Winchester College is an independent boarding school in Hampshire for boys aged 13 - 18, set in beautiful, historic surroundings, and renowned for academic excellence. Founded in 1382 by William of Wykeham, it has the longest continuous history of any English school. “It is the College’s enlightened (but not unquestioning) commitment to the enduring principles of a ‘traditional’ liberal education ... that parents , dons and boys value the most." The Good Schools Guide 2019
Dr Timothy Hands (Headmaster)
Religious affiliation: Church of England
Day/boarding type: Full boarding
Gender profile: Boys only
Winchester College fees:
Boarding fees per term:
Scholarships & bursaries:
ISC reference number:
DfE reference number:
850 / 6037
Boys - age range & pupil numbers:
Boarding: 13 to 18 (704)
Sixth form: (275)
At Winchester College the Learning Support team provides personalised one-to-one study skills support for a wide range of pupils, including those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. However, it is an important principle that any pupil in the school is potentially able to request support sessions, and we have worked with the widest range of pupils, including those keen to increase their chances of being accepted by the most prestigious universities. The team also administers specialist teacher assessment reports, which can diagnose specific learning difficulties, and provide recommendations for appropriate access arrangements during examinations. In recent years, we have branched out to run study skills and mindfulness sessions for Divs in different year groups.
Winchester College is committed to maintaining the founder’s original intention of offering a Winchester education to any boy who would benefit from it, regardless of their financial circumstances.
In 2019/20 there were 121 boys in receipt of bursarial support averaging 70% of the full fees at a cost of £3.5million, the equivalent of 84 full fees. Over time, we aim to be in a position to fund the equivalent of 10% of boys on full bursaries and a further 20% on an average of half a bursary.
The bursary offered to each family is means-tested and reflects individual circumstances. To allow the widest range of pupils to attend the school, awards range from 5% to 100% of the school fee, and for those on the largest bursaries, this may include additional support for a laptop, books, exam fees or trips.
Thanks to generous donations by alumni, Winchester is able to offer bursarial assistance to academically able boys and talented golfers, whose parents need financial assistance to meet the fee.
For more information on bursaries, please read our Guidance on Bursaries, available on the Bursaries page of our website.
Academic Scholarships & Exhibitions
Especially bright boys may be invited to take part in Election, the academic scholarship exam.
Election is taken instead of the Winchester Entrance Exam. It is a unique and academically-challenging selection process involving both written examinations and interviews. Election typically takes place at the school over three days in the April or May of Year 8.
Those boys who are successful at Election are awarded either:
A Scholarship – boys are offered a place in College, the oldest of the school’s boarding houses. On joining the school, they are known as Scholars and are distinct by the gowns they wear.
An Exhibition – boys are publicly recognised for their academic ability and accept their existing offer of a place in one of the school’s other boarding houses.
Headmaster’s Nominations – an award where a boy has not previously been offered a conditional place at the school or been successful in gaining an Academic Scholarship, but whose exam results are strong enough to gain a place in the school. He will subsequently be offered a place in one of the school’s boarding houses.
Unlike Bursaries, an Academic Scholarship, Exhibition or Headmaster’s Nomination does not automatically carry a remission of school fees. See above for further information on bursary support.
Music Scholarships & Exhibitions
Music Scholarships are available to any candidate who shows exceptional musical talent.
Winchester offers two main types of awards:
A Scholarship – offering free tuition in two instruments (including, if appropriate, singing)
An Exhibition – offering free tuition in one instrument
In addition, up to three Choral Scholarships and one Organ Scholarship are available for 16+ entrants only. These carry free tuition in two instruments, one of which must be singing or the organ.
Auditions for a Music Scholarship are designed to establish an all-round view of musical ability. The day is as relaxed as possible. The audition includes a short 15 minute performance and 10 minutes of practical tests. Informal pre-auditions are also available for candidates from the Asian region not currently in a UK school. These take place in Hong Kong each January. The Director of Music can give advice about all aspects of Music Scholarships and is pleased to see potential candidates at any time after they are nine years of age.
Unlike Bursaries, Music Scholarships do not automatically carry a remission on school fees. See above for further information on bursary support.
For more information please see the Music Scholarships page of our website.
Sports Scholarships offer successful candidates at 13+ specialist coaching sessions, a regularly assessed strength and conditioning programme, and a dedicated tutor from the Sports Department to help a boy achieve his sporting goals while maintaining a sensible and sustainable routine in the school.
Successful candidates will be invited to an assessment day, designed to understand a boy’s all-round sporting ability. The day is typically split in to three parts and looks at physical, technical and mental agility.
Unlike Bursaries, Sports Scholarships do not automatically carry a remission on school fees. See above for further information on bursary support.
Scholarships & Bursaries offered
- Academic scholarships
- Choral scholarships
- Music scholarships
- Sport scholarships
- Sixth Form scholarships
- Bursaries for new entrants
- Hardship awards for existing pupils
- Lump sum payment discounts
Disclaimer: Data is provided by the school, ISC is not responsible for inaccuracies