Harrogate’s Ashville College to end boarding next year
Last updated Feb 7, 2024

Harrogate‘s Ashville College is to phase out boarding by next year as part of a major new masterplan.

The fee-paying school said the masterplan would see “the biggest investment in its academic and sporting facilities in its history”.

But it will also result in the end of boarding after almost 150 years as Ashville begins a new era exclusively for day pupils, who currently account for more than 90 per cent of its intake.

Chair of governors Jamie Search described the decision as “sensible — and inevitable”.

He added:

“Decisions we have taken about boarding will allow us to fulfil our aim of becoming the school of first choice for those parents in the Harrogate, and the wider Harrogate area, who want independent education for their children aged 2-18.

“In the UK independent sector, boarding education as a concept has been under considerable pressure for some time, exacerbated by the covid pandemic.”

Ashville’s campus

Mr Search added:

Ashville is a day school with some boarding and is, therefore, very different to a full boarding school.

“Like many similar schools, where boarding is a small and decreasing part of its operation, Ashville has not been immune to these trends. We now have about a third of the number of boarders we had 10 years ago and we occupy only two of our four boarding houses.”

Current Year 10 and lower sixth boarders will be able to complete their current stage of education, whether at GCSE or ‘A’ Level.

Ashville said in a statement it was “working to support families of pupils who currently board by offering one-to-one specialist advice and guidance, including signposting them to alternative boarding schools, before boarding at Ashville ceases in July 2025″.

It added the school was already working with architects and designers on its new vision and would share more details and images next term.

Rhiannon Wilkinson, Ashville head

Rhiannon Wilkinson

Head Rhiannon Wilkinson said in a letter to parents:

“The decision to wind down boarding is made from a position of confidence and it brings us many opportunities as an all-through, co-educational day school.

“We will be able to develop our teaching spaces to accommodate the new styles of teaching and learning and curriculum design which a changing world of work necessitates.”

She added:

“We have plans to develop social and study spaces for our pupils and we are keen to invest further in our sporting facilities.

“We also want to redesign and upgrade a number of other areas across the campus as we further develop a modern learning environment for all our pupils.”

 Founded in 1877, Ashville College caters for boys and girls aged 2-18 years. It consists of Acorns Early Years, and Ashville’s prep school, senior school and sixth form.

Read more: