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Lancing College
Lancing College
Lancing College
Lancing College
top 200
Lancing College Lancing, West Sussex Visit
school
Lancing College
Lancing
608 pupils, ages 13-18
Mixed
Day and Boarding

Lancing College

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Our view

Revitalised, forward-looking and full of energy, Lancing is a flexi boarding school to put firmly on your list. This isn’t an exclusive old-fashioned place oozing with entitlement and privilege – instead, tradition bends for independence, initiative and inspiration, while comparatively small pupil numbers make for a hugely welcoming atmosphere and a solid sense of family and community.

Where?

High up in the South Downs, Lancing sits on a stunning, collegiate hilltop campus with gorgeous views over the Sussex countryside in one direction and the English Channel in the other. Approached by a bucolic winding lane, the magnificent neo-gothic chapel (the largest school chapel in the world, no less) is the first thing you notice, and it really takes your breath away – legend has it that the architect died before seeing the completion of his masterpiece, so intent was he to put perfection before conclusion.

While it can feel a little windswept and bleak at times, the school has everything pupils need on-site, with playing fields stretching in all directions as far as the eye can see, then valleys and grassland rolling down towards the south coast.

Brighton and Worthing are both within easy reach, while Gatwick airport is a 40-minute drive away (the school runs a shuttle bus to and from the airport at the start and end of each term).

Head

Headmaster Dominic Oliver joined Lancing from Bedales in 2014. We’re big fans: he’s got a nicely relaxed and friendly approach to being a head, and as a great communicator, he likes to canvass parent and pupil views before making any major changes. He takes all Year 9 pupils for debating classes, which helps him get to know each and every one of his charges – while teaching them the all-important life skills of tolerance and good listening at the same time. 

Mr Oliver has admirable ambitions for the school: he’d like to make Lancing net carbon neutral, as well as expand the bursary provision in order to open up the school to all, regardless of means.

Admissions

The main entrance points are Years 9, 10 and 12 – all of which are almost always oversubscribed. At 13+, a significant number move up from Lancing’s affiliated prep schools in Worthing and Hove; external applicants need to put their names down by Year 5, and the growing popularity of the school means if you’re not quick off the mark, you’ll miss out. Entrance is via the ISEB pre-test, an assessment day (packed full of fun group activities) and an interview.

At 16+ the school takes another 45-50 stonkingly strong students (a sizeable majority are girls arriving from single-sex day schools). Sixth form places are in high demand – there’s a ratio of more than three students applying for every available spot.

Academics and destinations

Mr Oliver is keen to stress that this is not a highly academic, overtly selective school; instead, pupils all bring different strengths to the table. Results are rising, and there’s a fantastic mix of subjects for pupils to pick from at both GCSE and A-level.

It’s the sixth form where Lancing really comes into its own. Pupils study towards A-levels (or pick BTECs in business and sport) and get thorough academic preparation for the best universities. We’re hugely impressed with the level of further-education and careers support, including a dedicated head of Oxbridge admissions and support for entry into overseas universities. There’s even a medical programme for those with their eye on a place at medical school, which acts as a major pull.

Popular destinations include Durham, Imperial College London, King’s College London, LSE, Queen Mary, UCL, Bath and Bristol, but there’s no set route for these leavers – last year’s highlights include spots at the University of Arts London to study Fashion Management, the University of Liverpool to read Aerospace Engineering (with a year in industry) and Arts University Bournemouth to read Animation Production.

Co-curricular

Sport is part of the curriculum for all, the whole way up to the U6 – and with acres of pitches on site, there’s plenty for pupils to get stuck into. The main sports are football (for both boys and girls), hockey, netball, tennis and swimming (an incredible elite programme produces national and international-level athletes); riding at the equestrian centre; not to mention a developing reputation in women’s cricket – the first female cricket scholar recently joined the school. Note there’s no rugby. Other options include water polo, squash, cross-country, fencing, fishing and sailing.

Music here centres around the blockbuster chapel, with sung Eucharist each week. The chapel choir has sung in the likes of Chichester Cathedral and St George’s Chapel at Windsor, and a huge cohort of peripatetic teachers offer lessons in pretty much every instrument under the sun. There are also orchestras, bands and ensembles galore, plus heaps of concerts, recitals and opera trips.

The drama department produces plays and at least one musical every year (Chicago most recently), plus playwriting competitions and student-led workshops. The lovely open-air theatre was opened by Agatha Christie in 1960 and a play is performed every summer term. The modern art block is set in one of the nicest buildings on campus – and with blockbuster views of the Downs and the south coast, it’s a pretty inspiring place for artistic endeavour. There’s also a light-filled exhibition place for pupils to show off their work.

Two hours a day are ringfenced for clubs, activities and societies, with over 130 for pupils to choose from including CCF, electronics, fives and outreach initiatives. Pupils are encouraged to mix it up and try options outside of their comfort zone.

A big shout-out to Lancing’s very own farm too – students can muck in and take part in all the tasks, even helping to deliver lambs. The farm’s land plays a big part in the school’s sustainability efforts: a large part of the land is set to be re-wilded and turned into a wildflower meadow to help offset the school’s carbon footprint.

Boarding

Around 60 per cent of pupils opt into boarding, choosing between full or flexi. Full boarders are allowed home at weekends; flexis are able to upgrade; and day pupils can even book in for the occasional overnight. There are ten houses in total: four boys’ boarding; three girls’ boarding; one boys’ day house; one girls’ day house and one co-ed day house (an increasingly popular option). They’re all situated on site and close to the main college building, which makes getting around a breeze.

At weekends, there are sometimes up to 300 pupils in school, and there is certainly enough going on to keep those who stay entertained. There are lessons on Saturday mornings, then the afternoons are dedicated to sport – Sundays are reserved for studying, activities and downtime.

Day pupils regularly stay for evening school and supper until 9.30pm. All meals are taken in the dining room, which makes for a cosy, family environment. (Oh, and at weekends a pizza truck arrives.)

School community

Pastoral care is taken seriously here, with an onsite chaplain and counsellor supported by a solid house system and network of tutors. Every year, sixth formers are trained up as peer supporters, and there’s a special PSHE programme for parents and pupils. The school chapel is a focal point of life here – weekly services are attended by all, regardless of faith, and pupils value this opportunity for reflection and togetherness.

Pupils come from 45 different countries, making up a diverse community of backgrounds, faiths and beliefs. Mr Oliver wants the Lancing community to be tolerant and outward-looking – an ethos that neatly sums up the atmosphere of the school. There’s also a strong alumni network, with former pupils regularly popping back for mentoring and careers talks.

Day pupils can use the extensive school minibus service, which covers routes towards Horsham, Chichester and Lewes. Extra routes from Cobham and Guildford are laid on at exeats and the start and end of each term.

And finally...

Progressive, yet relaxed and friendly, Lancing is welcoming to all – and is certainly not an academic hothouse. It’s an exciting place to be.

Gallery See All

  • Academic results

    GCSE results
    A level results
    Download results as PDF
  • University destinations

    60% of leavers went on to a Russell Group university.
    6% of leavers went on to an overseas university.
    90% of leavers went on to their first choice university.
  • Subjects offered

    GCSE

    Art & Design
    Biology
    Chemistry
    Classical Civilisation
    Computer Science
    Design and Technology
    Drama and Theatre Studies
    Economics
    English Language
    English Literature
    French
    Further Mathematics
    Geography
    German
    History
    Latin
    Mathematics
    Music
    Photography
    Physical Education
    Physics
    Psychology
    Spanish
    English as an Additional Language
    Design & Technology - Engineering

    A Level

    Art & Design
    Biology
    Chemistry
    Classical Civilisation
    Computer Science
    Design and Technology
    Drama and Theatre Studies
    Economics
    English Language
    English Literature
    French
    Further Mathematics
    Geography
    German
    History
    Latin
    Mathematics
    Music
    Photography
    Physical Education
    Physics
    Politics
    Psychology
    Spanish
  • Fees and bursaries

    Day fees per term

    Year 7-
    Year 8-
    Year 9£9,310
    Year 10£9,310
    Year 11£9,310
    Year 12£9,310
    Year 13£9,310
    Boarding fees per term

    Year 7-
    Year 8-
    Year 9£13,620
    Year 10£13,620
    Year 11£13,620
    Year 12£13,620
    Year 13£13,620




    Bursaries
    Lancing has a small bursary fund that it uses to supplement scholarship awards with means-tested fee remission. It also offers a Transformational Bursary scheme that is specifically targeted at children from disadvantaged backgrounds, offering them the chance to benefit from a Lancing education. These are offered to new students in Years 9 and 12, although the school stresses that many, if not most of the recipients of these awards are generally identified through “established relationships with a number of agencies and state schools”. The school aims to support 25 such transformational bursaries over the next five years. 

    For more information, please see their website:

    https://www.lancingcollege.co.uk/lancing-college/admissions/scholarships


    Bursary contact:
    Admissions Manager Sarah Linfield
    admissions@lancing.org.uk
  • SEND



  • Transport links

    School Transport
    School daily bus network

    Public Transport
    Nearest mainline train station: Shoreham-by-Sea
    Journey time to London by train: 84 minutes
    Nearest international airport: Gatwick (33 miles)


School Updates

  • See Lancing in our Senior Boarding Schools Guide

    See Lancing in our Senior Boarding Schools Guide
  • Weekly boarding: everything you need to know

    Weekly boarding: everything you need to know

Essentials

Address
Lancing, West Sussex BN15 0RW

Contact
info@lancing.org.uk
01273 452213

Website
lancingcollege.co.uk

ISI Report

Fees

Term Dates


Open Days

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