Boarding FAQs

Help and Advice

Offering modern and family friendly boarding for a vibrant community of approximately seventy boarders, we are well versed in supporting families and students in the early stages of settling into boarding life.

For those joining us from overseas, our International admissions team will guide you throughout the process, from visa advice to uniform. Below you will find answers to frequently asked questions, should you have others, please simply complete the form at the foot of this page and our team will gladly help.

We look forward to welcoming you to Westbourne.

Frequently asked questions

Will my child need a visa to study at Westbourne?

All students from outside of the UK will require a visa to study and live within the UK. Westbourne is a Child Student visa sponsor and we will support you throughout the process. This service is included within the fee schedule.

In certain situations an application may require additional immigration advice from our immigration lawyers, an additional charge will levied by the third party for this service.

Once a place is confirmed at Westbourne and the necessary visa checks made, your child will be issued with a Certificate of Acceptance for Studies (CAS), three months prior to starting the course.

The CAS will provide you with the reference number and information required to complete your application.

Do I need to appoint a Guardian for my child?

Westbourne offers a full guardianship service for all international boarders, inclusive in the fees.

Parents may choose to appoint a third party guardian in addition to this service, please advise us during the application process if this is the case.

Kindly note, under the NMS framework in England schools are unable to offer guardianship. Westbourne, located in Wales, is able to offer this additional service to families. Appointing an external guardian whilst your child is at Westbourne is parental choice.


What do boarding fees include?

Boarding Fees include all tuition, accommodation, guardianship, airport transfers to designated airports (London Heathrow, Bristol or Cardiff) at the start and end of each academic year, meals and text books.

Some trips will be covered, other optional trips may be added to the school bill.

This will always be made clear in advance.

Are there EXEAT weekends?

There are no EXEAT weekends at Westbourne, students receive a full programme of activities and tuition during term time.

Our Boarding House remains open throughout the half term holiday and students are welcome to stay during half term at no additional cost.


Is transport to and from the airport available?

Airport transfers at the start and end of each academic year to London Heathrow, Cardiff or Bristol airports, on published transfer days, are included in the Boarding Fees.

Please refer to the Term Dates for exact transfer days, we advise parents to coordinate flights on those dates only to avoid additional transfer charges.

For students who opt to return home during half term holidays, transfers can be arranged via the Boarding House at cost.

Students are however welcome to stay in the Boarding House during the Half Term holidays at no additional charge.

Do I need to bring bedding?

All bedding is provided. Students are welcome to bring their own if preferred. We advise students bring towels and items to decorate their bedrooms.

What do boarders do at the weekend?

Weekends are for relaxing, socialising and catching up on homework. There are a range of activities and trips on offer throughout each term, including sporting and cultural activities.

Saturday mornings include an optional Saturday Sports club which many of our boarding students enjoy.

Additional ESL and Maths lessons run throughout the autumn term to support those students who may need further academic grounding.

There are extensive sporting and leisure facilities available within Penarth and Cardiff Bay, including: tennis courts, olympic swimming pool, white water rafting, ice skating, cinema, football matches and shopping malls.

All meals are provided throughout the weekend.

What happens if my child is ill?

All students are cared for at the Boarding House with a designated en-suite sick/isolation room if required.

Students are also registered at the local doctor’s surgery on arrival, depending on the nationality of the student, you may need to pay the National Health Service Surcharge, which enables students to access UK NHS doctors and hospitals.

Can children have pocket money?

Parents may leave up to £750 on account per year for boarding students, which can be offset against additional trips and expenses, remaining funds are refunded upon graduation.

Students from overseas are advised to open a UK bank account upon arrival, our house parents assist with this process.

Do I need a visa for the ESL Summer Course?

Most ESL students can enter the UK via the standard visitor visa route, however please check with our Admissions Team for clarification.

Does Home Stay cost more?

Home Stay fees are typically slightly lower than Boarding House fees. Please refer to our fee pages for full details.

Home Stay families are fully vetted and offer a close family environment. Located typically within walking distance, or on the school mini-bus route, students who are offered a place in Home Stay have access to the same facilities and amenities as our Boarding House pupils.