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Can anyone apply to Durham High School?

Yes – all girls aged 3-18 can apply for a place at our school. As we are a selective private school, children must complete an age-appropriate assessment, depending on their year of entry.

Please visit our Admissions page for further information.

What are your main entry points?

While there are standard entry points to the school, as a private school we remain open to entrants at any stage.

Our standard points of entry are Nursery (3+), Reception (4+), Year 2 (7+), Year 7 (11+), Year 9 (13+) and Sixth Form (16+).

How do we apply?

To apply to join Durham High School, you must first complete our enquiry form online or alternatively contact us on 0191 384 3226 for more information. You can also complete the registration form to register your place.

When should we apply?

It is possible to apply, and join the school, at any time. However, we recommend that you apply as far in advance as possible, especially if it is your intention to apply for scholarships or bursaries.

If you are looking for your daughter to join Durham High School in September 2022, we recommend that you apply during the Autumn Term 2021.

Can we apply during the year?

Yes – we accept applications throughout the year, depending on the availability in that particular year group. Candidates applying during the year may not be eligible for financial support.

Can we visit the school?

Absolutely! Every day is an Open Day at Durham High School. Come along to one of our Open Events or get in touch to make an individual appointment to visit.


Do you provide school transport?

Pupils come to Durham High School from across County Durham and beyond, and so we organise several transport routes, and are always prepared to consider additional routes and collection points.

See our current routes and locations on our School Transport page.

Do you provide wraparound care?

All pupils are able to arrive on site from 7.30am.

In Pre-Prep and Prep, pupils in Nursery – Year 2 can access After School Care until 5.30pm, and pupils in Year 3 – Year 6 can attend Homework Club until 5.30pm.

In Senior Department, pupils can attend Homework Club until 5.30pm.

Is there holiday care available?

Further information about our holiday care offer will follow shortly.

Do I have to have school lunches?

All pupils below Sixth Form are expected to have school lunches. The provision, led by our catering team Thomas Franks, is excellent, with healthy options and a discreet attention to special dietary requirements. Our three-week menu is adjusted each term, with attention paid to seasonal produce.

What extra-curricular activities are on offer?

We take activities beyond the classroom just as seriously as lessons. Our extra-curricular programme is planned to suit all tastes and talents. Staff are on hand to guide pupils’ choices, encouraging them to broaden their horizons, without taking on too much. Visit our Extra-Curricular page for more information.

Entrance Assessments

When do the entrance exams take place?

Entrance assessments take place throughout the year, and the circumstances depend on the year group for which you are applying.

Nursery and Junior House

There is no set date for entry into Early Years (Nursery and Reception) and Years 1 – 6. All assessments take place during the school day and are age-appropriate.

Years 7 and 9

Assessment consists of examination, interview and school report. Pupils complete two papers: an English paper consisting of a short, imaginative writing piece on a given theme; and a verbal, non-verbal, quantitative and spatial reasoning paper. No extra preparation is necessary.

Sixth Form

Assessment consists of examination, interview, school reference and GCSE results. The Sixth Form Entrance Examinations take place in November. Scholarships and bursaries are awarded following GCSE results.

While there are standard entry points and assessment dates at the school, we remain open to entrants at any stage and time of the year. Pupils find that they integrate very quickly, so we would encourage you to get in touch.

Do you provide a sample paper?

No extra preparation is necessary for entrance examinations, though you can download and purchase example reasoning questions from retailers.

Are the exams scary?

No – not at all. We understand that some pupils will find the idea of taking an exam for entry to a private school as being quite intimidating and, as a result, they may be very nervous at the idea of taking part in something so formal.

The staff at Durham High School make every attempt to ensure that both parents and their children feel calm and welcomed at every stage of the admissions process.


What are the school fees?

All of the information that you need regarding fees is available on our School Fees page.

What is a bursary?

A bursary is a financial aid for pupils who have the ability to study at an independent school but lack the finances to pay for all of their school fees.

Bursaries can cover any amount of the fees from a small percentage, to all of them and can also cover expenses like travel, uniform, lunches and school trips.

What is a scholarship?

Most private schools offer a limited number of scholarships for very able or talented pupils and these are nearly all allocated by the end of the January preceding September entry to the school.

A scholarship is a discount on annual school fees of an amount, usually around 10%, depending on the performance of the child in scholarship entrance exams or auditions.

Do you offer scholarships and bursaries?

We offer scholarships and bursaries to a wide variety of students across the senior school. As a result,  more girls are able to access to a first class education. Further information is available on our Scholarships and Bursaries page.

Is there a registration fee?

There is a registration fee of £65 per application. This is non-returnable and should be paid by cheque or by bank transfer (BACS).