Member Schools

Durham School

An independent co-educational boarding and day school for pupils aged 11-18

  • Principal: Mr. Kieran McLaughlin
  • Pupils: 425 – Boarders: 70
  • Fees: up to £36,249 per annum
  • A Level and BTEC options at Sixth Form

About the School

The origins of Durham School can be found in the medieval monastic schools of Iona and Lindisfarne. When the monks from Lindisfarne founded Durham Cathedral in the 10th Century they also founded a school that would go on to become Durham School. Durham City is home to one of the most recognisable landmarks in the UK, majestic Durham Cathedral. Together with adjacent Durham Castle, this UNESCO World Heritage Site forms one of the most stunning city panoramas in Europe. The School’s extensive boarding facilities and 35-acre campus are only 7 minutes-walk from the Cathedral.

Durham School is committed to giving every pupil ‘Confidence for Life’. Pupils thrive at School and beyond because of the three strong pillars provided: Academic Challenge, which creates a lifelong appetite for learning; Pastoral Care, which provides emotional, moral and spiritual strength; and Co-curricular Opportunities.

Co-curricular activities play an important role in shaping the lives of all pupils. Long-standing pupil-led societies including the Tristram Society (science) and the Hillard Society (languages) complement a well-deserved reputation in sport, outdoor activities and the Arts.

As an All-Steinway School, these and other excellent resources include a music technology room, large rehearsal spaces, 9 teaching/practice rooms, a three manual Harrison & Harrison organ in the school chapel and a harpsichord. Notable musical alumni include Alexander Armstrong, Will Todd, Robert Ainsley, Miriam Davies and Ralph Woodward.

The staff at Durham School know the pupils they teach very well; that is one of the significant strengths of the school. This, coupled with a sense of history, bond of community, friendships and becoming part of the ‘Old Dunelmians’ (a worldwide network of success) when pupils leave, all add up to the mark of a great education.

In 1828 Headmaster James Carr had to write to the parents of John Leather to inform them that their son had been injured playing with gunpowder.  James Carr went on to become the first professor of Mathematics at Durham University.  In 2019 Durham School won the UK Schools Math Challenge, beating 1300 schools.  Although the school’s six specialist mathematics teachers may not agree, the team was coached by the University Maths Professors in the lead up to the finals. Durham School is the highest ranked co-educational day and boarding school in the North East.

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Staff and Student Quotes

“Although we are a small school, we are big in ambition. We want our pupils to leave us as mature and responsible young men and women, imbued with the skills required to tackle the challenges of the 21st century, while retaining a sense of traditional values, which are timeless. Our values – moral integrity, ambition, responsibility, and kindness – are the MARK of a Durham School education and these give our pupils ‘Confidence for Life’.

Mr. Kieran McLaughlin

“I had an extraordinary experience at Durham School, and it felt nothing like the other schools that I have been to. I always felt like I was welcomed, and everyone was so friendly and helpful – especially the staff.  Overall it felt like Durham School was my second home with my second family in it.”

Year 13 from Iraq

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