Guide to Independent Schools

School details

Cherwell College

Cherwell College Oxford, Cantay House, Park End Street, Oxford OX1 1JD

Enquiries & application

The Registrar

T:  01865 242670

Co-ed, 15-19, Day and Boarding (full and weekly)
Pupils: 100, Upper sixth 45
Fees: 5000−8500 (Day), 7500−12,500 (Boarding) per term
Affiliation: BAC


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School details

Cherwell College

What it's like

Founded in 1973 as a co-educational tutorial establishment. Its study rooms are in an historic site, next to the Oxford Union, in the heart of the city. Sixth-form students are housed in semi-independent apartments; younger pupils stay with families. The aim is to respect all students as young adults, who then tend to develop a responsible approach to academic studies and a mature attitude to student life. There is a system of one-to-one tuition by academic tutors, who include academics, lifelong teachers, engineers and scientists. Students attend tutorial classes daily, supported with seminar discussions and mock exams. Weekly and monthly reports allow parents to follow academic progress and students the chance to identify weaknesses and goals. The college also runs short-term study courses − Easter revision, preparation for Oxbridge entrance exams and interview, etc with students living and studying in one of three Oxford colleges.

Pupils & entrance

Pupils: Age range 15-19; 100 students, 40 day (20 boys, 20 girls), 60 boarding (30 boys, 30 girls). Entrance: Assessment papers at interview; 5 GCSEs at grade C preferred (but possible to retake alongside AS-levels); high level of interest and motivation is the key. No special skills or religious requirements (college is multi-denominational).

Scholarships & bursaries

Bursaries available for siblings and for those who have attended Easter courses at the college.

Head & staff

Principal: New principal being appointed. Teaching staff: 30 full time, 15 part time.

Exam results

GCSE: On average, 15 pupils in upper fifth: 98% gain at least grade C in 5-7 subjects. A-levels: 45 in upper sixth: 87% pass in 3+ subjects.

Pupils' destinations

95% of sixth-form leavers go on to a degree course, studying a variety of subjects.


A-levels/Pre-U, Extended Project Qualification; some GCSEs. Sixth form: Most sixth formers take 4 subjects at AS-level, 3 at A-level/Pre-U. Special provision: Arrangements made for students with dyslexia, attention deficit disorder, ME. Languages: All European languages offered to GCSE, AS-level and A-level. ICT: Taught across the curriculum. Computers for pupil use, most networked and with email and internet access.

Sports & activities

Sport is optional. A number of pupils of national and international ranking. Also bronze, silver and gold Duke of Edinburgh's Award; CCF; community service. Many pupils are members of clubs and societies associated with the university.

School life

Uniform: None. Houses and prefects: No competitive houses or prefects but student representative. Religion: Multi-denominational. Social: Trips abroad and cultural events organised. No alcohol allowed in college buildings.


Students want to be at the college and are educated to identify and meet goals and ambitions they set themselves. Where problems they are discussed; tutors offer consistent encouragement and guidance, monitoring and reporting progress monthly. Strictly enforced drug policy.


Accommodation in semi-independent apartments (age 16-18), independent apartments (for over-18s), or home-stay (age 15-19).