama and art. They spend time in the Forest School to explore nature and play. It’s here that children first develop their love of learning. They start to build confidence and an inquisitive mind to support them for a lifetime of learning.

About Ackworth’s nursery school


The junior school helps students to begin to develop academically. It prepares them for the transition into more advanced learning. Students are encouraged to explore their own identities and see where their passions and strengths lie. They’ll make personal and academic accomplishments and feel valued in every lesson. Students develop the confidence to fulfill their great potential in school and in the wider world.

More about the junior school


In senior school, students undertake their GSCEs.  Typically, students study for 9 GSCEs, including compulsory English, English Literature, Mathematics and Science. There are lots of other subjects a student can choose from too. Teachers are on hand to help each individual pick the right topics for their future aspirations. All students also take part in physical education and personal and social education.

More about the senior school


Sixth form is a large step up for most of our students, so ensuring a smooth transition is a big priority for Ackworth. Social events and an individual tutor help make sure A-Level students are supported personally and academically throughout their higher study. Ackworth recommends that students study for 3 A-Levels and offers lots of support with UCAS applications for university study.

About sixth form study

Hear from Ackworth students

Who better to share the benefits of an education at Ackworth School than the students that live and learn there?

In this video, Ackworth students talk about their favourite things about the school.

“I like that everyone can get involved in sports teams and get involved in drama and music.”

“There’s really small class sizes so you get to know your teachers and everyone’s really kind to each other as well.”

“You get to know people so well because you live with them.”

“You practically become family.”

“I think that they’re really good about planning trips for us for the weekends.”

Watch more Ackworth videos

Extra-curricular activities

Ackworth School run lots of extra-curricular activities for their students, both during the school week and the weekend for fully-boarding students. Sports, drama, art and music are highly prioritised as co-curricular activities for students and are supported in teaching time and after the school day finishes.

Students have the opportunity to get involved with a wide range of sports, societies and clubs. The school hosts Student Councils, PeaceJam, sporting competitions, ensembles, art and music performances, debating teams and public speaking sessions, and encourages students to undertake the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme. Guest speakers and performers are regularly invited into the school to workshop with students to further enhance their understanding of a specialist interest area.

As well as daily activities and clubs, the school invites students on trips to supplement their learning. Residential trips to Wales, Nidderdale and Cumbria give students a chance to explore the UK, whereas trips to places including: Paris, Cyprus, Iceland, Berlin and Sri Lanka allow students to immerse themselves in different cultures from around the world.


Ackworth has always been a mixed boarding school since its creation in 1779 and students are welcome to attend as either day pupils or to board on site. The school has separate boarding houses for boys and girls with care, guidance and support always available to meet the needs of all students.

Boarding is flexible, with different students spending varying amounts of time at the school. Some only go home for the three main holidays, while others choose to return home at the weekend. Approximately half of the boarders on site are from overseas.

Most boarders share their rooms with one or two other students. There are lots of common spaces for relaxing and enjoying evenings and weekends when they’re not engaged with all the exciting activities the school have on offer. Resident teaching staff is available at all times to help with anything the students need and both the Head and Deputy Head live on site.

Boarding is great because it allows students to focus all their attention on their education, without wasting time and energy on travel. Many A-Level students decide to board to make use of the school facilities in the evenings and over the weekend. As well as their bedroom space, A-Level students have shared studies as well to aid their education. Boarding at this stage is incredibly helpful for giving students their independence and preparing them for life at university, should they choose to undertake higher study.

Learning Support & Autism Resource

While Ackworth is predominantly a main-stream school, they have excellent provision for students who need a little extra support to achieve their best. They are a Dyslexia Friendly school and have a specialist teacher trained to offer additional support to students, parents and other staff.

Ackworth also have a quality Autism Resource where students with autism conditions and sensory and cognitive differences can learn. Each young person has their own space to work, fully equipped with IT facilities. One to one support is offered for individuals or small groups of students and supported inclusion activities are designed to help develop the student’s individual academic, sporting, practical and social needs.

Autism Resource at Ackworth

Entry criteria

Students wishing to study at Ackworth must meet the formal entry procedure. For Coram House, the junior school, children ages 4+ have an informal assessment at a taster session, or children ages 7+ undertake an interview and a test. This test normally looks for a student’s potential to achieve in literacy, numeracy and reasoning.

For the senior school, entry at 11+ and 12+ is through previous school references, tests and an interview if possible. The test will include maths and English and a non-verbal reasoning assessment. Entry for students aged 13+ and 14+ will be through paper assessment appropriate to their age.

Students wishing to attend the Ackworth sixth form at 16+ will need excellent school references, evidence of satisfactory GCSEs and an interview. Entrance tests will also be completed, typically in January, but individual tests can take place throughout the year.

International students are considered on an individual basis. They must undertake an interview with the Head, either in person or using Skype, and will need to provide a current school report and to sit a test in English.

Ackworth School fees

As an independent school, parents or guardians are required to pay for the education of their children. Ackworth School fees reflect the excellent standard of care and education each student receives.

There is a non-refundable £75 fee for registration, and a non-refundable £400 fee for acceptance of a place. These figures are correct for 2018-19 and may change in the future.

Scholarships & Bursaries

Ackworth also offer a range of scholarships and bursaries. They’re aimed at families who aren’t able to fully support their child’s education in the school. Bursaries will be means tested and can be supported by scholarship funding for students with exceptional potential.

Scholarships are awarded on merit, but parents can ask for their child to be considered. There are a number of different categories for scholarship. These include: academic, music, art, drama and sports. The school also offers financial awards to students who achieve excellence in their GCSE and A-Level results.

Arrange your visit

If you are interested in learning more about Ackworth School, please arrange a visit. Parents and students will be able to get a feel for the school environment, meet some of the teachers and take a look at the excellent campus and resources.