There are seven boarding Houses and five day boy Houses at Tonbridge, each with a complement of about sixty boys.
A boy's House is very much the focus of his daily life, and provides a community within the school to which he relates particularly closely. Although each House has its individual character, there is an even spread of abilities and talents throughout the Houses, and boys in any one House represent a fair cross-section of the whole school.
Parents are invited to express a preference for a particular boarding or day House at some stage between registration and entry - usually when completing the Final Entry Form on acceptance of a conditional place. Whilst a number of parents express no preference, leaving the allocation to the Headmaster in consultation with the Director of Admissions, others will state a preference for up to three houses.
The individual House lists for entry in any given year open in March some 2½ years in advance of the date of entry, about six weeks after the first large tranche of conditional offers for that year is made. Parents may wish to familiarise themselves with two or three Houses and Housemasters in the months before that. Candidates may only be registered on House lists when the offer of a conditional place in the school has been accepted.
Whilst all House preferences are considered on an equal footing if received prior to the opening date of house lists, it is inevitably the case that subsequent applications hold a lesser likelihood of receiving immediate confirmation of a place in the house of first choice. If application is made for a House whose list at that time is full, the preference will be noted but parents are always invited, and recommended, to make second and third choices. A note giving further detail about the choice of House accompanies each offer of a conditional place.
The Headmaster or the Director of Admissions will be glad to give general advice on the choice of House in discussion with parents visiting the school. If you would like to visit two or three houses, it is best to make direct contact with the Housemasters themselves. Please note that brothers and sons of Old Tonbridgians will be given priority allocation to the house of their brother/father, when that preference is expressed in advance of the house lists opening.