An Introduction to Ashford School

Ashford School is an independent, coeducational, day and boarding school for children from 0-18 years, founded in 1898, and a member of the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC), the Independent Association of Prep Schools (IAPS), the Boarding Schools Association (BSA), and the Independent Schools Bursars’ Association (ISBA).

There are nearly 500 students in the Senior School (11-18) and a similar number in the Prep School and nurseries (0-11). We expect the number of students in the Senior School to grow to about 750+ over the next ten years and are planning developments that will allow this to happen progressively. There are 150+ boarders in the Senior School, mostly from overseas, cared for by a number of resident teachers and support staff; 21 nationalities are represented. This will bring Ashford School into a select grouping with over 1000 students, which gives the school a sound financial footing. The demand for boarding from overseas families is high. As the number of boarding places increases alongside the number of day pupils, we anticipate the proportion of boarders to remain at about 30%.

Ashford School is growing on the back of a reputation for innovation and quality – we were voted Independent School of the Year in 2010/11 and shortlisted for the same award twice since. Several of our staff have won national awards for excellence.

These numerous public accolades reflect the quality of the 330 employees and their work. There are 220 support staff. Our staff have a diverse range of experiences and many teachers and support staff have enjoyed successful first careers in other walks of life. From journalists to comics, barristers to naval architects, economists to artists, Ashford is a school which values different life experiences and actively seeks out those who are able to share different passions.

At Ashford School, our educational philosophy is based on a very simple assumption: if a pupil is happy and secure, they are more likely to be successful. As a result, our learning is underpinned by four key factors, namely Celebrating Individuality, Optimising Potential, Academic Rigour and Adventurous Learning. We believe that learning should be challenging, motivating and lead to a sense of fulfilment, which is why we strive to provide an inspiring environment that encourages growth and adventure so that our students can develop into all they are capable of being.

Academic Success 

Ashford has a proud tradition of academic success. In recent years, about 10% of students have gained places at one of the world’s top ten universities and typically about 80% have achieved places at their first choice university.  Over the last three years over 70% of A levels taken were graded A*-B and nearly 50% were graded A*/A.  The School achieves high valued added scores at both levels. At GCSE, all students study nine or ten GCSEs including a modern foreign language and separate sciences (Biology, Chemistry and Physics).  At A level, students have a choice of over 20 subjects; the subjects we offer at A level are those most valued by the leading universities; students normally study three or four A levels and may add other qualifications such as the EPQ and BTEC.

Co-Curricular Programme

Ashford students enjoy a diverse co-curricular programme and have a wide-range of opportunities to develop their skills and talents.

Sport, music and drama flourish. Regular visits are arranged to concerts, plays, exhibitions and other events in Canterbury and London and a number of overseas activities take place each year. A large number participate in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme and our joint CCF with our sister Academy at Wye. The main sports are hockey, netball, tennis, cricket, soccer, rugby, swimming, biathlon and athletics. Provision of co-curricular and sporting activities is evolving and we welcome staff who wish to share their passions with others.

Campus and Facilities

The Senior School occupies a 25+ acre site in a prominent position close to the centre of Ashford and near to the International Station.  It is a green and secure haven in a busy and growing commuter town. There are good rail, road and bus links to Ashford and London (38 minutes) and the School operates its own bus services to outlying villages.

The Senior School has playing fields on-site, together with newly opened Sports Centre, gyms, fitness suite, an indoor swimming pool, floodlit Astroturf, tennis and netball courts, boarding houses and dining hall. The School enjoys all the specialist teaching facilities you would expect of an independent school and we have embarked on a programme to refurbish and extend our facilities as we grow. Over the last ten years, this has included the complete refurbishment of boarding, the creation of new maths classrooms, atrium café, language laboratory and classrooms, learning centre and fitness suite.

In 2015, our latest boarding house opened in a charming, refurbished listed building on the hill. New playing fields and sports facilities on a 25 acre site adjacent to the Prep School including a second floodlit Astroturf were opened in September 2016.  These are used by pupils from both the Prep School and Senior School.

With the support of United Learning, there are exciting plans to continue to invest in both the Senior and Prep School sites. In 2018 the new Stables Nursery was opened at Great Chart, as well as the sports facilities being complemented by additional changing facilities and a new sports pavilion. Work is also underway to define the precise future needs on the Senior School site and how these can be best met as the School continues to grow.

The pre-nursery, Bridge House, is also located on this site and benefits from the proximity to the Senior School, as well as having its own dedicated and well-resourced accommodation and staff.

United Learning

Ashford School is a member of a group of 50+ independent schools and academies run by United Learning. We are a close partner of Wye School which opened in September 2013. United Learning aims to be at the forefront of educational development, bringing the very best resources, both human and physical, to the children in its schools. With over 5,000 employees, United Learning has the scope to provide first rate professional development including bespoke MAs in leadership and pedagogy. Emphasis is placed on staff development and training, which is organised both in school and with other schools within United Learning. Ashford School is a strategic partner in the United Learning Teaching Alliance and has a reputation for training excellent teachers. Ashford School is also a National Teaching School and the Head is a designated National Leader of Education. This means we set out to play an influential part in improving standards for all pupils.

Ashford School uses United Learning pay and performance policies, which means salary and progression are linked to contribution and performance; rapid acceleration is possible. Lunches are provided free in return for commitment to pupils, there is a discount from the fees for children of employees and many of the facilities of the School are open to staff and their families during the holidays as well as term-time.

Further details about Ashford School may be found at www.ashfordschool.co.uk. Further details about United Learning may be found at www.unitedlearning.org.uk.

Visit Us

  • Ashford Prep School
    Great Chart, Ashford, Kent, TN23 3DJ
    +44 (0)1233 620493
    The Stables Nursery: +44 (0)1233 656865

  • Ashford Senior School
    East Hill, Ashford, Kent, TN24 8PB
    +44 (0)1233 625171
    Bridge Nursery: +44 (0)1233 636450

Contact Us