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St Lawrence College
St Lawrence College
St Lawrence College
St Lawrence College
St Lawrence College Ramsgate, Kent Visit
St Lawrence College
426 pupils, ages 11-18
Day and Boarding

St Lawrence College

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Our View

There aren’t many boxes that St Lawrence College doesn’t tick: exceptional academics (it’s one of only a handful of certified World Class High Performance Learning Schools), outstanding sport with an elite performance programme for gifted pupils, and awesome facilities for budding actors and musicians. Add to that a wonderfully inclusive and vibrant community with a location just a mile from the golden sands of Kent’s Ramsgate beach, and it’s hard not to be bowled over. And with a nursery and junior school to boot, it means children can start age three and fly through a superlative education uninterrupted to 18.


In the heart of residential Ramsgate, the school’s campus walls off a substantial block, with impressive entry gates that take you through to playing fields and then the head’s house, which sits in the centre of the senior-school site. Handsomely tall, red-brick school buildings and a chapel are all interconnected, with a grassed area around which are more buildings and the boarding houses. Behind this are extensive sports pitches. The junior school has its own enclave on the same site, making it an easy transition for the 70 per cent of pupils who stay on.


Barney Durrant took up the headship in 2020, arriving from Hong Kong, where he had been setting up the new Harrow school for eight years. He lives on site with his wife, who teaches at the junior school, and his three children, who all attend St Lawrence. He’s proud of the inclusive community at the school, with its diverse cultural mix of some 25 nationalities. The school’s values are underpinned by its Christian ethos, which embraces all faiths, and its caring community where ‘respect is very important’, he says. Its High Performance Learning status has been won through a philosophy based on the belief that there are no barriers to education. ‘We give pupils a toolbox of skill,’ Mr Durrant tells us, which enables them to become solution-focused thinkers. He’s a big-picture head, seeing pupils’ journeys beyond the school gates: ‘We want to nurture good citizens who have a sense of service.’


St Lawrence is broadly non-selective, so prospective pupils don’t have to sit tests unless the school feels it needs additional information about their ability or level of English. If possible, Mr Durrant interviews children and parents and then a place may be offered. The school actively recruits from overseas – soon after our visit, Mr Durrant was heading off to India, Saudi Arabia and Dubai. A regular intake of Spanish pupils come for a term and German students for a year to play hockey. Out of the 625 pupils, 170 board, 60 per cent of whom are international students. Day pupils can flexi-board, and weekly boarding is in the pipeline.

Academics and destinations

Pupils are streamed for maths, English and science, and everyone does three sciences at GCSE, with labs for each discipline. The main languages are French and Spanish, and fluent German, Arabic and Mandarin speakers can take these for A level. D&T is popular – some 40 pupils a year take it for GCSE or A-level – and the two huge, warehouse-style workshops are impressively kitted out. Year 8s recently started doing a level one London Institute of Banking and Finance qualification. Sixth-formers take three A-levels plus an EPQ, which they do in Year 13; recent subjects include vintage-bike restoration, the effect of artificially generated waves on surfing and the Battle of Stalingrad. 

University and careers advice is comprehensive, with extensive guidance offered to sixth-formers with the likes of Oxbridge, medicine, dentistry or veterinary science in their sights. Leavers head off to a range of destinations, including some on sports scholarships to the US.


Sport is strong, with hockey, rugby, cricket and netball among the team games on offer. There are also facilities for swimming, squash and dance. The head of cricket is an ex-Ashes player, and there’s a new elite performance director on the staff this year. Gifted pupils are invited to join the Sports Excellence Programme, which trains on Fridays. Fundraising for a new pavilion is in full swing with a target of £1.3m. Once built, it will be available to hire out as a venue, with proceeds going towards bursary and scholarship funding.

The art department is across the top floor of the glass-fronted Canon Perfect building, which also houses science, IT and D&T. As well as fine art, pupils can do ceramics, textiles and photography. The quality of the work is high – we were blown away by the A-level exhibition we saw.

Music is timetabled in Years 7 to 9, and pupils can choose to play whichever instrument they want. There are two choirs, an orchestra, a jazz band and a rock band. The theatre stages the annual whole-school performance, which alternates between musicals and Shakespeare, and pupils are involved in all parts of the production, on and backstage. During our most recent visit, Years 7 and 8s were rehearsing for Alice in Wonderland, with the senior years helping produce it. Budding actors can take drama GCSE and A-level, and LAMDA is also on offer.

All Year 9s do CCF, learning everything from basic marching to combat practice with paintball guns. There’s also an indoor range for rifle shooting for Year 7s upwards. Once or twice a year they have field days, camping on the school site. In Year 10, pupils can choose to continue with CCF but everyone does Duke of Edinburgh. The many clubs include cooking, board games and community service. Everyone gets involved in cross-country – there’s a real buzz when the pupils set off on the 4km run.


There are three boarding houses, two for boys and one for girls, headed by a housemaster or mistress. Common rooms have table tennis and pool, and all the dorms are ensuite. There’s a mixed boarding house for Years 3 to 8 with an open-plan ground floor that has table football, a kitchen and a circular seating area.

Saturday school for all is followed by sport in the afternoon. Sixth-formers are allowed into town on Saturday evenings from 7pm to 10pm. On Sundays, there are activities for boarders or they can go for sleepovers with a day pupil. The school stays open on exeat weekends for overseas pupils, with trips to places like Thorpe Park and Harry Potter World.

School community

Every pupil has a tutor who forms a link between school, child and parents; there are eight pupils in a tutor group and they meet three times a week. Pupils go to chapel twice a week, and boarders also have a Sunday-evening service. Mental-health first-aiders track pupils’ wellbeing and, post-pandemic, the school has brought in two counsellors. There is also a medical centre in the junior-school building that is open 24/7.

Every year the school hosts International Day, with pupils wearing traditional dress, singing and dancing performances and cuisine from all the countries represented. Outreach work is emphasised with upper years doing community service, reading at local primary schools, visiting the elderly in care homes and helping out at the Salvation Army. Local primary schools also come in for acting workshop days, and they also use the school swimming pool.

And finally....

This is a school that is outward-looking with a genuinely globalised community. Pupils get the chance to have a go at whatever appeals to them, and thrive on it. As Mr Durrant says: ‘We are not an exams factory – everyone gives everything a go.’

Gallery See All

Boy in navy tshirt playing the drums
Girl in a navy apron doing some carpentry
Girl in glasses sitting at a table in the library
Senior pupils sitting on the grass chatting
Two boys in navy blazers and striped ties sitting together in class on their laptops
boy in white shirt and tie and navy blue apron working in the art room
boy in white sports kit holding black weights in the gym
external image of St Lawrence College
girl in white top and blue skirt playing tennis on an astroturf court
  • Academic results

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

    1% of leavers went on to an American university.
    1% of leavers went on to an overseas university.
  • Subjects offered


    Art & Design
    Business Studies
    Design and Technology
    Drama and Theatre Studies
    English Language
    English Literature
    Physical Education
    Religious Studies

    A Level

    Art & Design
    Business Studies
    Computer Science
    Design and Technology
    Drama and Theatre Studies
    English Language
    English Literature
    Further Mathematics
    Media Studies
    Physical Education
    Religious Studies
  • Fees and bursaries

    Day fees per term

    Year 7£6,421
    Year 8 £6,421
    Year 9 £6,726
    Year 10£6,726
    Year 11£6,726
    Year 12£6,959
    Year 13£6,959
    Boarding fees per term

    Year 7£11,242
    Year 8 £11,242
    Year 9 £13,633
    Year 10 £13,633
    Year 11£13,633
    Year 12£13,633
    Year 13£13,633


    The College offers means-tested bursaries, designed to offer financial assistance in exceptional circumstances to lower income households to either start at school or remain at school if the family’s circumstances change. Bursaries are awarded to make up the shortfall between what the family can afford and what the fees actually are. If a family applies for a bursary they will need to provide the school with comprehensive details of their family’s financial position and be prepared for this to be reviewed at regular intervals. A pupil does not need to win a scholarship in order to be considered for a bursary.

    Their bursary awards process does not apply income thresholds. The process takes into account a number of factors including but not limited to: household income and assets, discretionary expenditure and disposable income.

    Bursary contact:
    Bursar Jim Connelly
  • SEND

    Co-ordinator: Deborah Caines
  • Transport links

    School Transport
    School daily bus network

    Public Transport
    Nearest mainline train station: Ramsgate Train Station
    Journey time to London by train: 80 minutes
    Nearest international airport: Gatwick (90 miles)

School Updates

  • WATCH: St Lawrence College Video

    WATCH:  St Lawrence College Video
  • See St Lawrence College in our Senior Boarding Schools Guide

    See St Lawrence College in our Senior Boarding Schools Guide
  • See St Lawrence College in our All-through Schools Guide

    See St Lawrence College in our All-through Schools Guide


College Road, Ramsgate, Kent CT11 7AE

01843 808080


ISI Report


Term Dates


Open Days

Open days and how to visit View Open Days Register for open Day

Senior School Summer Tours
08 June 2024

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