Exeter Cathedral School

Exeter Cathedral School

Day Weekly Boarding Full Boarding Flexi Boarding Devon

Exeter Cathedral School is a leading independent day and boarding Prep School for girls and boys aged 2½ - 13.

Founded in the 12th century as a choir school, ECS now educates approximately 280 pupils.  36 of these are the boy and girl Choristers of Exeter Cathedral, who continue the centuries-old pattern of leading the daily sung worship in the Cathedral.  Nowadays, we offer a fully-rounded Prep School education to pupils from a variety of backgrounds and with a range of talents and interests, whether they be sporting, academic, artistic or musical. 


Year Founded 1179
Religion Christian
Charity Commission

Exeter Cathedral School has a total of 275 pupils.

125 Day Boys
(3- 13)
125 Day Girls
(3- 13)
10 Boarding Boys
(7- 13)
15 Boarding Girls
(7- 13)

About Exeter Cathedral School

We have an enviable location (right in the heart of the city and yet nestled safely in the lee of the Cathedral); a maximum class size of 18, allowing us to really know each and every pupil as an individual; a proven track record of securing places and scholarships (academic, art, music, performing arts, sport) to a range of leading senior schools; and a firm commitment to being a forward-thinking Prep School with traditional values.  We aim to offer an outstanding Prep School experience and are proud of our commitment to educating the ‘whole child’: we seek to do this by providing a nurturing, purposeful, exciting and gently-Christian environment in which each child is known as an individual, and in which each child is mindful of, and grateful for, those around them, and aware of the part that they and others play in building their community. 

Our purpose-built Nursery building was opened in 2015 and is housed in our Pre-Prep Department in the Cathedral Close.  Run by our specialist Head of Nursery and a team of Key Workers, the ECS Nursery offers a first-rate Nursery Education which encourages children to explore, to question, to discover and to build confidence.  Children spend 2 years in our Nursery before moving across the playground into our Reception classes.

Our Pre-Prep is housed in a former Canonry in the Cathedral Close, nestled safely between the ancient city wall and the Bishop’s Garden.  Children transfer across the playground into Reception, before moving up to Year 1 and then Year 2.  Our dedicated and highly-qualified staff, led by our Head of Pre-Prep, work with the children (c15 per class) and families to build independence, enquiry, curiosity and a genuine love of learning.

Our Prep School is located right next to the Cathedral: our main site is on Palace Gate and other departments are clustered together in the corner of the Cathedral Green.  In the younger years, the core subjects are taught by Form Teachers and our creative curriculum is delivered by in-house specialists.  Our senior pupils receive Common Entrance preparation from experienced subject specialists.  At 13, pupils move on to a range of leading Senior Schools, many with scholarships and awards: in 2016, 100% of Year 8 pupils secured a place/scholarship at their first-choice senior school.

We expect high standards from our pupils and our staff, and we share a commitment to rigorous academic endeavour; outstanding pastoral care and individualized attention; an exciting range of extra-curricular opportunities; a world-class musical heritage; and to working with families to help each child flourish and thrive.

Above all, we are a school where people matter, and where staff and families work in partnership to help children acquire the right habits for life.


Scholarships & Bursaries

Some means-tested and hardship bursaries are available.

Sibling discounts are available.

Choristers receive a 25% discount on fees, plus support in accessing additional funding from external trusts.

Admissions Process

Offers of a place are subject to a successful taster day and a satisfactory reference/report from a pupil's current school. 

Choristerships are awarded by audition in February (informal pre-auditions are encouraged and are available on request). 



News from Exeter Cathedral School

Forthcoming Open Days

Sorry. No Open Day dates have been provided by the school.