Top 12 Best Football Schools in UK (Day and Boarding)

Football Schools in UK

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Football is one of the most popular sports in the world, and the UK is no exception. With its world-class clubs and leagues, the UK is a prime destination for young footballers who aspire to play professionally.

If you are a talented young footballer, attending one of the best football schools in UK can give you the best possible chance of achieving your dreams.

Football schools in UK provide students with the opportunity to train with experienced coaches and play against high-level competition, all while receiving a first-class education.

There are many different football schools to choose from in the UK, both day and boarding. In this article, we will list the top 10 best football schools in the UK, with a brief overview of each school’s football program, facilities, and academic achievements.

So whether you are a serious young footballer who dreams of playing professionally or simply want to improve your skills and play against a high level of competition, this list of football schools in UK will provide you with the perfect environment to achieve your goals.

Related: Top 15 Best Boarding Schools in Europe

12 Best Football Schools in UK

The best football schools in UK are categorized into two parts: day and boarding.

Best Football Schools in UK (Day)

1. Ackworth School

Ackworth School

Address: Pontefract Rd, Ackworth, Pontefract WF7 7LT, United Kingdom

Ackworth School, located in Pontefract, West Yorkshire, is one of the best football schools in UK. With top-notch facilities and a dedicated coaching staff, it’s a hub for football talent. They focus on skill development, tactical understanding, and physical conditioning.

They emphasize the importance of balancing academics and football training to ensure that young athletes can achieve in both areas. The school actively engages in regional and national football events, which exposes pupils to competitive exposure. 

Ackworth School’s reputation as one of the best football schools in UK is well-deserved, as it provides aspiring footballers with a platform for holistic development and professional advancement.

Visit Ackworth School

2. Royal Russell

Address: Coombe Lane, Croydon CR9 5BX, United Kingdom

Royal Russell is a co-educational day and boarding school in Croydon that serves students aged 13 to 18. The school is well-known for its football program, which is managed by two UEFA A coaches and provides outstanding chances for both boys and girls.

The school helps students improve their football talents by using advanced technologies such as statistical performance analysis software and video match analysis. The available strength and conditioning coaching guarantees that players are in optimum physical condition.

Notably, Royal Russell’s best footballers embark on a development tour to Real Madrid, where they compete with the academies of other prestigious Spanish clubs.

The school’s football excellence is attested by their U18 ISFA National Champions title, recent victories in the U13 and U15 age groups, and the accomplishment of three players signing professional contracts in the last two years.

Visit Royal Russell School

3. Whitgift School

Whitgift School

Address: Haling Park Rd., South Croydon, CR2 6YT, United Kingdom

Whitgift School in Croydon is a famous boys’ senior institution that offers both day and limited boarding options. Whitgift, historically known for its athletic prowess, has transformed into an excellent educational institution while preserving its exceptional football reputation.

The football program at the school is so good that sports scholarships are usually reserved for students with ties to Premier League academies.

Whitgift students have won ten national titles in the last five years, demonstrating the school’s football strength. Several alumni have gone on to play professionally in the Premier League, including famous names like Callum Hudson-Odoi and Victor Moses.

Whitgift employs a dedicated team of coaching professionals, which includes UEFA-qualified coaches and former professional players, to ensure the overall development of its students. 

Visit Whitgift School

4. Claremont School

Address: Ebdens Hill, Baldslow, St. Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex, TN37, UK

Number 4 on our list of football schools in UK is Claremont School. Located in East Sussex, Claremont School offers a co-educational environment and a comprehensive curriculum that includes GCSE, A-Level, and BTEC exams.

The school stands out for its impressive football facilities, encompassing over 50 acres of grass pitches where students can hone their skills. In addition to football training, pupils participate in strength, conditioning, and fitness sessions, contributing to their overall athletic development.

One of the unique features of Claremont School is the careful scheduling of football coaching, ensuring it doesn’t overlap with academic lessons. This arrangement allows students to receive professional football training without compromising their education.

Visit Claremont School

5. Milton Abbey School

Milton Abbey School

Address: Blandford Forum, DT11 0BZ, United Kingdom

Milton Abbey School, located in the scenic Dorset countryside of England, is a co-educational senior school that offers a comprehensive curriculum that includes GCSE, A Level, and BTEC exams.

The school boasts its football program, which provides pupils with access to coaches who are members of the Football Association. This access ensures that students receive top-tier training and support in order to fully develop their football skills.

Milton Abbey School is distinguished by its adaptability in accommodating student-athletes. Here, students can combine their academic aspirations with their passion for football by enrolling in a BTEC sports course that is customized to their special needs as athletes. This strategy enables students to follow their football aspirations while also gaining a comprehensive education.

Visit Milton Abbey School

6. Charterhouse

Charterhouse School, widely regarded as one of the greatest football schools in UK, excels not just in its comprehensive sports and arts programs but also in its academics.

Among its many programs, Charterhouse is known for its great football tradition, which has been an important part of the school’s history. This tradition stretches back to Charterhouse’s early days, with the first known game of the Old Charterhouse XI taking place in 1862.

Notably, the school’s football team won the English FA Challenge Cup in 1881, demonstrating the school’s long-standing commitment to the sport.

Charterhouse School takes great pleasure in its extensive football program, which includes 22 football teams and 14 grass and artificial football fields.

The Charterhouse Eleven (1st XI) actively competes in the ISFA Knockout Cup, showcasing the school’s dedication to high-level football.

Additionally, the U15-A team embarks on an annual journey to the prestigious Gothia Youth Cup in Sweden, further demonstrating Charterhouse’s commitment to nurturing young football talent and maintaining its rich football heritage.

Visit Charterhouse School

Best Football Boarding Schools in UK

7. Millfield School

Millfield School

Address: Butleigh Road, Street, BA16 0YD, United Kingdom

Millfield School, situated in Somerset, is one of the best football boarding schools in UK that caters to students from the tender age of 2 up to 18.

Renowned for its excellence in sports, Millfield’s football program has garnered acclaim for its quality, often likened to an academy-level development pathway.

The school is equipped with an impressive team of 19 coaches, including two UEFA A and three UEFA B licensed coaches, ensuring students receive top-notch football training.

Millfield’s vast campus offers eleven full-sized football pitches and three dedicated training areas, providing students with the ideal environment to hone their skills.

Football tours abroad are a popular feature, with destinations including Holland, Russia, Florida, South Africa, and Barcelona. This exposure allows Millfield’s footballers to gain valuable international experience.

Notably, the school has produced notable alumni, such as England and Aston Villa center-back Tyrone Mings, underscoring the success of its football program.

Visit Millfield School

8. Repton School

Address: Willington Rd., Repton, Derby DE65 6FH, United Kingdom

Repton School, renowned among the best football boarding schools in UK distinguishes itself not only in sports but also through the remarkable academic achievements of its graduates.

The school has a record of nurturing a significant number of students who have successfully transitioned into professional careers, making it a prime choice for aspiring young athletes.

One notable example of Repton School’s football success is Will Hughes, a midfielder who began his career with Derby County and later played for Watford. Another success story is Matthew Bowman, the current captain of the Repton XI, who recently signed a professional contract with Dunfermline Athletic in the Scottish Championship.

The Repton Eleven (1st XI) has a storied history of victories, including the ESFA U18 Cup and the Hudl League titles, highlighting the school’s dominance in football. 

The boys’ teams at Repton receive top-notch training conditions, thanks to qualified school staff and professional coaches. However, Repton School also stands out for its commitment to girls’ football, making it one of the leading football schools in UK.

Visit Repton School

9. Bradfield College

Bradfield College

Address: Bradfield, Reading, RG7 6AU, United Kingdom

Bradfield College, situated in the picturesque county of Berkshire, has established itself as a hub for sports and is notably one of the best football boarding schools in UK.

The school’s football program is headed by Luke Webb, who holds a UEFA A license and is a familiar name to many for his time as a midfielder at Arsenal (U18) and later at Coventry City and Hereford United.

The football program at Bradfield College is designed to offer a holistic approach to training. It includes on-field practice, technical and tactical video analysis, endurance training, individual goal-setting, and an abundance of encouragement, ensuring that students receive a well-rounded football education.

In addition to football training, the schools also offer some of the best academic education and character development, ensuring that students are well-prepared for life beyond their football careers.

Visit Bradfield College

10. Bede’s School

Address: Upper Dicker, Hailsham, BN27 3QH, United Kingdom

Bede’s School, located in the beautiful setting of East Sussex, England, is a co-educational senior and prep boarding school that provides a comprehensive educational experience, including GCSE, A Level, and BTEC qualifications. 

One of the school’s notable strengths lies in its outstanding sports facilities and the presence of several sporting academies, with the Football Academy being a particular highlight.

The school’s Football Academy offers a year-round program, ensuring that students have ample opportunities to develop their football skills. 

Bede’s School prides itself on offering a variety of opportunities for its students, with a total of 14 teams to join, allowing pupils to engage actively in football and pursue their passion for the sport. This holistic approach to education and sports makes Bede’s School a prime choice for students who aspire to excel both academically and athletically.

Visit Bede’s School

11. Culford School

Culford School

Address: Culford, Bury Saint Edmunds, IP28 6TX, United Kingdom

Culford School, situated in the serene Suffolk parkland spanning almost 500 acres, is one of the biggest football boarding schools in UK for pupils aged 2–18.

One of the school’s distinguishing features is its comprehensive football program, which is designed to foster the development of young footballers. The program is guided by the Head of Football, Alan Lee, a former Republic of Ireland international with 20 years of experience as a professional player.

Paul Land leads the Football Academy at Culford, bringing his expertise from his time as a coach at the Swansea Football Academy, where he specialized in player development from the foundation to the youth development phase.

The school’s facilities are top-notch, including floodlit grass and all-weather pitches, an indoor sports hall, a strength and conditioning suite, a fitness studio, as well as physiotherapy and medical facilities. 

Visit Culford School

12. Ellesmere College

Address: Ellesmere, Shropshire, SY12 9AB, United Kingdom

The last school on our list of football schools in UK is Ellesmere College, located in the scenic region of Shropshire. Ellesmere College is a co-educational day and boarding school, welcoming pupils aged 7 to 18.

Ellesmere College’s Football Academy is expertly led by David Raven, a former professional player with experience in clubs both in England and Scotland, and he holds a UEFA ‘A’ coaching license. The academy’s program is comprehensive, with juniors dedicating five hours per week to training and seniors investing eleven hours in their football development.

Ellesmere College places a strong emphasis on helping players gain exposure to professional scouts, facilitating potential pathways to a career in football.

Additionally, for students considering continuing their education after leaving Ellesmere, the school actively supports applications for US university scholarships, ensuring a holistic approach to academic and athletic development.

With its experienced coaching staff and robust program offerings, Ellesmere College stands as one of the best football boarding schools in UK for students looking to pursue excellence in both football and education.

Visit Ellesmere College


Which school is best at football?

The best football schools in Uk include Millfield School, Repton School, Chatterhouse, and Bradfield School. However, you can only select the best based on your own preferences.

Consider the fees, location, duration, and many other features when selecting the best football schools in the UK.

Which team has the best football academy in England?

Chelsea has secured the top spot in the Training Ground Guru’s Academy Productivity Rankings for the first time. They are deemed the most productive football academy in England, with Manchester United coming in second place and Arsenal securing the third spot. 

Are there football schools in the UK?

Yes, there are many football schools in UK. Ranging from day to boarding schools, the UK has some of the best schools you can attend to enhance your athletic abilities and improve drastically in the football aspect.

How much is Football Academy in the UK?

The football schools in the UK have different tuition prices; however, the average football academy in the UK charges around £2,800 per year for a student.

What are some private schools with football teams?

Some private schools with football teams include:

  • The Bolles School
  • Notre Dame Fighting Irish football
  • Mater Dei High School
  • American Heritage Schools, Broward Campus

What is the minimum age to join a football academy in the UK?

The minimum age to join a football academy in the UK, especially at Premier League Academies, is typically around nine years old.

As children progress and move into the under-12 age group and beyond, they often sign contracts with club academies for two-year periods.

What are the best prep schools for football?

Some of the best prep schools for football include:

  • Blair Academy
  • Avon Old Farms School
  • Blue Ridge School
  • Berkshire School
  • Episcopal High School
  • Camden Military Academy


The UK is home to some of the best football clubs in the world. This means that students who attend football schools in UK have the opportunity to train and play matches against some of the best young footballers in the world.

Choosing the right football school is an important decision. There are many different factors to consider, such as the school’s location, cost, academic reputation, and football program.

The top 12 best football schools in UK listed in this article are all excellent options for young footballers who want to combine their academic and footballing ambitions.

These schools offer students the chance to train with experienced coaches and play against high-level competition, all while receiving a first-class education.

So whether you’re a parent looking for the best football schools in the UK to enroll your child or a passionate young footballer, I encourage you to consider attending one of the football schools in UK listed above.

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