Despite being a boarding school there is no on-staff, full-time counselor or therapist on staff. There is a very troubling bullying problem at the school, maybe because the boys are in fierce competition for positive attention and solos and compliments. Boys physically hurt each other but there is a lot of dissing and trashing other children. Many parents deal with this directly by contacting the offending boy's mother. To complain, labels your kid as a winer, which means the headmaster will like him even less. There is so little positive attention from him that no parent wants to compromise what little attention their kid gets.
The favoritism at the school makes school very positive for the lucky boy or boys, but for most it is a reminder that life is not fair. Some boys get all the prizes and attention. Some get none. Also, many boys get away with mild to severe bullying. It seems as if theft is the only behavior that will prompt the school to remove a boy.
I do know boys and families who have had happy times here and I do not discount their experiences, but this review comes from my personal experience as a parent, so please take it as just one person's experience. I hope it may help you in some way.
We wanted to love this school and held out for a few years, but ultimately removed our child. He was just so broken by his time there. We got sucked into "wow, my kid is a great singer and he is at a famous choir school and this is going to get him into any high school and college he wants." So many parents talk about this a lot that it was hard not to drink the kool aid ourselves. But the headmaster is not a supportive man and can behave in a small petty way. Unless your son is his favorite who he takes to dinner and spends time with, which is so painful to the boys who are not favorites. There is a virulent bully problem and there is no full-time on-staff professional counselor to deal with it. There is no online system to give the parents an idea of what is going on with your son's grades and the school is very squirrely about keeping parents in the know. Remember that this is a boarding school for children as young as 8, so not encouraging parent communication is a red flat. The headmaster does not even try to pretend to like the parents. We seemed to be a necessary evil. The academics are uneven. (The academics in my son's class was between one grade and two grades lower than our local public school.) The biggest bully of all is the choir director, who regularly called kids idiots and mimicked them. Our talk with St. Thomas's rector did nothing to change this because "this is just how these British choir directors work." These kids work for hours at a time. You look at them up there singing and many of them look like zombies. They really do not look awake or filled with joy. If your boy loves to sing there are so many other emotionally safe options, such as American Boychoir school or a good church or city choir.
Research deeply and ask a lot of questions before thinking about sending a boy here. The administration is filled with people who don't know education (never studied it, nor have they taught) and who are only interested in hiring teachers who will "tow the party line." The teachers are given no training or professional development and are hired straight out of college and without backgrounds in education. The turnover off faculty and staff is astounding. Don't be fooled by the beautiful singing and the promises of the best high schools, it's not worth it.
For the boy who loves music and has the independent and open nature needed to leave home in third or fourth grade to live in community, St. Thomas provides an excellent education in music and academics
St Thomas Choir School is an excellent school. My son presently attends and just loves it! He is a boarder at the school and my husband and I consider this to be a plus as our son has matured incredibly, bonded and made life-lasting friends and is learning at a top rate school that boasts a high-quality top rank boys' choir. If you want your child to experience the journey of a lifetime than I highly recommend this wonderful establishment!