Dean Close has a genuinely mixed population with significant numbers of day and boarding pupils plus a small number of flexi boarders who stay one or two nights per week. With families from as far afield as Australia or as close as across the road, the School operates in a very flexible way, taking account of the different needs and circumstances of each individual family. With its large population of boarders, Dean Close buzzes with activity 24 hours a day and many of the day pupils enjoy the extra activities and life that a boarding school creates.

Every pupil is accommodated in a House which is their main social and pastoral unit. There are four day and six boarding houses (two of which are Sixth Form only houses, namely Gate and Turner).

Houses are vertical, accommodating pupils from 13-18 years, with between 40-75 in each House, split between boys and girls.

Each House is run by a Housemaster or Housemistress. This person is the main conduit with parents, having overall responsibility for the welfare and progress of each child in their House. They are supported by House Tutors who look after a small group of pupils each. In the boarding houses, the Housemaster or Housemistress resides in the House.