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.
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
|Rank||School Name||A*/A||Candidates||Fees (£)||Location||Boarding Type|
|1||Cardiff Sixth Form College||94.7||155||£22,300||Cardiff||Day|
|3||The Cathedral School Llandaff||86.4||62||£15,924||Cardiff||Day|
|4||Highgate School||86.1||191||£25,515||Greater London||Day|
|5||Guildford High School||84.9||93||£20,847||Surrey||Day|
|7||City of London School For Girls||83.1||100||£23,778||Greater London||Day|
|8||James Allen's Girls' School||82.5||95||£22,725||Greater London||Day|
|11||Magdalen College School||82.1||155||£21,777||Oxfordshire||Day|
|14||King Edward VI High School for Girls||77.7||92||£15,129||West Midlands||Day|
|15||The Perse School||77.7||213||£21,183||Cambridgeshire||Day|
|16||Alleyn's School||77.4||156||£25,020||Greater London||Day|
|17||Reigate Grammar School||75.6||143||£22,995||Surrey||Day|
|19||Eltham College||73.9||113||£22,230||Greater London||Day|
|20||Withington Girls' School||73.9||68||£14,676||Greater Manchester||Day|
|21||Royal Grammar School Guildford||73.7||142||£22,572||Surrey||Day|
|23||Wimbledon High School GDST||71.2||96||£23,154||Greater London||Day|
|24||The Manchester Grammar School||71.2||196||£13,980||Greater Manchester||Day|
|25||South Hampstead High School GDST||70.4||63||£22,764||Greater London||Day|
|26||Howell's School, Llandaff GDST||69.6||73||£16,302||Cardiff||Day|
|27||Royal Grammar School||69.6||187||£16,521||Tyne and Wear||Day|
|29||Merchant Taylors' School||68.3||143||£23,600||Hertfordshire||Day|
|30||Leicester Grammar School||68.2||108||£15,918||Leicestershire||Day|
|31||St John's College, Cardiff||67.6||43||£15,885||Cardiff||Day|
|33||Notting Hill and Ealing High School GDST||66.5||69||£20,868||Greater London||Day|
|34||University College School, Hampstead||66.2||167||£25,413||Greater London||Day|
|38||King Edward's School||65||121||£17,250||Somerset||Day|
|41||Surbiton High School||64||132||£21,531||Surrey||Day|
|44||Redmaids' High School||62.6||62||£17,250||Bristol||Day|
|45||Sheffield High School for Girls||60.7||90||£14,985||South Yorkshire||Day|
|48||Leicester High School for Girls||59.4||22||£14,460||Leicestershire||Day|
|49||The Grange School||59.1||82||£13,065||Cheshire||Day|
|50||St Albans School||58.9||148||£21,282||Hertfordshire||Day|
|51||Nottingham High School||58.7||129||£17,937||Nottinghamshire||Day|
|52||The Abbey School||58.1||69||£21,750||Berkshire||Day|
|54||Norwich High School GDST||57.6||43||£16,023||Norfolk||Day|
|58||Colfe's School||56.5||126||£20,460||Greater London||Day|
|59||St Dunstan's College||56.3||68||£21,321||Greater London||Day|
|65||Bradford Grammar School||53.4||132||£14,811||West Yorkshire||Day|
|69||St John's Preparatory and Senior School||53||32||£16,500||Hertfordshire||Day|
|71||Bristol Grammar School||52.6||122||£17,385||Bristol||Day|
|72||Babington House School||52.2||8||£18,030||Kent||Day|
|73||Yarm School||52||119||£14,763||North Yorkshire||Day|
|74||The Grammar School at Leeds||51.8||174||£16,389||West Yorkshire||Day|
|75||Ibstock Place School||51.8||65||£25,785||Greater London||Day|
|76||Derby High School||51.4||36||£15,330||Derbyshire||Day|
|79||Forest School||50.4||136||£24,555||Greater London||Day|
|80||Queen's College London||50.3||52||£23,985||Greater London||Day|
|81||Solihull School||50.2||139||£16,875||West Midlands||Day|
|86||The King's School, Chester||49||109||£14,748||Cheshire||Day|
|92||The Maynard School||48.2||53||£16,542||Devon||Day|
|94||Clifton High School||47.7||41||£16,530||Bristol||Day|
|97||Dame Allan's Senior Schools||46.9||112||£14,997||Tyne and Wear||Day|
|100||Nottingham Girls’ High School GDST||46.4||68||£17,937||Nottinghamshire||Day|
|101||Loughborough High School||45.8||69||£16,170||Leicestershire||Day|
|102||Wolverhampton Grammar School||45.1||59||£15,600||West Midlands||Day|
|103||Bromley High School GDST||44.9||68||£20,562||Greater London||Day|
|104||The King's School||44.8||123||£17,295||Worcestershire||Day|
|105||The King's School in Macclesfield||44.8||114||£15,315||Cheshire||Day|
|108||Hill House School||43.5||50||£19,800||South Yorkshire||Day|
|109||Reading Blue Coat School||43.4||144||£19,965||Berkshire||Day|
|111||Queen's Gate School||42.9||39||£25,326||Greater London||Day|
|113||St Gabriel's School||42.4||21||£21,078||Berkshire||Day|
|114||St Gerard's School Trust||42.1||6||£12,480||Gwynedd||Day|
|115||Queen Elizabeth's Hospital||41.5||109||£17,085||Bristol||Day|
|120||Bablake School||40.1||86||£15,150||West Midlands||Day|
|121||Cheadle Hulme School||40||129||£14,592||Cheshire||Day|
|122||St Benedict's School||39.8||92||£20,907||Greater London||Day|
|123||Wetherby Senior School||39.2||42||£29,085||Greater London||Day|
|124||Stafford Grammar School||39.2||41||£13,938||Staffordshire||Day|
|125||Oldham Hulme Grammar School||38.9||53||£13,470||Greater Manchester||Day|
|127||King Henry VIII School||38.6||77||£15,150||West Midlands||Day|
|128||Newcastle High School for Girls GDST||38||61||£14,331||Tyne and Wear||Day|
|130||Bolton School Girls' Division||37.8||108||£13,632||Greater Manchester||Day|
|132||Victoria College||37.2||77||£7,512||Channel Islands||Day|
|133||Claremont Fan Court School||37.1||67||£22,005||Surrey||Day|
|135||The John Lyon School||36.1||56||£21,300||Greater London||Day|
|136||Streatham and Clapham High School GDST||35.8||58||£21,003||Greater London||Day|
|138||Old Palace of John Whitgift School||35.7||45||£19,350||Greater London||Day|
|139||Mander Portman Woodward (MPW)||35.6||231||£34,233||Greater London||Day|
|141||Stockport Grammar School||35.2||156||£13,215||Cheshire||Day|
|142||The Ladies' College||35.1||53||£14,010||Channel Islands||Day|
|145||Durham High School for Girls||33.3||23||£14,952||Durham||Day|
|146||Lichfield Cathedral School||33.3||28||£15,588||Staffordshire||Day|
|149||St Columba's College||33||70||£19,338||Hertfordshire||Day|
|150||Lewes Old Grammar School||32.5||31||£16,182||East Sussex||Day|
|154||Hymers College||31.6||92||£13,032||East Yorkshire||Day|
|156||Elizabeth College||30.6||86||£14,721||Channel Islands||Day|
|157||Sutton High School GDST||30.6||34||£20,313||Surrey||Day|
|163||Shrewsbury High School GDST||29.4||42||£16,731||Shropshire||Day|
|166||Alderley Edge School for Girls||28.7||28||£15,165||Cheshire||Day|
|169||Hampstead Fine Arts College||27.9||94||£26,160||Greater London||Day|
|173||St Mary's College||25.3||56||£12,396||Merseyside||Day|
|174||Westfield School||25||11||£16,686||Tyne and Wear||Day|
|176||Mander Portman Woodward Birmingham||24.6||72||£23,913||West Midlands||Day|
|179||Ealing Independent College||22.2||26||£18,495||Greater London||Day|
|186||More House School||19.6||18||£24,825||Greater London||Day|
|190||St Edward's Senior & Sixth Form||15.6||26||£18,915||Gloucestershire||Day|
|192||Highclare School||14||17||£15,975||West Midlands||Day|
|193||St James Senior Boys' School||12.9||35||£22,905||Surrey||Day|
|194||St Bede's College||12.3||49||£12,675||Greater Manchester||Day|
|195||St Dominic’s Grammar School, Brewood||6.8||15||£8,925||Staffordshire||Day|
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).
Apply To The Top Schools In The UK Today
Speak to us today for free application assistance and education advice. Our expert consultants are more than happy to help.
Subscribe For Our FREE Insider UK Study Advice
Apply To The School Of Your Choice Today
Speak to us today for free application assistance and education advice. Our expert consultants are more than happy to help!