Top 10 Day Schools In The UK – The Complete Guide For 2023

Searching for the finest day schools in the UK? Look no further! Whether you’re seeking a primary school to lay a solid foundation or a secondary school to propel your child towards a successful future, our top 10 list encompasses a range of options to cater to various needs and preferences. Each school in this list offers a distinctive approach to education, ensuring that students receive a comprehensive and enriching learning experience. 

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Table of Contents

Top 10 Day Schools in the UK

1. King's College School (KCS)

King’s College School is a renowned independent day school located in Wimbledon, London. With a rich history dating back to 1829, KCS is known for its academic excellence and commitment to holistic education. The school offers a broad curriculum, encompassing both traditional subjects and a range of extracurricular activities. KCS has a strong reputation for preparing students for top universities, and its alumni include notable figures such as Jonathan Haskel and Mark Lowen.

The school’s emphasis on character development, leadership skills, and community involvement further enhances the overall educational experience. For more detailed and up-to-date information about King’s College School, please refer to their official website.

2. Guildford High School

Guildford High School is a prestigious all-girls day school situated in Guildford, Surrey. Founded in 1888, the school has a long-standing tradition of academic excellence and a supportive learning environment. Guildford High School offers a well-rounded education, combining rigorous academics with a wide range of extracurricular activities, including sports, arts, and community service.

The school’s commitment to empowering young women and fostering intellectual curiosity is evident in its strong track record of academic achievements and university placements. To obtain the most accurate and up-to-date information about Guildford High School, please visit their official website or consult one of our in-house consultants.

3. King Edward VI High School for Girls (KEHS)

King Edward VI High School for Girls, located in Birmingham, is an esteemed independent day school for girls. Known for its academic rigour and supportive environment, the school aims to empower girls to achieve their full potential. It offers a wide range of subjects and extracurricular activities to foster well-rounded development.

The Sunday Times recently rated KEHS number one in the Midlands Top 10 Independent Schools for their outstanding education. It takes pride in valuing each girl and helping them navigate wisely the choices ahead, giving the opportunities to develop their leadership and collaborative skills as well as resilience. For more detailed information, please refer to their official website.

4. City of London School (CLS)

City of London School, situated in the heart of London, is a prestigious independent day school for boys. The Sunday Times’ London Independent School of the Year has a strong academic focus and a commitment to intellectual curiosity, which prepares the boys for higher education and future leadership roles. The school offers a diverse curriculum, exceptional teaching, and a vibrant range of extracurricular activities. Learn more about the school life and their vision at their official website.

5. Magdalen College School (MCS)

Magdalen College School, located in Oxford, is a well-regarded independent day school with a rich history dating back to 1480. The school places a strong emphasis on academic excellence and holistic development. It offers a broad curriculum, including a wide range of subjects and extracurricular opportunities. Magdalen College School is known for its supportive environment, encouraging students to explore their interests and achieve their potential.

MCS easily ranks in our top 10 list as almost all their pupils proceed to prestigious universities in the UK or abroad. More impressively, around 25% of their Sixth Form pupils obtain offers from Oxford or Cambridge. For the most up-to-date information, please refer to the school’s official website.

6. Hampton School

Hampton School is a prestigious independent day school for boys located in Hampton, London. Recognised for its academic achievements and commitment to nurturing individual talents, the school offers a comprehensive curriculum alongside a vibrant extracurricular programme.

Hampton School aims to foster a love of learning and provide students with the skills and knowledge to excel in their chosen fields. Aside from their impressive A-Level grades, they also boast plenty of school partnerships, volunteer programmes, sports clubs, and societies. For specific details about Hampton School, please visit their official website.

7. City of London School For Girls

City of London School for Girls is a highly regarded independent day school for girls situated in London. Opened in 1894, the school provides an outstanding education for able students from all backgrounds, cultures and faiths. With a strong focus on academic excellence, the school provides a stimulating and supportive environment for students to thrive. It offers a diverse curriculum, a wide range of extracurricular activities, and opportunities for personal growth and leadership development. For detailed and up-to-date information about City of London School for Girls, please refer to their official website.

8. St John's College, Cardiff

St John’s College is a prominent independent day school located in Cardiff, Wales. With regards to academic performance, they sit at the very top in the country. Committed to academic excellence and the holistic development of its students, the school provides a nurturing and supportive environment.

Every pupil is nurtured and supported through their educational journey, regardless of ability. Pupils on average, achieve 1.5 grades higher than they are predicted at both GCSE and A-level. Besides, the pupils are often encouraged to be independent thinkers and well-rounded learners. 

While having a strong Catholic ethos, the institution welcomes pupils of all faiths, or none. For specific details about St John’s College, please visit their official website.

9. Highgate School

Highgate School, situated in London, is a renowned independent day school with a rich history dating back to 1565. Known for its academic rigour and commitment to holistic education, the school offers a wide range of subjects and a vibrant extracurricular programme. Highgate School places great importance on intellectual curiosity, critical thinking, and character development. According to the Sunday Times’ 2021 School Guide, Highgate School won the coveted London Independent School of the Decade award! For the most accurate and up-to-date information, please refer to the school’s official website.

10. Alleyn's School

Alleyn’s School is a respected independent day school located in Dulwich, London. With a reputation for academic excellence and a supportive learning environment, the school aims to nurture students’ intellectual, social, and personal growth.

Alleyn’s School offers a broad and varied curriculum, along with a range of extracurricular activities and opportunities for artistic and sporting pursuits. Among the many aims of the institution, they strongly preach Alleyn’s ROCCK, which includes Respect, Opportunity, Curiosity, Courage and Kindness. These are strong values I would personally want my children to have. For specific details about Alleyn’s School, please visit their official website.

Latest Day School League Table

RankSchool NameA*/ACandidatesFees (£)LocationBoarding Type
1Cardiff Sixth Form College94.7155£22,300CardiffDay
3The Cathedral School Llandaff86.462£15,924CardiffDay
4Highgate School86.1191£25,515Greater LondonDay
5Guildford High School84.993£20,847SurreyDay
7City of London School For Girls83.1100£23,778Greater LondonDay
8James Allen's Girls' School82.595£22,725Greater LondonDay
11Magdalen College School82.1155£21,777OxfordshireDay
14King Edward VI High School for Girls77.792£15,129West MidlandsDay
15The Perse School77.7213£21,183CambridgeshireDay
16Alleyn's School77.4156£25,020Greater LondonDay
17Reigate Grammar School75.6143£22,995SurreyDay
19Eltham College73.9113£22,230Greater LondonDay
20Withington Girls' School73.968£14,676Greater ManchesterDay
21Royal Grammar School Guildford73.7142£22,572SurreyDay
23Wimbledon High School GDST71.296£23,154Greater LondonDay
24The Manchester Grammar School71.2196£13,980Greater ManchesterDay
25South Hampstead High School GDST70.463£22,764Greater LondonDay
26Howell's School, Llandaff GDST69.673£16,302CardiffDay
27Royal Grammar School69.6187£16,521Tyne and WearDay
29Merchant Taylors' School68.3143£23,600HertfordshireDay
30Leicester Grammar School68.2108£15,918LeicestershireDay
31St John's College, Cardiff67.643£15,885CardiffDay
33Notting Hill and Ealing High School GDST66.569£20,868Greater LondonDay
34University College School, Hampstead66.2167£25,413Greater LondonDay
38King Edward's School65121£17,250SomersetDay
41Surbiton High School64132£21,531SurreyDay
42Trinity School63168£22,685SurreyDay
44Redmaids' High School62.662£17,250BristolDay
45Sheffield High School for Girls60.790£14,985South YorkshireDay
46Exeter School60.7107£16,710DevonDay
48Leicester High School for Girls59.422£14,460LeicestershireDay
49The Grange School59.182£13,065CheshireDay
50St Albans School58.9148£21,282HertfordshireDay
51Nottingham High School58.7129£17,937NottinghamshireDay
52The Abbey School58.169£21,750BerkshireDay
54Norwich High School GDST57.643£16,023NorfolkDay
55Churcher's College57.1155£18,735HampshireDay
58Colfe's School56.5126£20,460Greater LondonDay
59St Dunstan's College56.368£21,321Greater LondonDay
63Walthamstow Hall54.857£22,065KentDay
65Bradford Grammar School53.4132£14,811West YorkshireDay
66Birkenhead School53.446£14,865MerseysideDay
69St John's Preparatory and Senior School5332£16,500HertfordshireDay
71Bristol Grammar School52.6122£17,385BristolDay
72Babington House School52.28£18,030KentDay
73Yarm School52119£14,763North YorkshireDay
74The Grammar School at Leeds51.8174£16,389West YorkshireDay
75Ibstock Place School51.865£25,785Greater LondonDay
76Derby High School51.436£15,330DerbyshireDay
79Forest School50.4136£24,555Greater LondonDay
80Queen's College London50.352£23,985Greater LondonDay
81Solihull School50.2139£16,875West MidlandsDay
84RGS Worcester49.4125£16,794WorcestershireDay
86The King's School, Chester49109£14,748CheshireDay
89Immanuel College48.467£22,509HertfordshireDay
92The Maynard School48.253£16,542DevonDay
94Clifton High School47.741£16,530BristolDay
95Farnborough Hill47.330£17,985HampshireDay
97Dame Allan's Senior Schools46.9112£14,997Tyne and WearDay
99Norwich School46.5167£18,855NorfolkDay
100Nottingham Girls’ High School GDST46.468£17,937NottinghamshireDay
101Loughborough High School45.869£16,170LeicestershireDay
102Wolverhampton Grammar School45.159£15,600West MidlandsDay
103Bromley High School GDST44.968£20,562Greater LondonDay
104The King's School44.8123£17,295WorcestershireDay
105The King's School in Macclesfield44.8114£15,315CheshireDay
108Hill House School43.550£19,800South YorkshireDay
109Reading Blue Coat School43.4144£19,965BerkshireDay
111Queen's Gate School42.939£25,326Greater LondonDay
113St Gabriel's School42.421£21,078BerkshireDay
114St Gerard's School Trust42.16£12,480GwyneddDay
115Queen Elizabeth's Hospital41.5109£17,085BristolDay
116Wellingborough School41.580£19,071NorthamptonshireDay
119AKS Lytham40.740£13,659LancashireDay
120Bablake School40.186£15,150West MidlandsDay
121Cheadle Hulme School40129£14,592CheshireDay
122St Benedict's School39.892£20,907Greater LondonDay
123Wetherby Senior School39.242£29,085Greater LondonDay
124Stafford Grammar School39.241£13,938StaffordshireDay
125Oldham Hulme Grammar School38.953£13,470Greater ManchesterDay
127King Henry VIII School38.677£15,150West MidlandsDay
128Newcastle High School for Girls GDST3861£14,331Tyne and WearDay
130Bolton School Girls' Division37.8108£13,632Greater ManchesterDay
132Victoria College37.277£7,512Channel IslandsDay
133Claremont Fan Court School37.167£22,005SurreyDay
134Salesian College36.381£14,703HampshireDay
135The John Lyon School36.156£21,300Greater LondonDay
136Streatham and Clapham High School GDST35.858£21,003Greater LondonDay
138Old Palace of John Whitgift School35.745£19,350Greater LondonDay
139Mander Portman Woodward (MPW)35.6231£34,233Greater LondonDay
141Stockport Grammar School35.2156£13,215CheshireDay
142The Ladies' College35.153£14,010Channel IslandsDay
145Durham High School for Girls33.323£14,952DurhamDay
146Lichfield Cathedral School33.328£15,588StaffordshireDay
149St Columba's College3370£19,338HertfordshireDay
150Lewes Old Grammar School32.531£16,182East SussexDay
154Hymers College31.692£13,032East YorkshireDay
156Elizabeth College30.686£14,721Channel IslandsDay
157Sutton High School GDST30.634£20,313SurreyDay
163Shrewsbury High School GDST29.442£16,731ShropshireDay
166Alderley Edge School for Girls28.728£15,165CheshireDay
169Hampstead Fine Arts College27.994£26,160Greater LondonDay
173St Mary's College25.356£12,396MerseysideDay
174Westfield School2511£16,686Tyne and WearDay
176Mander Portman Woodward Birmingham24.672£23,913West MidlandsDay
179Ealing Independent College22.226£18,495Greater LondonDay
182Sackville School21.116£18,690KentDay
186More House School19.618£24,825Greater LondonDay
187Claires Court18.978£18,990BerkshireDay
188Sherrardswood School18.735£19,017HertfordshireDay
190St Edward's Senior & Sixth Form15.626£18,915GloucestershireDay
192Highclare School1417£15,975West MidlandsDay
193St James Senior Boys' School12.935£22,905SurreyDay
194St Bede's College12.349£12,675Greater ManchesterDay
195St Dominic’s Grammar School, Brewood6.815£8,925StaffordshireDay
196Alton School01£14,985HampshireDay

Frequently Asked Questions about UK Day Schools

A day school is an educational institution where students attend classes during the day and return home in the evenings, as opposed to boarding schools where students reside on campus.

Consider factors such as academic reputation, curriculum offerings, extracurricular activities, location, class sizes, facilities, and the school’s ethos. Visiting schools, attending open houses, and talking to current students and parents can also help you make an informed decision.

Day schools in the UK usually cater to students ranging from early years or nursery (ages 3-4) to secondary school (ages 11-16 or 18). Some schools offer education from primary (ages 4-11) to sixth form (ages 16-18).

Day schools in the UK may follow various curricula, including the national curriculum of England, Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland. Some schools may offer international curricula such as the International Baccalaureate (IB) or Cambridge International Examinations (CIE).

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