Bonas MacFarlane's support changes children’s lives. Thousands have benefitted from our approach.

A successful education involves many small, sure steps – from cradle to career. Our advisors, tutors and mentors support children as they take these steps. We achieve our results with careful planning, outstanding educators and by placing children into the right schools and universities. Crucially, we share a long-term aim – helping children to become successful and happy adults.

Bonas MacFarlane really is unique amongst education providers. Having spent twenty-five years as pioneers of our services, we are now the leading company of our kind in the UK. We manage all aspects of a child’s education.

Our team of full-time consultants and support staff, based in Chelsea, is the largest and broadest-reaching of any education support provider in the UK.


advice, support, assessments & holiday programmes

1-1 Tuition

No other approach is so focussed on individual needs, so able to inspire and so free of any limits.


Bonas MacFarlane pioneered a modern professional approach to one of the oldest forms of education.

Camp Bonas

This life-changing experience will help children who have been in lockdown this year to fly into the new academic year.


Latest news from the Bonas MacFarlane blog

June 01, 2021

Until things change in the UK, there will be a growing brain drain from the private schools to the US, especially in the arts and humanities subjects.

Charles Bonas comments on Sian Griffiths articles in The Sunday Times (link below via paywall)

For more information on our University Application Services to UK Russell Group, Oxbridge and US College and Ivy League, please get in touch with Charles Bonas & James Higgins our University Director ( or call the London office on +44 207 223 2794.

May 12, 2021

Extracurricular activities are important for a wide range of reasons; from building friendships and gaining confidence, to developing a wide range of skills. They can demonstrate who you are outside of academics to your future school, university or desired workplace. The chosen activities will provide you with an opportunity to showcase your community spirit, teamwork and communication skills (your ‘soft skills’).

However, although soft skills are important and what takes place in the classroom can not be the sole focus of child’s education, academic performance must nonetheless remain the primary focus. Whilst schools and universities are placing increased importance of soft skills and how these can be measured, academic work and results still play a fundamental part in a child’s education. If entrance to a top university is desired, then top academic results are required.

If pupils do not have a good balance between school and extracurricular activities, then it can be incredibly stressful and will likely have a detrimental impact on both elements. It is therefore of utmost importance that children strike the right balance between their academic work and activities outside of the classroom.

Choose your extra curricular activities carefully:

Whether at prep school, senior school or university you will not have time to do everything on offer, so consider carefully what you choose. It is far more enjoyable and rewarding to really get involved in a few carefully selected activities than take on too many and only scratch the surface of what they can entail.

You might want to think about what you enjoy but perhaps also think tactically about what may help you later down the line with university or even job applications (e.g. team sports, charity work or student council). The overriding factor should be your enjoyment of the activity though and how it enriches your life, education and formative years.   

The time you have for extra curricular activities:

Before you join the debating team, commit to DofE, sign up to play another musical instrument or try out for the rugby team this year, look at the time you have available. After school, during school in lunch breaks or weekends are the common times for extracurricular activities. Weekends can be most beneficial if you are a boarder with no family commitments and the facilities are available to you. Also don't forget the school holidays.

Planning out your extra curricular activities:

You could treat the planning of your extra curricular activities like your school treats your academic lessons by making a timetable. You will need to think whether there are clashes, if it leaves you with any time off and also rather importantly – will you be relying on someone else to facilitate these various activities. If it is the holidays or evenings and you need to get to your fencing class, will there always be someone free to take you?

Consider the periods when you will need to readdress the balance:

There will be times you need to readdress the balance; in the lead up to your exams or entry assessments for futures schools. To use the holidays as an example; you may not be able to practice the drums every day over Christmas when the family is over or you may not have the facilities at home to work on your woodwork.

This should be considered when choosing your extra curricular activities - will it be possible to take time off from the chosen activity during the important academic periods.

Discuss your plan with others:

You may know what extra curricular activities excite you and what you are passionate about, but remember you can also talk to your teachers/housemaster/tutor/parents and ask their advice. In particular, your tutor will be able to highlight where you may be stretching yourself too thin or what areas you could push yourself in a little more. They could also give advice on the academic areas you may need to focus on instead.

School Placement Manager, Bonas MacFarlane Education

May 06, 2021

Date: Tuesday, 22 June 1000 - 1900
Location: The Hurlingham Club, Ranelagh Gardens, London, SW6 3PR
More information:

At the Summer Fair, London parents will discover schooling that will help their children develop as exhilaratingly happy and inspired learners.

The Fair brings together over 45 exhibiting schools - from London and across the Kingdom. Sampling this cross-section of British independent schooling provides an efficient overview of the sector. And many of our visitors since the first ground breaking Independent Schools Show in 2007 have discovered, through our unique approach to exhibiting, the actual schools their children have gone on to attend.

This approach goes deeper than informing about entrance procedures, school values, facilities and results. The fairs allow parents to have those vital, in depth, face to face discussions with senior admissions staff or headteachers, that are hard to fit around whistle-stop group school tours at Open Days.

That’s why we go to great lengths to secure the right locations for our fairs. A beautifully discreet, ‘third space’ environment really does promote relaxed yet full and frank disclosure - on both sides. However prestigious, will a school accommodate the way each pupil, as a highly distinctive individual, is inspired, learns, plays and builds confidence? More often than not, it will. But independent education affords parents the luxury of choice for their children. The way we give them access to schools makes sure they exploit that choice - through private, personal discovery.    

Post-lockdown, many London families are reconsidering whether a city or country school would best suit their child. This fair for independent schools is organised into two distinct sections: one for families looking for London day schools; the other for boarding and relocation to day schools / flexi-boarding  outside the capital.

The most beguiling choices are often between options where a commonality of excellence and culture expresses itself in a different geographical context.

  • London enjoys several ancient schools that are leaders among the broadest based academic schools in the English speaking world; and the city hosts countless other superb, more recent and groundbreaking establishments besides, of wildly different sizes, where pupils access rich cultural diversity and sporting excellence - on and off campus.
  • Meanwhile, within easy reach of the metropolis (and even within it) are a multitude of other historically important, outstandingly academic and mixed ability schools, with acres of green space, superb facilities and extended days, offering all the holistic benefits of residential based or day schooling - from art, drama and music to outward bound and sporting activities.

Even a move to a full boarding school is increasingly accompanied by a move to a new home. Knight Frank, one of the Fair’s sponsors, will be on hand to help parents place their school selection in the vital context of where and in what kind of property they wish to live.

The Summer Fair is the culmination of a nine week programme of Parents Forums. These events feature leading independent schools, together with education, property and financial experts. We take parents on virtual school visits to meet leading heads; we interview top educationalists; we talk to the shrewdest school fee planners; we explore scholarships and bursaries; and we provide market intelligence about the London and re-location property markets.

Three Parent Forums will be recorded live from the Brewin Dolphin sponsored theatre at the Fair. Chaired by Ed Vaizey, these talks will also be available online.

Online talks are free for parents to watch.
Family Tickets for the Fair cost £25.

The Independent Schools Show Summer Fair is sponsored by:
Knight Frank
Brewin Dolphin
Bonas MacFarlane Education

Media Partners:
Country & Town House Magazine
Tatler Magazine

Education partners:
Independent Schools Council
The Good Schools Guide

Charity partner:
Choose Love

Staying Safe At The Summer Fair

With easing of Covid-19 restrictions and growing demand from London parents eager to find the right school solutions, the show will follow safe guidelines and restrictions to ensure everyone’s safety and make it an enjoyable visit.

The Fair is split into four time slots so visitors can pick when they plan to attend and we are limiting numbers to ensure there is no overcrowding.

1000 - 1200
1230 - 1430
1500 - 1700
1730 - 1930

On arrival, temperatures will be read and full track and trace regulations will be followed.

What schools say about the Independent Schools Show:

“The show was truly brilliant. To have all that spread of expertise, passion, vigour and rigour under one rather spectacular roof is inspirational and uplifting.”

What parents say:

“More recently the family have started looking at country preps, which we liked a lot. We are now unsure whether to stay in London or to move out to Hampshire / Oxfordshire area. We are coming to the Fair for some guidance and to clarify our thoughts.”

What David Wellesley Wesley, the Show’s Founder, says:

“After 12 months of lockdown I am looking for ways to give my children more space and better access to the countryside. At the same time I fully appreciate the benefits of growing up in London. Like all parents attending the fair, we will be using the event to help us decide what will be best for our two children.”

Click here for further information and to meet the exhibiting schools

Get your tickets here:

Use 'iss50' Promo Code for 50% off general price tickets


Chaired by Bonas MacFarlane directors, the London Parents Forum events provide support and advice for parents.

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