Forces Families

Located less than half an hour from Catterick Garrison and around 40 minutes from RAF Leeming, Barnard Castle has been a popular choice among Forces families for many years. We understand the particular circumstances of military life that make choosing the right school a critical decision and, as a result, have welcomed hundreds of students with a Forces background.

The school is within easy reach for day pupils from our military bases via the school bus service. In addition to all the benefits of a Barney education that typically encourage parents to choose us for their children, our experience of educating Forces children means support is always there both for pupils and a parent who may be on their own due to a partner’s posting.

For children whose parents have to serve outside the region or country, our boarding provision is the home-from-home and term-time ‘family’ that ensures children can continue to thrive, surrounded by friends and supportive house parents and other staff. We provide the consistency and stability to compensate for regular postings or sudden upheaval, the care and love in the absence of parents and the understanding families need when faced with challenging circumstances. We have pupils who have lived in nine or ten different places during their childhood; for them, Barney is ‘home’ and their contribution to our school community is immense and valued. All our house parents are experienced in caring for pupils from Forces families and appreciate the particular needs, worries, understanding and support required to ensure their individual school experience is both fulfilling and fun.

Aspects of school life at Barney that may be of particular interest to Forces families include our large Combined Cadet Force which incorporates both Army and RAF divisions. Our Chapel plays a central role in school life and our Chaplain is one of an experienced team of pastoral advisers always ready to lend an ear to any concerns or worries. First class IT enables easy communications with parents and we welcome families to visit at any time. Many of our alumni have gone on to distinguished careers in the U.K. Armed Forces.

We welcome children from Forces families from across the world who add to the rich diversity of our school. Children of serving members of the regular UK Armed Forces are entitled to 10% discount on our normal fees. In addition, Barnard Castle School is on the approved list for the Ministry of Defence Continuity of Education Allowance (CEA) for Forces children aged 8-18. We are happy to provide assistance to eligible families with their application for the allowance, which is worth up to 90% of the fees (after our 10% Forces discount), with families paying the remaining 10% plus any extras incurred.

Please contact our Registrar for more information or to arrange a visit: Tel: +44 (0)1833 696 030 or email:

“Boarding at Barney gives me independence, and staying in one school, after attending 11 others, changes everything.” Military family boarder