Forces Families


A family like no other

With a long tradition of welcoming children from families who work in the armed forces, here at Stonyhurst College and our St Mary’s Hall Prep School we understand what it means to be part of a military family, for both the children and the parents.

We recognise that forces life can disrupt continuity of education for children and that a long-term, stable environment provides more opportunities to develop all round potential. Living in a supportive and diverse community, our pupils develop those qualities of character that will distinguish them in later life as men and women for others

Stonyhurst offers the best in British boarding, welcoming children to boarding from Year 3 (age 7-8 years).

Why choose Stonyhurst for your family?

  • British Boarding Community. Stonyhurst is a British Boarding School built on tradition, with a long history of welcoming Forces Families. The majority of our boarders are British, with our international community being formed by 26 different nationalities, with a cap of 10% of any one nationality. 
  • Strong Academic Results. At the heart all that we do is deliver an exceptional education for our pupils and ensuring that their formation, both inside and outside of the classroom, is the best in the world. Teachers walk alongside the pupils to support them throughout their academic journey at Stonyhurst. Stonyhurst supports gifted and talented children, giving them opportunities to flourish in their chosen pathways and challenging them to be the best that they can be.
  • Over 75 Co-curricular Activities on Offer. We have a fantastic choice of sporting, creative and academic co-curricular activities, including the Combined Cadet Force and The Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme. Dance and horse riding are available for certain year groups. There is something for all interests and abilities!
  • Extensive and Varied Weekend Provision. All pupils attend school on a Saturday morning from Year 3. With a rich and fulfilling programme of evening and weekend entertainment and activities to enjoy, your child’s time as a boarder will be fun packed and rewarding.
  • Unparalleled Facilities include a nine-hole golf course, an LTA-registered tennis dome that houses two Grand Slam tennis courts, an observatory, and a unique collection of artefacts in Stonyhurst's historic museum
  • Excellent Pastoral Care. At Stonyhurst we believe in cura personalis or ‘care for the whole person’. With the support of their Assistant Head and Houseparents, our boarders are guaranteed to find a caring and supportive environment in which they can thrive and settle very quickly. 
  • Strong Links with Forces Families, including our alumni and current families. Forces families have been part of Stonyhurst for many years and contribute greatly to our community. 
  • Accompanied Travel to/from London and main airports.
  • Onsite Accommodation for Visiting Forces Families. At Stonyhurst, we are lucky to have access to Theodore House for parents who are visiting their children if they wish to stay overnight. This wonderful building sits on the Stonyhurst estate, right next to the school. This affordable facility is ideal for families to stay together at the weekend or end of term.
  • No tolerance mobile phone policy. At our Preparatory School, we operate a zero tolerance mobile phone policy and one that is unique to each year group as they progress to the College.

Boarding at Stonyhurst

Stonyhurst provides a seven-day-a-week boarding environment, offering a home-from-home for our young people. There are no compulsory exeat weekends here, however, prearranged exeats can be arranged to fit flexibly with the needs and commitments of forces families.

Boarding houses are full at the weekends where our boarders enjoy a vibrant and active programme.

Over half of our pupils are boarders, with 90% of those being full boarders.

College Boarding  Prep School Boarding


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Accessing a Stonyhurst Education

The table below shows the demonstrative costs based on the current 2023/24 CEA allowance. The fee that Forces parents who are in receipt of the CEA allowance are required to pay will be set at the minimum contribution of 10% of the termly CEA allowance.


Preparatory School (ages 8-11)

Upper Prep (ages 11-13) College (ages 13-18)
Termly Fee £10,345 £10,345 £13,635
Termly Fee (payable by the family) £700 £700 £870

For eligible families, the Forces’ Continuity of Education Allowance (CEA) can help with the costs of boarding school. The allowance is available for children who start school the year in which they turn 8 years old up to when they turn 18/19 years old. Note that you must claim your CEA before your child reaches Year 12, as new awards are not granted in Years 12 and 13. Stonyhurst St Mary's Hall operates a fee-inclusive structure, meaning all academic trips and enrichment trips are included. There are small opt-in charges applicable at Stonyhurst College.

Sibling discount is no longer awarded to those in receipt of CEA in recognition of the sizeable bursary offered. Scholarships awarded will be honorary, carrying no further fee remission. 

To find out more about a Stonyhurst education, please contact our Admissions team by email here.  

Click here to read more about CEA >

Stonyhurst Sign Armed Forces Covenant

Stonyhurst announced that it has signed the Armed Forces Covenant, a promise that those who serve or have served in the Armed Forces of the Crown, and their families, are treated with fairness and respect in their communities, economy, and society for which they serve with their lives.

In supporting those who serve, have served, and their families, and the value they bring to our community, Stonyhurst will seek to uphold the principles of the Covenant by:

  • promoting that it is a military friendly organisation;
  • enabling pupil bursaries to qualifying members of the Armed Forces community subject to standard procedures; supporting Armed Forces families throughout their time at Stonyhurst, particularly before, during and after a parent’s deployment
  • supporting the employment of veterans, recognising military skills and qualifications in our recruitment and selection-process;
  • striving to support the employment of Service spouses and partners; offering a degree of flexibility in granting leave for Service spouses and partners before, during and after a partner’s deployment;
  • supporting our employees who are members of the Reserve Forces; supporting any mobilisations and deployment; actively encouraging members of staff to become Reservists;
  • supporting our employees who are volunteer leaders in military cadet organisations, granting additional leave to attend annual training camps and courses; actively encouraging members of staff to become volunteer leaders in cadet organisations; supporting local military cadet units; recognising the benefits of employing cadets/ex-cadets within the workforce
  • actively supporting Armed Forces Day, Reserves Day, the Poppy Appeal Day and Remembrance activities


Read the Covenant

Hear from Stonyhurst boarder Libby, whose father serves in the RAF

Location & Onsite Accomodation

Stonyhurst is set in a magnificent Grade I listed building within a secluded and safe 1000 acre estate, in a beautiful rural setting in Lancashire’s Ribble Valley, England. We are only 2 hours away from London and 1 hour from International airports (Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds). We offer accompanied travel to/from London and main airports.

At Stonyhurst, we are lucky to have access to Theodore House for parents who are visiting their children if they wish to stay overnight. This wonderful building sits on the Stonyhurst estate, right next to the school. Parents can easily visit and watch their children play sport etc. at the weekend and get as involved as they would like with the parent programme. This affordable facility is ideal for families to stay together at the weekend or end of term. There are a variety of room options available, including family rooms, so you can all stay together during your time at Stonyhurst.

Learn more about Theodore House 

Men & Women for Others

Our Jesuit principles provide the bedrock of our mission to develop our pupils’ unique talents, challenging them to give their very best in all that they do.

We aim to form ‘men and women for others’: people who value community, who know what they stand for, and will speak up for what they believe in. A partnership with a Jesuit school in Zimbabwe, a link with a primary school in Liverpool and voluntary work in the local community are just a few of the activities which teach our pupils to think beyond themselves and to do all they can for others.

The phrase ‘men and women for others’ was first used by Fr Pedro Arrupé, Superior General of the Society of Jesus 1965 to 1983, who emphasised that a Jesuit education was about more than simply teaching children; it was about guiding pupils to put their gifts and talents towards helping others. Arrupé’s example is manifested in our wide range of activities which help our young people to develop empathy for others and to contribute to resolving the problems of the modern world.

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