Best Private Schools in London

Best Private Schools in London: Top Picks for Quality Education

London is home to some of the most prestigious private schools in the world. These schools offer top-notch education and a range of extracurricular activities, making them a popular choice for families who can afford the tuition fees. 

The best private schools in London have a reputation for excellence, and their graduates often go on to attend the most prestigious universities in the world.

Primary Schools

These schools offer a high-quality education to children aged 4-11. Private primary schools in London are known for providing excellent academic education and extracurricular activities, such as music, drama, and sports.

St Philip’s School – Kensington

St. Philip’s School, situated in Kensington, London, is a distinguished Roman Catholic preparatory school catering to boys aged 7 to 13. With a Schoolsmith Score® of 79, it is renowned as one of the premier independent prep schools in South Kensington.

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The school offers a well-rounded education focusing on academic excellence, spiritual development, and personal growth. With a small class size of only 12 boys per class, students receive individual attention and support from experienced teachers passionate about their subjects.

St. Philip’s School has a strong Catholic ethos and encourages students to develop their faith through regular masses, retreats, and community service projects. 

The school offers fun activities like sports, music, drama, and art to help students discover their talents and interests.

St Philip’s School fees are £19,425 per year, and the school does not offer boarding. However, the school is located in a convenient location in South Kensington, making it easily accessible for students who live in the area.

Wandsworth Preparatory School – Wandsworth

Wandsworth Preparatory School is an independent co-educational school located in Wandsworth, London. The school caters to children aged 4-11 and provides an exciting educational environment. 

The school’s mission is to instill a growth mindset from the minute children walk in the door and to give a roadmap to future success.

The school’s curriculum is thoughtfully crafted to equip children for their academic and personal journeys ahead. It provides diverse learning opportunities through purposeful play while catering to the unique needs of each child.

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Wandsworth Preparatory School strongly focuses on pastoral care, and the school’s staff are committed to ensuring that each child feels valued and supported. 

The school has a range of policies and procedures to ensure that children are safe and happy and can learn in a positive and nurturing environment.

Wandsworth Preparatory School has a range of state-of-the-art facilities, including a library, ICT suite, art room, science lab, and music room. The school also has a large outdoor space with a playground, a sports field, and a nature garden.

Dallington School – Islington

Dallington School is a family-run, independent, co-educational day school in the heart of London, Islington. 

The school was founded in 1978 by Mogg Hercules to provide most schools with an alternative, creative, child-centred learning environment. The school welcomes children from 3 to 11 years old.

Dallington School prides itself on its progressive approach to education, which places the child at the center of learning. The school’s curriculum encourages independent thinking, creativity, and problem-solving skills. 

The school also strongly emphasizes developing social and emotional skills, such as empathy, respect, and cooperation.

The school has a small class size, with a maximum of 24 pupils per class. This allows for individual attention and tailored teaching to meet the needs of each child. The school also has a low pupil-to-teacher ratio, with one teacher for every eight pupils.

Dallington School has a solid academic record, focusing on preparing pupils for the next stage of their education. The school has a high rate of pupils who go on to attend some of the top secondary schools in London.

Regarding fees, Dallington School is a mid-range option compared to other private schools in London. The prices range from £12,450 to £15,660 per year, depending on the age of the child and the payment plan chosen.

James Allen’s Girls School – Dulwich

JAGS, officially known as James Allen’s Girls School, is an esteemed independent day school for girls in Dulwich, South London. Established in 1741, it is the UK’s second oldest girls’ independent school. Providing education for girls from 4 to 18 years old, JAGS is renowned for its commitment to academic excellence.

JAGS strongly focuses on providing a forward-thinking and contemporary education for its students. The school has a diverse student body, with girls from various ethnic and economic backgrounds. Despite this diversity, all students share a common trait: academic ability and a desire to succeed.

The school is split into three sections: the Junior School (ages 4-11), the Prep School (ages 11-16), and the Senior School (ages 16-18). A dedicated team of experienced teachers leads each section and is committed to providing students with the best possible education.

JAGS has a solid academic record, with most students achieving excellent exam results. The school also offers various extracurricular activities, including music, drama, sports, and community service. 

JAGS has a strong tradition of producing confident, independent young women who are well-prepared for the challenges of the modern world.

Highgate School – Highgate

Highgate School is a co-educational, fee-charging, private day school in Highgate, London. It was founded in 1565 and has a reputation for academic excellence. The school is divided into three sections: the Junior School, Senior School, and Sixth Form.

The Junior School is for students aged 7 to 11 and has a strong focus on developing students’ academic abilities and personal qualities. The Senior School is for students aged 11 to 16 and offers various subjects, including the humanities, sciences, and languages. 

The Sixth Form is for students aged 16 to 18 and provides a wide range of A-level courses and the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.

Highgate School is known for its academic excellence, with 83% of Year 13 exams graded A*-A in 2022 and 95% of GCSE entries graded 7-9 (A*-A) in 2022. The school is also proud of its inclusive environment, with 18 different languages spoken by pupils at home.

The school is committed to providing a well-rounded education, focusing on extracurricular activities. Students can participate in various clubs and societies, including music, drama, sports, and community service. 

Highgate School also has a strong tradition of competitive sports, with teams in football, rugby, cricket, and more.

Secondary Schools

The following schools are considered some of the best private secondary schools in London:

These schools are all highly competitive and have a rigorous admissions process. However, they offer excellent opportunities for students seeking a challenging and rewarding academic experience. Many of these schools also provide a sixth-form program for students who wish to continue their studies after GCSEs.

Private schools in London can be costly, typically ranging from £15,000 to £30,000 per year. Nevertheless, numerous institutions provide scholarships and financial assistance to students based on their academic achievements or financial circumstances.

St Paul’s School – Barnes

St. Paul’s School, located in Barnes, London, is a distinguished boys-only independent institution with a rich history dating back to its founding in 1509 by Dean John Colet of St. Paul’s Cathedral. 

Notably, it boasts a legacy of academic excellence, counting illustrious alumni like Samuel Pepys, Edmond Halley, and Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery among its ranks.

The school’s reputation is built upon its demanding academic curriculum, encompassing a broad spectrum of subjects ranging from conventional core disciplines like English, Math, and Science to specialized areas such as Classics, Philosophy, and Economics. 

Furthermore, St. Paul’s School provides various extracurricular opportunities, encompassing sports, music, drama, and debate. These activities contribute to the well-rounded development of students, extending their growth beyond the academic realm.

Despite its relatively modest student body of approximately 1,500 boys, St. Paul’s School prides itself on delivering a personalized educational experience. 

Its robust pastoral care system ensures that every student receives the necessary support and guidance to excel academically and personally.

Consistently recognized as one of London’s premier private schools, St. Paul’s School always delivers impressive academic results. In 2022, the school achieved an outstanding 95.02% A or A* rate for GCSEs, positioning it among the top-performing schools nationwide. 

Moreover, the institution has a distinguished track record of sending its graduates to prestigious universities in the UK and abroad.

Godolphin and Latymer School – Hammersmith

Godolphin and Latymer School, a prestigious private day school for girls in Hammersmith, West London, has a rich history dating back to its founding by King Charles II in 1684. Known for its exceptional academics, the school offers a rigorous educational experience tailored to girls aged 11-18.

Situated on a tranquil six-acre campus near the river in West London, the school features modern facilities, including a state-of-the-art science center, a performing arts venue, and a sports complex.

The school’s motto, “Francha Leale Toge,” an ancient Cornish phrase, means “free and loyal art thou.” Its emblem features a double-headed white eagle, symbolizing Godolphin in Cornish, which signifies a white eagle.

Godolphin and Latymer School upholds its academic reputation as a selective institution, consistently ranking at the top of league tables. The school offers a comprehensive curriculum encompassing A-levels and the International Baccalaureate (IB) program.

In addition to academics, the school provides a wide array of extracurricular activities, spanning sports, music, drama, and community service. 

It has a strong tradition of sporting excellence, with offerings such as netball, hockey, tennis, and rowing. The school’s esteemed music and drama departments offer ample opportunities for students to nurture their talents.

Emanuel School – Battersea

Emanuel School, located in Battersea, southwest London, is a prestigious private co-educational day school with a rich history dating back to its founding in 1594 by Anne Sackville, Lady Dacre, and Queen Elizabeth I. Situated on a 12-acre campus near Clapham Junction railway station, the school caters to over 1,000 students aged 10 to 18.

Renowned for its exceptional music education, Emanuel School has earned acclaim from The Good Schools Guide and achieved a “double excellent” rating for its music program in the ISI Report 2023. 

The school offers many musical opportunities, such as choirs, orchestras, jazz, and rock bands, along with state-of-the-art facilities like a recording studio and a music technology suite.

With a strong Christian ethos, the school’s chapel is central to its vibrant community. Emanuel School boasts a comprehensive curriculum encompassing academic subjects, art, drama, music, and sports, including a robust tradition in rugby and cricket and offerings in football, hockey, netball, and athletics.

Diversity is a hallmark of Emanuel School, as it welcomes students from various cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. The school is committed to fostering an inclusive and supportive environment, with a dedicated pastoral team offering guidance and assistance to students. 

Furthermore, an active Parents’ Association organizes annual social and fundraising events to enhance the school’s sense of community.

Alleyn’s – Dulwich

Alleyn’s School is a highly regarded co-educational day school in the affluent suburb of Dulwich in South East London. The school has a long and prestigious history, tracing its origins to the establishment of Edward Alleyn’s College of God’s Gift in 1619. 

Today, Alleyn’s is a prominent HMC co-educational day school, prioritizing academic excellence alongside robust pastoral support and an engaging co-curricular program. 

The institution provides a well-rounded curriculum that strongly focuses on academic achievement, consistently delivering outstanding GCSE and A-level outcomes. 

As a result, many of our students proceed to prestigious universities in the UK and beyond.

In addition to academic excellence, Alleyn’s is also committed to providing a rich and varied co-curricular program. The school offers various activities and clubs, including music, drama, sports, and community service. 

The facilities at Alleyn’s are also excellent, with state-of-the-art classrooms, sports facilities, and performing arts spaces.

Alleyn prides itself on its strong pastoral care, provided by a dedicated team of tutors and pastoral staff. The school strongly emphasizes the well-being and happiness of its students and provides a supportive and nurturing environment in which they can thrive.

King’s College School – South West London

King’s College is an independent day school in Wimbledon, South West London. It was founded in 1829 as the junior department of King’s College London. 

The school is for boys aged seven to 18 and girls in sixth form. It is one of the top-performing schools in London, according to the latest Parent Power guide, published in December 2021.

The school’s reputation for academic excellence is built on its rigorous curriculum, designed to prepare students for elite universities. 

Offering a diverse array of subjects at both GCSE and A-level, the institution also enriches students’ experiences with extracurricular activities such as music, drama, and sports.

King’s College School has a strong commitment to pastoral care, with a dedicated team of staff who support students’ well-being. The school also has a strong sense of community, with a vibrant parent-teacher association and various events throughout the year.

The school has excellent facilities, including a state-of-the-art sports center, a theatre, and a music school. The campus is set in beautiful grounds, with plenty of green space for students to enjoy.

City of London School for Boys – City of London

City of London School for Boys is an independent school in the heart of London. It is an all-boys school that caters to students aged 10-18. The school has a rich history; it was established in 1834 and moved to its present site in 1986.

The school has a solid academic record and is known for its rigorous curriculum. It offers various subjects, including languages, humanities, sciences, and the arts. The school also strongly focuses on extracurricular activities, with multiple clubs and societies available to students.

City of London School for Boys is located in the City of London, an area known for its vibrant culture and rich history. The Thames situates the school and has over 20 acres of sports pitches. It is also near many of London’s top attractions, including St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Tate Modern.

The school has a non-denominational approach to religion and welcomes students from all backgrounds. It has a diverse student body, with students from over 30 countries. The school also offers scholarships and bursaries to students with academic excellence or financial need.

University College School – Borough of Barnet

University College School (UCS) is an independent day school in the Borough of Barnet, London. It was founded in 1830 and is one of the most prestigious schools in the area. The school is co-educational and has around 1,200 pupils aged 4 to 18.

UCS has a solid academic record, focusing on traditional and modern subjects. The school consistently ranks highly in league tables and is known for its rigorous academic standards. In 2023, the school achieved 94% A*-B grades at the A-level, with 40% of students achieving A* grades.

The school offers various extracurricular activities, including music, drama, and sports. UCS has a strong tradition in rugby, with the school regularly competing at a high level. The school also has a strong music department, with many students achieving success in national competitions.

UCS has a strong sense of community, with a focus on pastoral care and support for its students. The school has a well-established house system, with students in one of six houses. The school also has a strong alumni network, with many former students succeeding in various fields.

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