Best Private Schools In London – The Complete Guide For 2023

Best Private Schools In London – The Complete Guide For 2023

London, the cultural and educational hub of the United Kingdom, boasts a rich tapestry of prestigious private schools, each offering a unique blend of academic excellence, holistic development, and unrivaled opportunities. Within this article, we unveil the best private schools in London, highlighting their distinctive attributes, exceptional faculties, and the enriching experiences they offer to students. Whether you seek a nurturing environment, a rigorous academic curriculum, or specialised programmes to foster your child’s talents, our curated insights will guide you in making a well-informed decision regarding your child’s educational journey.

best private schools in london

Table of Contents

What is a Private School?

Private schools, also known as independent schools, are educational institutions that are not funded or maintained by the government. Instead, they are privately funded and operated. Private schools in the UK often charge tuition fees for students to attend, and they have more autonomy over their curriculum, admissions policies, and overall management compared to state-funded schools.

Private schools in London are considered to offer high-quality education and often have a reputation for providing excellent facilities, resources, and dedicated teaching staff. They are typically seen as providing a more exclusive and tailored educational experience compared to state-funded schools, and they may have a specific educational philosophy or approach to teaching.

Parents who choose private schools for their children often do so based on factors such as academic reputation, individual attention, specialised programmes, and the belief that private education offers unique opportunities and advantages for their child’s development and future prospects.

London Private School Fees

Annual school fees for private schools in London tend to be higher than other cities. They typically range from £10,000 to £30,000 per year, with some elite schools charging even more. So in case you’re wondering, here’s what you’re paying for: 

  • Age: Private school fees typically increase as students get older. 
  • Academic success: Some private schools in London have a much higher demand due to their academic track record, and thus have the ability to increase their fees. 
  • Facilities: Private schools in London do pay attention to non-academic pursuits such as sports and other activities. These facilities require high capital investment and maintenance, leading to an increase in fees. 
  • Pastoral care: While expensive fees do not automatically translate to the best of pastoral care, this remains one of the top priorities for many parents. 
  • Geography: Living in London can be quite expensive. You need to consider the cost of accommodation, transportation, and other daily expenses. Depending on the exact area, rental prices can vary quite a bit. However, transportation networks do tend to be better in more central areas, which can impact transportation cost. 

Best Private Schools in London

1. King's College School (KCS)

King’s College School offers both deep and broad curriculum that allows their students to grow in various directions. This has led to various awards and recognitions including The Sunday Times’ Top Boys or Co-ed School in London. This is a school with the highest levels of both ethical and academic principles, an environment most parents long for their children. 

On top of the outstanding academic results, there is a great emphasis being placed on equality, diversity, and inclusivity. In addition, they are actively trying to minimise the ecological impact from school operations, educating staff and students to be as green as possible. 

2. Westminster School

With 98% 9-7 at GCSE and 92% A*/A at A level, need I say more? Well, Westminster School is much more than their academic success. There is an overwhelming choice of extracurricular opportunities. Aside from sports, music and art, teachers and students are also active in voluntary work to impact the lives of the society. Check out these videos to get an inside scoop of Westminster School.

3. City of London School

London Independent Secondary School of the Year, City of London School is indeed one of the top academic achievers in the city. The school is located in a beautiful spot in London, in the shadow of the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral and across the river from the Tate Modern. Due to their excellence, many of the boys end up in their desired universities after leaving the school. More importantly, the school is actively developing the boys’ sense of aspiration, confidence, independent thinking, resilience, generosity and courtesy. 

4. Hampton School

With hundreds of years in the books, Hampton School continues to send 90% of their school leavers to Russell Group Universities. Beyond its academic rigour, the school is proud to develop the boys’ sporting prowess and co-curricular achievements as well. With 30+ choirs and ensembles, 110+ clubs and societies, and more than 18 sports on offer, it’s no surprise to see the number of established Hamptonians making an impact around the world. 

5. City of London School for Girls

City of London School for Girls is an independent day school for pupils aged 11-18 situated in the heart of the Barbican. This fine institution built its walls on 3 pillars: Respect, Responsibility, and Resourcefulness. With a strong culture of inspirational learning and self-reflection, CLSG has been developing generations of impactful women since 1894. Here’s to many more amazing years.

London Private Schools Ranking - League Table

RankSchool NameA*/ACandidatesFees (£)Boarding Type
4Highgate School86.1191£25,515Day
7City of London School For Girls83.1100£23,778Day
8James Allen's Girls' School82.595£22,725Day
9Westminster School82.3199£34,389Boarding
10King's College School (KCS)82.3159£25,890Boarding
16Alleyn's School77.4156£25,020Day
19Eltham College73.9113£22,230Day
23Wimbledon High School GDST71.296£23,154Day
25South Hampstead High School GDST70.463£22,764Day
33Notting Hill and Ealing High School GDST66.569£20,868Day
34University College School, Hampstead66.2167£25,413Day
39Dulwich College64.8227£24,693Boarding
56Whitgift School56.9140£24,462Boarding
58Colfe's School56.5126£20,460Day
59St Dunstan's College56.368£21,321Day
75Ibstock Place School51.865£25,785Day
79Forest School50.4136£24,555Day
80Queen's College London50.352£23,985Day
103Bromley High School GDST44.968£20,562Day
111Queen's Gate School42.939£25,326Day
122St Benedict's School39.892£20,907Day
123Wetherby Senior School39.242£29,085Day
135The John Lyon School36.156£21,300Day
136Streatham and Clapham High School GDST35.858£21,003Day
138Old Palace of John Whitgift School35.745£19,350Day
139Mander Portman Woodward (MPW)35.6231£34,233Day
169Hampstead Fine Arts College27.994£26,160Day
179Ealing Independent College22.226£18,495Day
185Kensington Park School20.537£27,350Boarding
186More House School19.618£24,825Day

How are the Rankings Measured?

This ranking is based on the percentage of GCSE/IGCSE entries awarded 9-7 or A* and A grades. However, it is important to note that these information are not freely available, and some schools may decide not to publish their results. 

Frequently Asked Questions about Private Schools in London

Private schools in London are independent educational institutions that are funded by tuition fees and donations, whereas state schools are funded by the government and offer free education. Private schools often have smaller class sizes, more extensive facilities, and a wider range of extracurricular activities.

The application process for private schools in London typically involves completing an application form, attending an interview, and possibly taking an entrance exam. Some schools may also require references or a personal statement. Deadlines for applications can vary, so it is important to check with each school for their specific requirements and timelines.

Private schools in London offer a range of curricula, including the British National Curriculum, International Baccalaureate (IB), and various international curricula. Many private schools place a strong emphasis on academic rigor, while also providing a well-rounded education with a focus on extracurricular activities, character development, and critical thinking skills.

To assess the quality of a private school in London, consider factors such as academic results and university placement records, inspection reports from independent regulatory bodies like Ofsted, the reputation and qualifications of the teaching staff, the range of extracurricular activities offered, and the overall ethos and values of the school.

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