Setting: Modern Britain (it's a Modern AU of Merlin), but in an alternate universe which has, and always had, magic in it (in a very open sense, not the hidden sense like Harry Potter). That said, magic has spent much of the last few centuries under heavy-duty subjugation (ranging from slavery to genocide depending on time period), and are only recently seeing an up-swing in societal standing. This is currently being helped by the Prime Minister's son having magic, and being best friends with the Prince of Wales (despite the fact the King is very anti-magic).
Searched: pretty much information on the schools people mentioned last time I asked about this, otherwise not really sure where to even start
I mostly just need help finding two (or three?) schools for the boys to attend.
First is their secondary education (13-16 and college if it's separate). On one hand, Arthur (Prince of Wales) is obviously on track for a very posh school, most likely a private/not-state school. Then there is Merlin (Prime Minister's son), who is already on track for a state school due to his mother's financial background and of course her current political status being dependent platform relating her to the common man. And Merlin has magic, which is considered grounds for rejection/expulsion even in state schools, so only really low-end schools tend to have students with magic in them (though Merlin is a little better off due to his mum's political standing).
That said, the boys are needing to go to school together (they've been through some heavy trauma and can't really be separated, so I can handwave a lot of the political backlash and/or keep enough of it around for political antagonism). What would be considered an acceptable middle-ground between really upper-end/posh and lower-end/state schools? And of the schools with that characteristic, are there any that are known for being particularly radical (i.e. that might have a history of being the first to allow girls or people of color or whoever might've been traditionally barred from high-end schools)? Magic is regularly barred from various schools, and allowing magic openly in a school/teaching magic there is still considered very radical and somewhat leftist at times. And if a school doesn't have sixth form/college level, what colleges might also cover their education in this criteria/circumstances? If it matters any, the boys were kidnapped in the middle of Year 8 (which I believe is the year you turn 13 in?), and due to recovery and security reasons, they finished up that year with private tutoring rather than going to any school, and will be returning to school in Year 9. (Or is that not possible?)
Then there's, university, which will also be the main setting of the fic. Up until now I've been thinking mostly of using Cambridge University (not sure which college though). But as I understand it, a good way to go is pick your subject/area of interest and pick a school based on that...? At the moment, Merlin is studying medicine and Arthur is studying economics. There are two other characters who I will also have attending the same university as the boys, one studying engineering (Gwen) and the other history (Morgana), but I can play around with their courses of study if needs be. Does Cambridge still work, or are the other universities that might be better suited for this character dynamic? Which colleges, in Cambridge or otherwise?
And whether Cambridge or not, how stringent would the housing scenario be? For security reasons, Arthur and Merlin need to be kept together. (I'd like to keep the history student close to them as well, if possible, but I can play around with that part). Is there any college where both the boys, or even them and the history student, can be together in? Or would they need an external flat while being students in/members of different colleges?
Any resources to UK universities in a general sense (culture, lifestyle, ect.) would also be much appreciated.
Thank you for all the help!