Boarding for

Military Families

Boarding for Military Families

Cheltenham College has a long and distinguished connection with the military dating back to 1841. It is a connection and understanding that remains just as strong within our community today. We are one of only three schools in England to have its own military colours!

With around 50 Full Boarders, more than half of which are from military forces families, Cade House is bustling, busy and exciting every single weekend!


Life at Cheltenham Prep as a Military Boarder 

Click here to find out from Kate, what life at The Prep is like as a military boarder!

Heart of The Cotswolds

Often referred to as the ‘Heart of The Cotswolds’, Cheltenham is a thriving town, with over 118,000 people. Also known as ‘The Festival Town’, Cheltenham’s festivals attract thousands of regional and international visitors. The town is famous for holding the world’s oldest Literature Festival, along with Jazz, Science, Music and Food Festivals.

The world-renowned Cheltenham Festival takes place at The Racecourse in March and Cheltenham College is home to the annual Cricket Festival, which is the world’s longest running cricket festival.


The Perfect Location

Cheltenham Prep is within easy reach of the main Army and RAF bases across the South West. Cheltenham Spa train station is only five minutes by car, with a direct train to Paddington and links to Bristol, Birmingham, Bath and Oxford. Major road and motorway links include the A40, M4, M5 and M6. Heathrow, Bristol and Birmingham airports are all easily accessible in under two hours.

ARRC at Innsworth 25 minutes by car
RAF Brize Norton 42 minutes by car
Salisbury Plain 1 hour and 50 minutes by car
Shrivenham 47 minutes by car
MOD Abbey Wood 54 minutes by car


What happens if my child is missing home?

What happens if my child is unwell or needs to attend regular medical appointments?

How do parents stay informed about how their child is getting on?

How are boarders supported with homework?

What is the after school routine in House?

What are the weekend activities?

What is the phone policy in the Boarding House?

How do you manage international time difference?

How many children sit down for breakfast on a Sunday morning?

Do you take childcare vouchers for boarding?

Transition to College (13-18)

To join College, pupils at The Prep attend an Entrance Day in November of Year 6. During the day, children sit an English paper, a Maths paper, have a group interview, attend a few lessons, and spend time in the Boarding House of their choice.

Pupils arriving in Years 7 or 8 sit one set of Entrance Papers for both Cheltenham Prep and Cheltenham College.

Parents can request two preferences of Boarding House at College and should contact the College Visits Team to arrange a tour

All pupils at The Prep have an opportunity to have an annual taster day at College from Year 4 onwards. This ensures a seamless transition from Year 8 to Year 9.

Fee Information

Cheltenham College supports the Continuity of Education Allowance (CEA) from the Military of Defence. In addition to the CEA we offer Military discounts to Day and Boarding families at The Prep and College. These discounts can be combined with a means-tested bursary.

Discount 25% 15%
Army All ranks Captain and below All ranks Major and above
Navy All ranks Lieutenants and below Commodore, Captain, Commander and Lt Commander
Air Force All ranks Flt Lieutenant and below Air Commodore, Group Captain, Wing Commander and Squadron Leader


From September 2024, Cheltenham College is proud to offer a 15% discount to day and boarding families serving within the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office who are in receipt of the FCDO support.


Further information on Fees 

“Definitely one of the best boarding schools in the UK, especially for military families! Our son was at The Prep boarding from Year 3 and he is now at the College and our daughter started in Year 4 and is loving it…the school focuses on growth mindset in a huge way and the staff are incredibly supportive. As a family, we love Cheltenham Prep and the boarding house has a fantastic ‘home away from home’ environment – highly recommend to any military family looking for that ‘forever school’ for their children”

Current Parent, 2023 

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