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Downside School has a long tradition in supporting military families, whose work often takes them around the world, where boarding school is often the most stable option. Being a traditional full boarding school with 70% of our pupils here at the weekends, Downside boasts many benefits as well as a solid continuous education. Our exeats in the Michaelmas term (Lent term for Years 7 & 8 only) are not mandatory for pupils whose homes are outside the UK, and many international pupils choose to stay in for a weekend of activities and rest.

Additionally, Downside has long enjoyed links with the military services, indeed some of our current staff are from military backgrounds. This allows Downside School to offer the empathetic care and support for your child, where those on hand can relate to what they may be experiencing.

From a financial point of view, at Downside School, we go above and beyond for military families. This is because we know the educational, pastoral and spiritual support that we can offer is excellent.

Military families who claim the Continuity of Education Allowance (CEA) will be required to pay only the minimum parental contribution of 10% of the basic boarding fees in respect of each child in the school, as stipulated under the CEA Regulations, plus all extras incurred as a result of the education of their child at the school. Downside School will cover whatever fee sum remains once the CEA has been taken into account under our Military Bursary. Please also note that where a scholarship, sibling discount, or other discount is awarded, the School reserves the right to subsume the scholarship/discount into the Military Bursary.

The Combined Cadet Force is an integral part of the pupil experience at Downside School and is an organisation of which the officers and cadets are immensely proud. Within the CCF we strive to bring out the very best qualities in each pupil. Our aim is to encourage resilience; managed risk-taking; pride in the contingent and wider school; service; duty; challenge; and leadership skills.

Link to Combined cadet force

“Life at Downside is like having a family away from home. My father is in the Forces and is based abroad in Pakistan. This, as you can imagine, has been a tough change for me and my brothers – we all go to school here at Downside in the UK and are all boarders. With this change in our lives the school have been excellent at supporting us in our studies and especially in the boarding aspect of life. I have personally had a wonderful experience as a boarder here at Downside. The school puts on activities in the evening for us so that we can enjoy our time at school as if you were still at home, and the weekend programmes are extremely enjoyable. On the weekends there are an array of options to choose from to keep you occupied such as trips into Bath or the cinema and school-based activates, like 5-aside football tournaments and barbeques in the summer. There is always something going on at Downside, all the time for everyone. The boarding staff are supportive on so many levels. If it’s just someone to talk to, or someone to help. They are always there for us. I have been at Downside for nearly 5 years, and I couldn’t have asked for a better experience as a Forces child living away from home.”
 Charlie, Upper Sixth pupil at Downside

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