Address: Stratton-on-the-Fosse, Radstock, Somerset BA3 4RJ
Founded: 1606, in Douai, France
Number of Pupils: 360
Ages: 11-18
Fees: £10,100 – £13,550 (boarding); Day £6,850 – £8,130 (day); Day Plus £7,950 (Junior) £9,930 (Senior); Day Plus 3 nights £8,500 (Junior) £10,830 (Senior)
Headmaster: Mr Andrew Hobbs
Religious Affiliation: Roman Catholic (but welcoming of all faiths and none)
Entrance Procedure: CAT4 Testing, current school’s reports and a school reference. We offer a range of scholarships to pupils at 11+, 13+ and 16+. Means-tested bursaries are also available
Contact: Mrs Issy Hartnell – Director of Admissions
Email: [email protected]
School Visits: We warmly invite you to book an onsite or virtual visit to Downside. Please email [email protected] 


We have a well-balanced curriculum offering a broad range of GSCEs, A Levels and BTECs choices such as Computer Science, Sport, Enterprise & Entrepreneurship, Classical Civilisation, Design Technology, and Theatre Studies. These are supported by extensive co-curricular options including Duke of Edinburgh, CCF, Debating, sailing and community service.

Games & the Arts

At Downside our sporting and arts cultures exists in harmony with our academic values. The major sports on offer are rugby, hockey, netball, cricket, athletics and tennis alongside other popular activities such as football, table-tennis, squash, golf and volleyball. The Performing Arts Department (incorporating music, choir, theatre and dance) is expanding and is a hugely important part of the school. Our CCF band leads the Bath Remembrance Parade each year.

Pastoral Care

We are known for our high levels of pastoral care. We remain a 75 percent boarding school which means that we are a seven-day-a-week international community, with all that brings in terms of friendships, esprit de corps and the sense of belonging which is at the very heart of our pastoral care.

Recent University Places

The majority of pupils achieve their first-choice university.

Headmaster’s Philosophy

At Downside, we are committed to working in partnership with families and to providing an environment which nurtures young people who can think for themselves, stand up for their beliefs and act to make a positive difference in the world. Our philosophy is to give pupils the chance to embrace a life fully-lived.    

Outstanding Characteristics

At the heart of Downside is the beautiful Abbey Church – one of only four minor basilicas in England. The school is set in 500 acres of Somerset countryside and has extensive facilities including many sports pitches, an indoor swimming pool, a music-dedicated Mac-suite, a Health Centre and a Performing Arts Centre containing a recording studio, and 400-seat theatre.