There are around 1,300 boys in the school aged between 13 and 18. Most boys are resident in the United Kingdom and the vast majority arrive at age 13 and remain in the school for five years. Financial assistance is available, currently 20% of boys receive support through scholarships and bursaries; CLICK HERE for further details.
A central feature of Eton is that all boys are full-time boarders and live within small communities of about 50 boys in a house, where they each have their own room. Boarding requires boys to take responsibility for organising their own lives and to learn to live within a small and cohesive community. The house provides them with a secure base and a focus of loyalty within the larger school. The house system provides excellent opportunities for boys to discover their leadership skills in their final two years in the school.
Each house is supervised by a house master, appointed from the experienced masters at the school. His role is to oversee and guide the development of each boy in his charge. The house master is the immediate point of contact for parents, facilitating quick and efficient communication. He is assisted by a dame (the Eton term for matron), and domestic staff. The dame is responsible for overseeing the health and physical wellbeing of the boys and is supported by a comprehensive medical team at the Sanatorium. She provides another strand to the pastoral care system and another point of direct contact for parents. The house master has a deputy and two assistants (all masters in the school) who also take a deep interest in all aspects of house life. In addition each boy has a tutor, who provides academic and pastoral support complementary to, but in close association with, the house structure.
Eton is a religious foundation and this remains central to the school's ethos. However, this is very much seen in terms of the wide variety of religious beliefs present in the school and in the wider world.