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The Best Private Secondary Schools in London for Your Child’s Education

Exploring the realm of private secondary education in London can be a daunting task for parents seeking the best for their children. With factors such as educational quality, cost, location, extracurricular activities, and overall school environment playing pivotal roles, the decision-making process becomes intricate.

This post was contributed by a guest writer.


In this guide, we aim to address these concerns and highlight consistently top-ranking schools in London. By the end of this article, you’ll be equipped with valuable insights to make an informed decision regarding your child’s education.

In my youth I desperately wanted to attend St Olaves Grammar. Unfortunately I missed the cut-off but with any luck my kids will all be fortunate to attend a grammar school, should they wish to! (1 out of 2 so far).

Here’s a breakdown of the schools we’ll be covering today.

  1. St Paul’s Girls’ School
    • GCSE Rank: 1
    • A*/A%: 99.6
    • Gender: Girls
    • Day/Boarding: Day
    • Day Fees: £28,389
    • Boarding Fees: N/A
  2. Westminster School
    • GCSE Rank: 5
    • A*/A%: 98.0
    • Gender: Boys (Co-ed Sixth Form)
    • Day/Boarding: Day & Boarding
    • Day Fees: £32,751
    • Boarding Fees: £43,272
  3. North London Collegiate School
    • GCSE Rank: 7
    • A*/A%: 96.3
    • Gender: Girls
    • Day/Boarding: Day
    • Day Fees: £21,144
    • Boarding Fees: N/A
  4. Godolphin & Latymer School
    • GCSE Rank: 17
    • A*/A%: 91.6
    • Gender: Girls
    • Day/Boarding: Day
    • Day Fees: £23,754
    • Boarding Fees: N/A
  5. King’s College School
    • GCSE Rank: 6
    • A*/A%: 97.1
    • Gender: Boys (Co-ed Sixth Form)
    • Day/Boarding: Day
    • Day Fees: £24,255
    • Boarding Fees: N/A

What Is Considered Secondary School in the UK

In the UK, secondary school plays a crucial role in preparing teenagers for higher education. The success of English schools is attributed, in part, to centuries of private management, attracting substantial financial support. This financial abundance directly influences the caliber of professionals employed in these institutions.

While not all secondary schools offer both lower and upper secondary education, they generally cater to students aged 12 to 18. Attending secondary school is compulsory until age 18, spanning seven years. This stage prepares students for vocational alternatives or tertiary education, including universities.

Although with the introduction of the T-Level i’ll be interested in seeing what effect this has on private establishments.

So without further delay, here are some of the best private secondary schools in London.

St Paul’s Girls’ School London

Established in 1904, St Paul’s Girls’ School stands as a pioneer advocating comprehensive education for women. Focused on nurturing intellectual growth through the freedom of ideas, the school fosters a passion for knowledge rather than a rigid emphasis on grades. St Paul’s embodies liberal viewpoints, encouraging students to question traditions and develop new ideas. With a wide-ranging curriculum, including music, drama, arts, and sports, the school provides a holistic learning experience.

Westminster School

Situated in the heart of London, Westminster School boasts a rich history dating back centuries. It stands as the only institution still in its original London location. Known for dominating exam result league tables, Westminster School offers day and boarding options for boys and girls, emphasizing a liberal education. The school cultivates a joy for learning and encourages students to pursue diverse interests outside traditional curriculum boundaries.

North London Collegiate School

Founded in 1850, North London Collegiate School consistently ranks among the top British schools. Catering to girls aged 4 to 18, NLCS provides a balanced mix of care and challenges, fostering a friendly environment with excellent facilities. The school aims to mold open-minded girls with the motivation to make a difference. NLCS focuses on individual creative drive, offering a multitude of arts, sports, and extracurricular activities.

Godolphin & Latymer School

Known for its friendly and down-to-earth atmosphere, Godolphin & Latymer School is an academically selective day school for girls aged 11 to 18. With a comprehensive curriculum and diverse extracurricular offerings, the school ensures each student reaches her full potential. Encouraging leadership and discouraging limitations, Godolphin fosters a spirit of civic duty, volunteerism, and fellowship.

King’s College School

Established in 1829, King’s College School provides independent day education for boys aged 7 to 18 and girls aged 16 to 18. With a focus on academic success, the school recently underwent significant infrastructure enhancements. The campus includes modern facilities like a music school and a sports complex, reflecting the institution’s commitment to providing a well-rounded education.

The Best Private Secondary Schools in London – It Boils Down To the Student

While these are just a few of London’s best private secondary schools, it’s important to note that the success of a student ultimately depends on motivation and dedication.

A motivated learner can excel in any conducive learning environment. Combining a motivated student with one of the best educational institutions, however, opens doors to boundless opportunities. Choose wisely, keeping in mind your child’s unique qualities and aspirations.

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