Merchiston Castle School

Merchiston is one of the UK’s leading boarding schools, and a member of the World Leading Schools Association, offering the English curriculum, but with a global, outward-looking dimension. Over 65% of pupils board, and a full boarding programme is offered, seven days a week. Based in 100 acres of beautiful parkland, Merchiston is only 15 minutes from Edinburgh International Airport and a 1 hour flight from London.

Committed to leading students towards ‘personal excellence’, Merchiston has an impressive record of helping boys excel far beyond their expected results. The School’s exceptional academic performance over a significant number of years, demonstrates that our boys, as a cohort, are consistently amongst the highest achieving boys in Scotland. Maths, Further Maths, Science and Technology (including Electronics) are particular strengths, although Humanities and the Arts are also excellent. Our most recent A-Level Further Maths students achieved a 100% A*/A/B pass rate.


In 2019, 64% of pupils went to UK Russell Group Universities, Bath, Cambridge, Oxford, St Andrews and leading international institutions. In the past few years students have gained admission to Ivy League Universities such as Cornell and Brown, mini-Ivies such as Amherst and other prestigious academic and sporting universities in California, New York, Colorado and San Francisco.

The School is represented at national and international level in many sports and operates specialist Golf and Tennis Academies.  

The co-curricular programme delivers such life skills as leadership, teamwork, and mentoring. Music and Drama are major activities, involving pupils of all ages. There are numerous instrumental ensembles and choirs, as well as opportunities for individual instrumental lessons. Strong links with local girls’ schools for performances, other cultural events and social gatherings ensure that our boys can develop their social skills.


Outstanding off the field…

  • Two-thirds of pupils went to UK Russell Group Universities, Bath, St Andrews and leading international institutions
  • 73% of grades achieved at A Level were A*/A/B
  • 57% of grades at GCSE were A*/A or 9/8/7
  • 92% of pupils gained places at their first or second choice university
  • SAT support clinics available. Students have gained admissions to Ivy League Universities, such as Cornell and Brown
  • 67% A*/A in Further Mathematics – UK average 54%  
  • 100% A*/A/B pass rate in Further Mathematics
  • The average UVI pupil’s UCAS points tally was 141 (as a guide, AAA at A Level is 144 points and AAB is 136 points)
  • Gradual progression to secondary teaching from Primary 6
  • Member of the World Leading Schools Association – the only School in Scotland!
  • * Academic Results 2019


And on the field…

  • 1 Scottish Ranking Golf School (ISGA, 2019)
  • 1 UK Senior Golf School (ISGA, 2019)
  • 1 UK Tennis School (ISF, 2017-19)
  • Representation in all of the 2018/19 Scottish National Rugby Teams
  • Shortlisted for TES Independent Schools Sports Award 2019
  • UK National Schools Fives Doubles and Singles Winners 2019
  • In 2018/19 there were 75 teams, of all abilities, playing competitive fixtures across 16 sports; a total of 550 fixtures.
  • Over 85% of all boys, from 8-18 represented the school in a school sporting fixture in 2018-19.
  • U18 UK National Schools Tennis winners 2018 and 2019
  • Wide range of sports available, such as athletics, cricket and hockey, suitable for boys of all abilities

Boarding life

We provide a stimulating, challenging, yet supportive and encouraging environment where your son can grow up surrounded by his friends within our unique house structure. Over 65 per cent of pupils board so there is never a dull moment as we provide a full boarding programme seven days a week. Our international boarders form, in most years, around 20 per cent of our School population and come from over 20 different countries.

Each boarding house caters for a particular age group and the atmosphere and activities are tailored accordingly. The House structure enables boys to develop a wide circle of friends, and to learn how to support each other.



Links with girls’ schools

Merchiston also benefits from its strong links with girls’ schools for drama performances, cultural events and social gatherings.

Scholarships and financial assistance

A range of scholarships is available at ages 10+. A financial concession is not automatically applied to a Scholarship but, where parents wish, they may apply for means-tested financial assistance.

  1. Call- out quote

“In every respect - academic, sporting and pastoral - the School has exceeded our expectations” Current parent 

  1. Key Facts
    1. Type of School- Boarding and Day School for boys
    2. Age range - 7-18
    3. Number of pupils - 460
    4. Number of boarders - 300
    5. Teacher/pupil ratio - 1:7
    6. Religious traditions - Non-denominational
    7. Fees per term (boarding and day for 2019/20). Boarding: £7,220 - £11,730. Day £5,010 - £8,510.
    8. ISC association- HMC, SofH
    9. Affiliations – BSA, IBSC, SCIS, WLSA

School listing entry

Merchiston Castle School

Colinton, Edinburgh, EH13 0PU

Tel: +44 (0) 131 312 2201



Head: Mr Jonathan Anderson

Type: Boarding and Day School for boys aged 7-18

No of pupils: 460

ISC membership: HMC, SofH

Nearest airport: Edinburgh (7 miles)

Visit Website

Merchiston Castle School, Colinton


EH13 0PU

T: +44 (0) 131 312 2201

E: Contact by email