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Cranleigh School
Cranleigh School
Cranleigh School
Cranleigh School Cranleigh, Surrey Visit
Cranleigh School
702 pupils, ages 13-18
Day and Boarding

Cranleigh School

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Our view

Basking in 240 acres of leafy Surrey countryside, Cranleigh is a bit of a Goldilocks school – not too big, not too small, good for girls, good for boys, not greedy for the sportiest or the cleverest, but rather valuing what every pupil brings to the community. Everything feels just right. There’s a real family atmosphere and a down-to-earth attitude prevails, which is evident in the happy, well-rounded children brimming with confidence in their own abilities.


Cranleigh’s sweeping grounds and 19th-century buildings are genuinely breathtaking with the Surrey Hills and South Downs offering wraparound views. It’s approached from a pretty road outside the market town of Cranleigh and is easy to get to from Guildford, which is only 20 minutes’ drive away. London isn’t far either and as well as attracting the less flashy Surrey crowd, Cranleigh is also gaining popularity with parents looking to escape the competitiveness of the London school circuit.


Martin Reader has been head since 2014 and he’s a shining example of the warmth and quiet confidence the school exudes. He’s rightly proud of the co-ed experience Cranleigh has been delivering for more than 20 years. The split is pretty much 50/50 and it’s notable how seamlessly boys and girls mix at the school. ‘It’s an environment that encourages mutual respect, a sense of equality and empathy,’ says Mr Reader. He’s definitely a community-minded head and has centred the school’s ethos around young people, ‘the sort of people the world is going to need – thinking, being, giving people’.


While applicants sit the ISEB pre-test at their prep schools in Year 6, there is no hard-and-fast pass or fail mark. It’s more about finding the ‘Cranleigh fit’; ie, are they prepared to have a go and get stuck in? Will they contribute to the school community? Holistic assessment days where the children take part in team-building exercises and discussion groups help the school find the all-rounders it’s looking for. Things get a bit more selective at sixth form when demand outstrips places, so there are minimum GCSE requirements as well as an assessment day that looks at applicants’ ‘Cranleigh fit’ potential.

Academics and destinations

Pupils receive a broad education with equal emphasis on academic and creative subjects. There’s streaming in most subjects from Year 9 and independent learning is encouraged from the start. In Year 10, all children take the School Certificate in Philosophy, which Cranleigh developed with the New College of the Humanities, which involves pupils completing a philosophy project which they can present as a written report, artwork, presentation or video. In the sixth form, most students do an EPQ (the school’s director of learning, teaching and innovation, Dr John Taylor, was one of the founding writers of the qualification) alongside three A-levels. This emphasis on critical thinking over digesting facts is all part of the school’s ethos of developing ‘global citizens’.

Results are good, with more than half achieving eight or more grade 9-7 GCSEs in 2022 and 85 per cent achieving grades A*-B at A-level. Leavers’ destinations are diverse and celebrated equally: Russell Group universities; music conservatoires; the armed forces; computer science entrepreneurships; and universities abroad.


The school embraces sport wholeheartedly, which shows in the incredible facilities available. Almost too many to list, they include 10 grass pitches, nine Astro courts, an equestrian centre, a nine-hole golf course, a swimming pool, a sports centre and an athletic development facility for pupils on the elite sports programme. There’s also the Woodland Fitness centre equipped with hi-tech gym equipment and a physiotherapy room. All children have four sessions of sport a week, with Saturday matches. They’re formidable competitors and often walk away triumphant.

Drama is also a big part of school life. The department is eye-catching with ‘Cranleigh Drama!’ emblazoned in neon lights and old theatre chairs lining the corridor. It’s a very popular option, with 70 per cent of Year 9s choosing it. And everyone is easily accommodated as there are plenty of dedicated rooms and places to perform, including the 1920s Speech Hall, which has stage and technical lighting, and a smaller, 100-seat theatre, complete with green room. It’s like a slice of the West End in Surrey and is often used by visiting theatre companies. Dance is also part of the performing arts offering, with ballet, modern, contemporary and tap all on the menu.

Music is an option from Year 9 too, with hundreds of individual lessons taught each week. In addition to GCSE and A-level music, pupils can choose music technology at A-level, making use of an impressive recording studio and music tech suite. Art, meanwhile, is served by double-height-ceilinged rooms that are wonderfully light, the perfect setting for children to explore sculpture, printmaking, photography and painting. Plus, there is a comprehensive design engineering department and many students who take A-level go on to take engineering degrees.


The majority of children board at Cranleigh; day pupils make up about 30 per cent. Boarders are evenly split between boys and girls, and live in eight lovely boarding houses dotted around the campus. Day pupils are assigned to houses too and each have their own desk space, so there’s a fantastically integrated feel. All day pupils stay for supper and often don’t go home until after 9pm as the school day is so full of activities. Each boys’ house is paired with a girls’ house, and lots of socials together and inter-house competitions create a lively, fun atmosphere. The houses have a strong family feeling and are a happy downtime hub where children can eat, relax and hang out with their friends.

School community

The house system creates a very secure pastoral setting, with houseparents and matrons all enjoying a great relationship with pupils. Families within the houses are headed by sixth-formers, and children are also assigned tutors who stay with them throughout their time at the school. The Year 9s aren’t allowed phones – at all – which they seem to get used to after the initial shock. They even end up agreeing it’s a good thing. As they go up the years, phone access is increased – but up until Year 12, phones get handed in at bedtime. Pastoral care is tracked by a system initiated by the IT department and the pastoral team meets weekly to ensure no one slips through the net.

Parents are regarded as part of the family and even though many pupils board, plenty of parents live locally and are invited into school for concerts, talks and matches.

And finally....

This is a school that has lots to brag about, but never does. It’s quietly confident in the seamless co-ed education it offers and is happy to let its reputation grow by word of mouth, which it is, with more and more pupils applying, eager to join the Cranleigh family.

Gallery See All

  • Academic results

    GCSE results
    A level results
    Download results as PDF
  • Subjects offered


    Art & Design
    Classical Civilisation
    Design and Technology
    Drama and Theatre Studies
    English Language
    English Literature
    Religious Studies

    A Level

    Art & Design
    Business Studies
    Classical Civilisation
    Computer Science
    Design and Technology
    Drama and Theatre Studies
    English Language
    English Literature
    Further Mathematics
    Government and Politics
    Physical Education
    Religious Studies
    Music Technology
  • Fees and bursaries

    Day fees per term

    Year 7-
    Year 8 -
    Year 9 £11,725
    Year 10£11,725
    Year 11£11,725
    Year 12£11,725
    Year 13£11,725
    Boarding fees per term

    Year 7-
    Year 8 -
    Year 9 £14,240
    Year 10 £14,240
    Year 11£14,240
    Year 12£14,240
    Year 13£14,240

    Bursary contact:
    Registrar Alex Forsdike
  • Transport links

    Public Transport
    Nearest mainline train station: Guildford
    Journey time to London by train: 45 minutes
    Nearest international airport: Gatwick (24 miles)

School Updates

  • Cranleigh makes the grade

    Cranleigh is pleased to report outstanding GCSE results, with 24% of all grades a 9 and 46% of all grades being 9/8. 100 per cent of students gained five or more GCSEs graded 9-4 and 76% of all pupils achieved 9-7 in the core subjects of Maths and English.
    Cranleigh makes the grade
  • Cranleigh's A Level Results

    Cranleigh is pleased to report that in the first year of external examinations since 2019, A-Level results are consistently excellent, with 25 per cent achieving the top A* grade, 55 per cent of grades at A*-A, 85 per cent of grades at A*-B and an overall pass rate of almost 100 per cent.
    Cranleigh's A Level Results
  • Cranleigh's Riding High

    Show jumping might not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of school sports, but Surrey’s Cranleigh School is currently leading the field in equestrian activities.
    Cranleigh's Riding High
  • See Cranleigh School in our All-through Schools Guide.

    See Cranleigh School in our All-through Schools Guide.
  • See Cranleigh School in our Senior Boarding Schools Guide.

    See Cranleigh School in our Senior Boarding Schools Guide.
  • Cranleigh girls win U15 Surrey Cup

    Played at Kingston Grammar School, Cranleigh beat Alleyn's by seven wickets to raise the cup.
    Cranleigh girls win U15 Surrey Cup
  • Young Triathletes raise over £1.2 million for charity

    On Sunday 15th May, 770 school children came together at Cranleigh School to take part in the Flight Centre Schools Triathlon.
    Young Triathletes raise over £1.2 million for charity
  • Cranleigh School riders crowned National Champions

    Cranleigh School riders started the half term break with a three day National Schools Equestrian Association Championship at the iconic All England Jumping Course at Hickstead.
    Cranleigh School riders crowned National Champions
  • 1st XI Captain Georgia, becomes the first girl at Cranleigh to score a cricket century

    1st XI Captain Georgia, becomes the first girl at Cranleigh to score a cricket century
  • Cranleigh School's Top EPQ Results

    Cranleigh School's Top EPQ Results
  • Cranleigh School wins prestigious Hampton School Sevens Tournament

    Cranleigh School wins prestigious Hampton School Sevens Tournament
  • Cranleigh pupil selected for Great Britain Elite Development Programme

    Cranleigh pupil selected for Great Britain Elite Development Programme
  • WATCH: Cranleigh Sixth Form - Pathways

    WATCH: Cranleigh Sixth Form - Pathways
  • WATCH: Cranleigh Sixth Form - Academics

    WATCH: Cranleigh Sixth Form - Academics

Cranleigh School is
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Horseshoe Lane, Cranleigh, Surrey GU6 8QQ

01483 276377


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