At DLD we have made the innovative mould for 21st Century Urban Boarding.
And for this we have received numerous accolades, winning and being shortlisted for many Awards, most recently for Independent Boarding School of the Year 2022 (previously winning in 2020) and also for the Boarding Schools’ Association award for Supporting International Boarders for three consecutive years, recognising our incredible urban boarding and support for student welfare.. (Find out more about our awards here.)
DLD College London is the only school in Central London with Boarding in the same building. Living immediately above the school, we want our boarders to feel that this is their ‘home away from home’, and to that end our holistic, all-round pastoral care is delivered through our small House communities, each led by one of our team of Resident Houseparents, who can be contacted 24/7. Our commitment to our students’ personal development was commended in our 2019 ISI Inspection, with 100% of boarders telling them they felt safe, happy, and at home here with us.
Our amazing city centre location means we can offer activities and trips which are second to none. If we go to the theatre, we go to the West End. A concert? The Albert Hall. A football match? Wembley. Unlike some other boarding schools, we encourage boarders to be able to explore London safely, with support structures in place to keep everyone safe, and to get the most out of living in the most exciting city on earth.
DLD College London is centred on the principles of Development, Leadership and Diversity. The Boarding experience at the school aims at enhancing you as an individual and your time as a Boarder will support you to develop your skills to live independently, to demonstrate leadership through the opportunities that are on offer to you and to live fully and respectfully in a diverse environment.
Only here can boarders enjoy the convenience of living in one of our 220 ensuite bedrooms above the school! Rooms are organised by age with boys and girls housed on separate floors and designated Houseparents oversee each boarder.
We want our boarders to feel safe, happy and at home, while they are with us in our boarding house. Boarders are encouraged to share their thoughts and opinions, offer ideas, contribute to their boarding community, and to show initiative and take on various responsibilities such as joining the Boarding Council.
Boarding with us in an extraordinary experience, offering unique opportunities for a wide range of boarders’ trips throughout London, in-house activities and special occasions.
The Boarding House is also home to our Resident Houseparents and the Senior Vice Principal (Pastoral), the Director of Boarding and the school Matron and our three boarding dogs!
Here is a brief introduction to life in Boarding and our facilities.
Though we all live together in one large house over 14 floors immediately above school, the house is split into different groups by school House. Houses have regular meetings for notices so that boarders can share their opinions, and to discuss upcoming events.
Our approachable Resident Houseparents are responsible for the pastoral care of boarders, providing support and encouragement and liaising with other school staff as required, to ensure the health and wellbeing of boarders. They are supported by our invaluable Assistants who are also attached to a House. The Houseparents are a boarder’s first port of call for any issue.
Each House has appointed students who act as Head of Boarding House or Deputy Head of Boarding House, offering leadership opportunities for boarders and providing a valuable point of contact with house staff.
Our rooms are, quite simply, some of the best boarding accommodation available in the UK.
There are three options available:
All of the rooms are situated in our recently completed building directly above the school. Each room has an ensuite shower room, and contains a bed, study space, wardrobe and other storage above and below the bed.
Single ensuite rooms come in different shapes and sizes but due to the interesting shape of our building’s architecture, every room is unique, and it is therefore not possible to provide precise dimensions. The Premier Single Ensuite rooms are larger overall which some students prefer for their work or leisure space.
We have a small number of twin rooms which allow students to share a room with another boarder of the same gender and similar age. These have a dividing wall down the middle for privacy if preferred.
Students are encouraged to personalise their rooms with posters etc, and to make themselves at home!
Each floor has a Common Room for the use of the boarders on that floor, containing a kitchen, where boarders can prepare drinks and snacks, comfortable seating, tables and chairs, and a TV. Tea, coffee, bread, milk and fruit are all provided.
In the evenings and at weekends, the Atrium downstairs becomes the main social space for boarders, where they can receive visitors, play table football or ping-pong, watch movies on our giant projector screen, or gaming with friends on one of our smaller projectors.
Our Global Kitchen also provides valuable social space where boys and girls can relax and study together in evenings and weekends, enjoying coffees or treats from our Grumpy Mule cafe.
For fitness, there is the option to join the Urbanest health club, situated in the basement of the building, for a small additional cost. This includes a fully equipped gym, swimming pool and sauna.
Meals are taken in our purpose-built Global Kitchen. Full English breakfasts, three course lunches and three course evening meals are included in the fees, with optional extras also available. Students are encouraged to request menu options and the catering staff work hard to ensure there is a wide variety of food catering to many tastes and dietary needs.
Our Grumpy Mule coffee shop has a wide variety of coffee options, snacks, paninis, cookies etc available at an additional cost, significantly cheaper than high street Starbucks branches.
Boarders are encouraged to be independent, and to explore Central London, but for their own safety, we insist that boarders have the Houseparents’ mobile phone number and the College phone number stored in their phones when they sign out of the boarding house. All students must return by the appropriate curfew, and it is mandatory that they attend all meetings or school functions where they may be required.
Compulsory School Age students (those aged under 16 at 1st September of the academic year) must sign out in groups, and they must sign back in to the house in the same groups.
We have 24 hour security on site, and full fire and lockdown drill procedures in place so that everyone is aware of what to do in the unlikely event of an emergency.
The School Matron is available for boarders who are unwell. She carries out health checks, registers boarders with the local Health Centre, and administers medication to boarders. Parents of boarders are asked to provide details of any medical conditions, allergies etc on application. All Houseparents and the Director of Boarding are also first aid trained, and we are fortunate to be right across the road from St Thomas’ Hospital, which also has an Accident & Emergency.
Our dedicated College Counsellor works closely with the Welfare and Medical staff to support students and staff who may have counselling needs on a one-to-one basis.
We aim to provide only the very best, individualised pastoral care for boarders. Houseparents and Personal Tutors meet with boarders every week to find out about how their week has gone, check on their health, and to discuss any academic or personal issues they may have.
The Houseparents send regular messages to parents and guardians to update them on a boarder’s progress, and to ensure that parents are kept informed of their progress, not only academically, but also individually.
Two options are available for boarders’ laundry:
There’s a lot to take in when you first start boarding, particularly if you’re coming to a new country. Our staff and returning boarders have put together a programme to mentor and support new students and to help them settle into boarding at DLD and life in London.
New Boarders are expected to arrive at the start of September, in time for the Boarders’ Induction Programme, which includes tours of the school and local area, registering with a doctor, opening a bank account, medical checks, getting an Oyster card, and getting to know the systems and procedures for boarding at DLD.
Boarders are encouraged to have a UK resident (preferably London resident) guardian who is over the age of 25 throughout their time boarding with us at DLD. This provides an emergency contact for the school. DLD College London does not appoint guardians.
London is the ideal place to experience a wide range of boarders’ trips, and we arrange a broad programme of cultural, musical, sporting and recreational trips for boarders to enjoy, as well as enabling boarders to enjoy all that this great city has to offer. Previous trips have included football at Wembley Stadium, concerts at the Royal Albert Hall and the London Jazz Festival, West End and Globe theatre trips, ice-skating, paintballing, go-karting amongst others.
Each Houseparent organises a termly House Trip, and all members of a House are encouraged to attend these.
We have regular in-house activities in the Atrium, including movie nights, quiz nights, and inter-House tournaments and competitions, as well as themed events such as our International Day celebrations.
We celebrate special occasions together throughout the year such as Halloween, Christmas, Chinese New Year, and Valentine’s Day. These often involve special themed meals in the Global Kitchen, and boarders are involved in organising and running these events, providing valuable leadership experience for CVs.
Visit our YouTube channel Boarding Playlist for a range of videos showing boarding life at DLD College London.
This tour of the school from one of our Heads of School, filmed late August as we prepared for the new academic year, features Boarding at 4m55 and check out the amazing views at 6m40!
Will I have to share a room?
DLD offers single and twin rooms and students can give their room preference in the Accommodation Application Form. Students will be allocated rooms according to availability and preference on a first come first serve basis.
What is included with my room?
Every room has:
Are meals provided?
Yes, meals are taken in the Global Kitchen where breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served every day. Boarders can choose from a range of cooked meals and we will cater for special dietary requirements.
Where can I wash my clothes?
The laundry room is located in the basement of the boarding house, washing machines and dryers are coin operated. Houseparents will show students how to use the machines and where to buy laundry detergent.
The laundry service is available for an additional fee, boarders using this service place their laundry in a labelled bag which is then collected, washed and dried, and returned the next day. Bed linen and towels are provided when boarders arrive and replaced every week.
Who will take care of me when I am unwell?
DLD has a School Nurse who runs her office on weekdays. The Nurse will register boarders with the doctor and will look after any boarder who is unwell. The Nurse can give medications and flu vaccines and will carry out health checks for all boarders.
Can I have guests?
Guests are not allowed into the Boarding House, although boarders may ask permission from a Houseparent to bring a guest into the school in the evenings or at weekends. Once given permission guests may come to the Atrium or the Global Kitchen once they have signed in with a Houseparent.
Can I stay for the holidays?
The Boarding House remains open throughout the half term and Easter holidays and students are welcome to stay for these periods. The school and the Boarding House both close for the Christmas and Summer holidays.
Is there an alternative to the Boarding House?
In some cases, students aged 18 and over may choose to live outside of the college accommodation. Any student wishing to live away from their parents or legal guardian and outside of the college should have their parents seek permission from the Principal. Please contact the Director of Boarding for more information.
Independent day students are not permitted to live in the adjacent Westminster Bridge Road Urbanest building.
To visit the boarding house for a tour or to speak to a member of our boarding team for more information about life at DLD College London please contact us:
The International Admissions Centre:
+44 (0) 330 053 6082