Students in Schoolrooms and Seniors share rooms in groups of up to four, and College students generally share twin rooms or have singles. Whenever possible, we try to organise rooming lists according to students’ wishes and we do allow room-swapping after due consultation.

Each boarder is provided with a bed with divan storage, wardrobe space and desk with desk lamp for private study.

Each boarder is also provided with a secure storage space for valuable items. We also provide duvets and pillows, and we encourage students to bring their own bed linen (see below) in order to personalise their own space.

Boarders can also, if they wish, personalise their dormitory space with suitable posters and personal items but please try to ensure that the majority of your child’s possessions can fit easily into the space provided.

Boarders’ Activities

Boarders are offered a wide choice of activities and younger students particularly are encouraged to make good use of all the opportunities on offer.

There are two main daily activity slots:


16:30 – 17:30 – all students
19:45 – 20:45 – boarding students


Throughout the weekend, boarders make good use of school facilities. There are always plenty of staff around, both in the boarding houses and in the school itself

Saturday evenings 19:45 – 20:45: On Saturdays there is a normal school timetable in the morning and often games fixtures in the afternoon. Those not involved in fixtures may go into York (with permission from house staff) and then in the evenings there are activities run by the boarding house teams.

Sundays 13:00 – 15:00 and 20:00 – 21:00: Sunday mornings are relaxed and informal with ‘Sunday Brunch’ and a full programme of organised events.

During the evenings and weekends, boarders have access to a daily programme of extracurricular activities with large-scale and whole site activities arranged for most major festivals and events.

Boarders have a wide array of activities open to them and past activities have included: badminton, basketball and table tennis in the School’s sports hall, trips to the velodrome, meals out, regular cinema trips, climbing club, dance club, film nights, mountain biking, pamper nights and useful cookery classes.

The list is ever expanding with suggestions from the boarders themselves. Bigger events involving the whole boarding community have included: the Halloween party with plenty of tricks and treats, the traditional Christmas party with games and lots of prizes, the Chinese New Year celebrations, complete with an authentic buffet and paper lanterns, a fantastic Easter Egg hunt, plus hours of dancing with a celebratory ceilidh in the summer term.

Boarders’ Meals

Main meals

The School provides three meals per day. Boarders have a choice of dishes at main meals, including a vegetarian option. Provision is also made for special dietary, medical or religious needs.

Monday – Saturday

Breakfast starts at 7:25 and service finishes at around 8:00

Lunch during the week starts at 12:30 for available College students and at 12:55 for everyone else, with service finishing at about 13:45. Lunch on Saturdays starts at 12:00 for available College students and at 12:25 for everyone else. Parents are welcome to join us for lunch on Saturday.

Boarders’ tea starts at 18:00, with service finishing at around 18:30.


Brunch runs from 10:30 to 13:00 and is a self-service buffet. Boarders may drop in whenever they wish, as often as they like.

Boarders’ tea is run at 17:30 as a Sunday roast.

Snacks and Drinks

During the school day fresh fruit and snacks are served in the dining room at break-times. Boarders also have access to kitchens in the boarding houses where they can help themselves to snacks (cereals, fruit and biscuits) and drinks.

Cooking facilities are available in the boarding house kitchens. Boarders who have completed Food Handling and Hygiene Training are allowed to prepare their own hot snacks.

Choosing a UK Guardian

If you have family or a close family friend living in the UK who is prepared to act as UK guardian this is usually preferable. Alternatively, there are many agencies who offer guardianship services.

Some Questions to ask when choosing an agency

  • Are they compliant with all current legislation relating to the care of children studying at Boarding School – with reference to the Children Act 2004?
  • Are all of their host families checked by the Disclosure and Barring Service (do they have a DBS Clearance)?
  • Do they have 24 Hour Emergency Telephone Contact?
  • Do they keep in regular contacts with the students/school?
  • Students joining from some countries are required to register with the police within a specified time on arrival in the UK – will they arrange this?
  • Will my son/daughter go to the same family each leave weekend/holiday?
  • Will they help with my son’s/daughter’s travel arrangements? How close to York is their office? If the office is a long way from the school – do they have hosts families/representatives in or around York?

Local Guardian Agencies used by current students at Bootham School

We are not allowed to recommend particular agencies to our parents. However, here are the contact details for two of the most local agencies that are used by families of some of our current students whose families live overseas.

Mrs Ann Lane

Heritage Educational Planning – Harrogate

[Harrogate is approximately 30km north west of York]

Telephone: +44 (0)1423 520126



Angela Fan

Study Links International – Bradford

(Bradford is approximately 60km south west of York)

Telephone: +44 (0)1274 679710



Travel Arrangements

The School cannot take responsibility for making travel arrangements, although we try to help students who have long or difficult journeys. The final responsibility rests with parents or UK guardians, and this includes obtaining tickets and currency, and renewing passports, visas, and medical certificates.

Passports and travel documents which are handed to us will normally be kept under lock and key, and although normal care will be taken of them, we cannot accept any liability for loss, damage, etc.

Please complete all necessary vaccinations and other medical treatment and dental treatment during the holidays. The School reserves the right to charge for preparing students for overseas travel, and this might include medical and dental treatment.

Term dates and arrangements for travel are published over a year in advance and therefore we ask parents to be rigorous in adhering to them. We know that some routes are booked up at an early stage but it is administratively extremely difficult if students ask to leave early and we hope that they will not do so. The dates are published well in advance therefore parents can book flights in the confident expectation of dates being firm. School accommodation is not available to students outside published term dates.

Please note that for all students who are in the country on a Tier 4 student visa, the UK Border Agency now requires the School to keep a detailed log of all holiday and travel arrangements throughout their time at the school; full contact details of homestay visits during long leave weekends and half term breaks, dates of arrival into and departure from the country, ports of departure and arrival, etc.

Although airlines allow unaccompanied minors to travel to the UK, some airlines have recently started to refuse to release young people for entry through UK customs until they are sure a responsible adult is waiting to meet them. Please make sure your appointed guardian will be able to meet your child when they land at their UK destination.

Arrangements for leave from the boarding house

If a student needs to miss a night in the boarding house when they would normally be staying, we need to have permission in writing. This should be by email to the Housemaster/mistress (please click here for contact information) at least 48 hours in advance. It can be very difficult for everyone involved if the arrangements are left until the very last minute. Should the student be staying with someone other than parents or guardians, we also require a confirmation email from them.

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