Queen Victoria School Pupils

Queen Victoria School

Opened in 1908, Queen Victoria School (QVS) is doing today what it was set up to do then: providing stability and continuity of education, within the Scottish system, for the children of UK Armed Forces personnel who are Scottish, have served in Scotland, or are part of a Scottish regiment. The Ministry of Defence (MoD), which funds the School, has given QVS a particular brief – to look after those (eligible) families who could not otherwise afford boarding education.

All necessary costs are met by the MoD; these include accommodation, uniform, meals, books, tuition and many other items and services. It is stated within the School’s Royal Warrant and Constitution that no pupil should be prevented from attending the School on the grounds of finance. For those parents who would find it difficult to meet the £1150 annual contribution (based originally on the cost of keeping a child at home rather than at a boarding school), assistance is available through the School, from the Service benevolent funds or from the funds of Her Majesty’s Commissioners, who govern the School.

QVS has many strong Scottish traditions, including its world-famous Pipes, Drums and Dancers. It is also strong in rugby and hockey and provides a range of other sports opportunities. The Combined Cadet Force (CCF) and the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme are vibrant parts of the School’s life, as are its daily assemblies in our Chapel and weekly Sunday services. The whole School learns to march and carry out drill movements, demonstrated in six Parades throughout the School year and the annual Grand Day Parade at the end of June.

Pupils are very proud of the work that their parents are doing in the Armed Services, and they are also one another’s greatest support. Every QVS pupil knows what it means to have a parent in the Armed Forces, and many have experienced the deployment of their parents to war zones or on long unaccompanied postings. Being from a military family does not make a child an oddity at QVS; here, it is the norm.

QVS is not a School which specifically prepares children to join the Armed Forces; rather it is here to support Service families by looking after the children of military personnel. Many of our leavers go on to university and many to College. Some do join the Armed Forces, but this tends to be in later life.

The pupils are our best ambassadors, and they will tell you openly about the School and their experiences. Please do come to visit us if you have the opportunity to do so.


Queen Victoria School is set in around 45 acres of Perthshire countryside but less than one hour’s travel by rail or road from Glasgow and Edinburgh. Dunblane is a small cathedral city. Stirling is its larger neighbour, around 15 minutes away, and Perth around 35 minutes north.

International airports are located on the outskirts of Glasgow and of Edinburgh; each is only one hour’s drive and 40 miles from the School.

Trains between Dunblane and Glasgow or Edinburgh are frequent (two an hour). The School is less than 2 miles from the station.


Further information

Pupils live during term times in one of our four boarding Houses. The pastoral care offered by the School is a great strength, and is geared specifically to the needs of Service children. We try always to allow children time out of School, for example, for pre- and post-deployment leave, and for their parents’ R&R. The School’s main intake point is into Primary 7 (age around 11 years, although we have a wide age range within each year-group because of the varied educational backgrounds of our pupils). All Primary 7s live in the Junior House with a few slightly older pupils and up to six senior girls who act as “big sisters”, as well as the resident Housemaster, Deputy and Matron. There is a team of around 10 tutors attached to each House. As well as spending an evening each week in the House, each tutor will have a small group of tutees from the House, and will spend some weekend time in the House each term as well.

Religious tradition: The School’s Royal Warrant requires it to have a Chaplain who is recognised by the Church of Scotland. Daily Assemblies in the School’s Chapel and Sunday services are accessible to those of all faiths and none, and arrangements are made for those who wish to attend Roman Catholic services in Dunblane itself to do so.

Admissions & Fees


Most places are available each year in Primary 7, when a child is around 11 years of age. The school has a maximum capacity of 277. Queen Victoria School exists to give stability and continuity of education to UK Armed Forces children. It has a particular mandate from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to look after those eligible families who could not otherwise afford boarding education.

Interviews and short tests

Assessments are done in February/March (to ascertain the Service need and the need for educational stability in each applicant’s case. The tests are standard Cognitive Ability Tests (CATs) which are used to indicate the level of learning support that a child might need. Queen Victoria School has a very positive and successful Pupil Support Department, but with staff numbers limited, numbers of pupils requiring additional support must be carefully judged each year.

Priority in allocating places at Queen Victoria School is given to those families where the serving parent has more than 5 years left to serve and is likely to be posted at least once during that time. Children who have already attended a large number of schools are also a priority. Where possible, bearing in mind the above criteria, we will try to keep siblings together by offering places at the School.


Applications must be submitted by 15th January each year, for places in August of that year.

Admissions Secretary: Mrs Ann Macfarlane Email admissions@qvs.org.uk

Parental contribution to school feesThe school is funded by the Ministry of Defence. The parental contribution, to each pupil’s welfare, is £1,325 per year and help is available from Service charities and from the School’s Commissioners if needed.