Frequently Asked Questions

Contact Us

Exeter Cathedral School
The Chantry, Palace Gate
Exeter, EX1 1HX

[email protected]
+44 (01392) 255 298

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Admissions & Enrolment

Children can join Exeter Cathedral School at any age between 3 and 13 (Nursery to Year 8). 

  • Nursery: ages 3-4 
  • Reception: ages 4-5 
  • Year 1: ages 5-6 
  • Year 2: ages 6-7 
  • Year 3: ages 7-8
  • Year 4: ages 8-9 
  • Year 5: ages 9-10 
  • Year 6: ages 10-11 
  • Year 7: ages 11-12
  • Year 8: ages 12-13 

Our admissions process is as follows: 

  1. Enquire 
  2. Have a school tour 
  3. Have a taster day (your child) 
  4. Register your place 
  5. School to obtain current school reference (if applicable) 
  6. Receive offer letter 
  7. Accept your place 

Click here for more info.

To apply for a place for your child at Exeter Cathedral School, please enquire using this form or contact our friendly admissions team directly via:  

Our families are spread over a wide area, with many in Exeter’s city centre and others further afield. 

Yes. Exeter Cathedral School’s scholarship programme, ECS Awards, is for pupils (internal and external) in Years 7 & 8. Pupils are assessed in the January before they enter Year 7. 

Yes, there is a 10% reduction on the termly tuition fee for younger siblings whilst two or more children are at Exeter Cathedral School. Please note that this discount only applies for younger siblings in Reception and above.

To arrange a school tour, please complete our enquiry form or contact our friendly admissions team directly via: 

To arrange a taster day, please complete our enquiry form or contact our friendly admissions team directly via: 

Since 2016, 75% of Year 8s have earned a Scholarship or Exhibition to their chosen senior school each year.

Yes, Choristers receive a 25% discount on tuition fees from the Dean and Chapter. 

Yes, means tested bursaries are available at Exeter Cathedral School.

Bursaries at Exeter Cathedral School take the form of reduced tuition fees. Bursary provision is available for full-time pupils (e.g. from Reception to Year 8) and is means-tested. The school uses the reputable external organisation Bursary Administration Limited to assess the appropriate level of support. Bursaries are reviewed annually. 

We recommend that you begin by contacting our admissions team, requesting information about our bursaries. You can do this through our enquiry form, or direct via: 

Applications for bursaries are then made to the Director of Finance & Operations, with our team guiding you through the application process. 

Yes, there is a 10% reduction on the tuition fee for children of serving regular personnel (serving members of the regular Armed Forces). 

School Life & Values

It is in our DNA to give back.

Charity of the Year: Our Charities Coordinator works with our pupils to choose the school’s Charity of the Year (previous charities include The Wave Project, Jay’s Aim, Balloons). Our annual Charity Concert raises a significant amount of money, with last year’s raising over £4,000 from the concert alone.

Defibrillator: In 2023, we worked with local charity Jay’s Aim and GM Insurance Brokers to install the Cathedral Green’s first ever outdoor, publicly-accessible defibrillator, which is situated on one of the school’s walls. Its central location makes it one of Exeter’s most valuable, life-saving defibrillators. Click here to read the story.

Beach clean: At least once a year we gather staff, pupils and parents in our school community to do a beach clean on Exmouth Beach, with litter-picking bags kindly provided by Surfers Against Sewage

Food donations: Every week, we provide food for Exeter’s local homelessness charity, St Petrock’s, which usually equates to 1 large gastro – enough to feed approx. 30 adults. We have also run whole-school food collections during Harvest Festival for Foodbank.

As of Lent Term 2024, our current average class sizes are as follows:

  • Nursery: 12 pupils per class
  • Pre-Prep (Reception – Year 2): 16 pupils per class
  • Prep (Years 3 – 8): 13 pupils per class

Exeter Cathedral School is nestled safely in the lee of Exeter Cathedral: 

Our Nursery and Pre-Prep School are in the Cathedral Close. 

Our Prep School is on Palace Gate, and other specialist departments are clustered in the North-West corner of the Cathedral Green. 

Exeter Cathedral School was founded in 1179 – the year of the school’s earliest written reference. 

Through teaching that is tailored to the individual, remarkable Common Entrance preparation, our Senior Enrichment Programme, our ECS Futures programme and utilising our fantastic relationships with the South West’s top senior schools to find the right school for each child.

We welcome children of all faiths and none: whatever one’s religious leanings, there is a spirituality to be found in collective stillness; in gathering together in quiet; in being mindful together.  

Click here to find out more about spiritual life at Exeter Cathedral School. 

Please see our Anti-Bullying Policy, which can be found here on our Policies page. 

Our current 2023/2024 gender split is 43% girls, 57% boys. 

Yes. Exeter Cathedral School employs a fully qualified Special Needs and/or Disability Coordinator (SENDCo) who supports staff in the early identification of a child’s needs and assists teachers in putting provision in place.

Click here to find out more about learning support at Exeter Cathedral School. 

Exeter Cathedral School is known throughout Exeter for its high-quality pastoral care. Our carefully structured pastoral care system, and the dedicated and highly skilled staff with key pastoral responsibilities, mean that pupil wellbeing and welfare is always top of our priority list.

Click here to find out more. 

We open at 07h30 for Early Club, and close at 18h30 once After-School Care has finished for the day. 

Yes. Exeter Cathedral School is the oldest school in Exeter, with the earliest written reference dating back to 1179. 

In 2014, Exeter Cathedral School became legally and financially separate from our friends and neighbours at Exeter Cathedral. 

Academics & Opportunities

Our major team sports are hockey, cross-country, rugby, netball, cricket (for all) and athletics, and we offer a great range of sporting clubs and activities (both recreational and competitive) after school. 

We train and play at the world-class Exeter University Sports Hub, including the AstroTurf pitches, Indoor Cricket Nets, Covered Tennis Courts and the Indoor Sports Hall. Exeter Cricket Club and County Ground; Exeter Athletics Arena; and Victoria Park Tennis Club.

All of these first-rate venues are a few moments away in one of our minibuses, allowing our pupils and staff to make the most of the best sporting facilities in the city. 

Pupils have the privilege of regularly performing inside the magnificent venue of Exeter Cathedral, and can play as part of the following ensembles: 

  • 3 School choirs (Years 3 & 4 Choir, Years 5 & 6 Choir, Years 7 & 8 Choir)  
  • Orchestra I & II  
  • Flutopia  
  • Bash Street Kids  
  • Recorders   
  • Years 4 & 5 Drummers and Singers  
  • School of Rock  
  • The Red Hot Chili Preppers 
  • Jazz Band  
  • Rhythm Stix  
  • Arco Ensemble  
  • Big Band 

We have several Visiting Music Teachers who teach the following instruments: Drums, Voice, Piano, Clarinet, Saxophone, Flute, French Horn, Bassoon, Oboe, Violin, Viola, Cello, Recorder, Cornet, Trumpet, Guitar, Bass Guitar 

We offer a range of residential trips throughout the school. Past residential trips include PGL, Skern Lodge (North Devon), Year 8 Camp on Dartmoor and Modern Foreign Language trips to France.

Early Club is offered from 07h30 each day, and After-School-Care is available until 18h30.

Click here for more information. 

Exeter Cathedral School is no longer offering boarding from September 2024. 

Logistics & Practicalities

We are pleased to offer our Shuttle Bus service to pupils of Exeter Cathedral School via the following pick-up locations: 

  • Darts Farm 
  • Aldi (Topsham Road) 

Please click here to find out more. 

Exeter Cathedral School’s uniform and sports kit can be purchased online via Stevensons.

The School also offers an ‘As-New Uniform’ shop. Good quality ‘as new’ ECS-specific items are often available.
Items are stored on site, and can be requested (subject to availability) by contacting the volunteer-run shop via: [email protected] 

Yes. We have pre-allocated parking bays for staff and a visitor car park on Palace Gate. 

Yes. We pass on any allergies/intolerances to our dedicated Food Allergy Champion as part of our catering team, Thomas Franks Ltd. 

We serve hot and cold vegetarian options every day, and vegan options on request, including a jacket potato or pasta and sauce. 

Explore life at Exeter Cathedral School!

Next open event: 3 – 6 June

The perfect opportunity to discover Devon's creative and forward-thinking independent school.

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