Top 15 Private Schools in England – Ranked by GCSE Results

top private schools in england
top private schools in england

When it comes to assessing the performance and quality of education given by some private schools, GCSE is a pointer to look out for. Not only are the top private schools in England academically superior, but they also have greater control over their admissions, administrations, and curriculum.

Besides providing supportive environments and chances for personal development, these private schools in England are happy to provide lower costs for gifted pupils with strong academic performance!

Hence, this article will shed light on the best 15 private schools in England as carefully ranked using GCSE results.

Keep reading!

What are private schools?

Mostly referred to as independent schools, private schools are educational establishments that receive neither government funding nor maintenance but are privately run. In the UK, private schools offer solid education and are popular for their excellent structures, plenty available resources, and devoted members of staff.

Also, they offer a more exclusive education than state-funded schools which results to using a unique approach to learning.

What is the cost of private schools in England?

Private senior school tuition can range from £4,000 to £8,000 per term for day students and up to about £15,000 per term for boarders, though this can greatly vary between schools and areas.

These schools typically have superior facilities and a greater selection of extracurricular activities (such as athletics, the creative arts, and outdoor adventures) to offer to their pupils since they receive more private money.

In England, the vast majority of private schools are able to provide financial aid. The most prevalent form of aid, a bursary, is usually offered to kids who pass the entrance exam and whose parents otherwise couldn’t afford the school tuition.

Bursaries are means-tested and typically accessible to kids whose parents couldn’t otherwise pay the school costs. The Independent Schools Council (ISC), which represents more than 1,300 of the top-rated international and UK schools, estimates that a total of £464 million in fee help is presently provided each year in the form of bursaries and scholarships.

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Why are private schools in England also referred to as public schools?

When you hear some private schools referred to as “public schools,” it can be perplexing because the phrases “private” and “public” have very different meanings.

In the UK, the term “public school” refers to a select group of fee-paying institutions and is outdated. The phrase first appeared in the 18th century, when a select number of reputable boys’ schools used tuition to set themselves apart from the expanding network of free grammar schools.

Eton College, Shrewsbury School, Harrow School, Charterhouse School, Rugby School, Westminster School, and Winchester College were among these institutions.

The phrase “public school” is no longer widely used in the UK; instead, fee-paying institutions are now frequently referred to as “private schools” or “independent schools.”

What is the Class Size of Private Schools in the UK?

Class sizes in UK private schools are noted for being smaller than those in state institutions. Private schools have a far lower pupil-to-teacher ratio than public schools, which frequently have classes of 30 to 32 students.

There are typically no more than 25 students per class in UK private schools throughout Key Stage 3 (Years 7 to 9). Because classrooms are “streamed” (made up according to academic ability) and there are more options for GCSE and A level subjects, class sizes tend to decrease as students progress from year to year. Classes in the sixth form normally have 8 to 15 students, which is a significantly smaller number.

Top 15 Private Schools in England – Ranked by GCSE Results

Based on previous GCSE and A-level results, independent senior schools are ranked in the table below:

  1. Oxford High School GDST
  2. South West London’s Kingston Grammar School
  3. Oxfordshire’s St. Helen and St. Katharine
  4. Hertfordshire’s St. Albans School
  5. South West London’s Surbiton High School
  6. School in North East London called Bancroft’s
  7. Gloucestershire’s Cheltenham Ladies’ College
  8. SW London’s Wimbledon High School GDST
  9. St. Catherine’s, Surrey’s Bramley
  10. Surrey’s Reigate Grammar School
  11. North London’s South Hampstead High School GDST
  12. North West London’s Merchant Taylors’ School
  13. The Birmingham-based King Edward School
  14. Berkshire’s Ascot St. Mary’s School
  15. Guildford (Surrey) Royal Grammar School.

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Top 10 Public Schools in the UK

Below is most popular public schools in the UK.

  1. London’s South Dulwich College
  2. School in North London called University College Senior
  3. The Manchester school Withington Girls’
  4. Croydon, South London’s Trinity School
  5. London’s West End’s Latymer Upper School
  6. (South West London) Lady Eleanor Holles
  7. The South London school Alleyn’s
  8. Boston’s Brighton College
  9. West London’s Notting Hill and Ealing High School GDST
  10. Northwood (North West) St. Helen’s School.

Top 20 State Schools UK

A list of top-tier state schools provided in the current section on state schools UK, along with a thorough description of the educational details according to their GCSE and A-level results:

  1. South London’s Whitgift School
  2. South London James Allen’s Girls’ School
  3. Cambridge’s The Perse School
  4. Girls’ school in West London named St. Paul’s
  5. Highgate School, located in North London
  6. Montgomery’s King Edward VI High School for Girls
  7. College of Cardiff’s Sixth Form
  8. City of London School for Girls, located in the heart of London
  9. London’s City of London School
  10. A school in North London called North London College
  11. Wimbledon’s King’s College School in South West London
  12. Kent’s Sevenoaks School
  13. Westminster School, in the heart of London
  14. Hertfordshire’s St. Albans High School for Girls
  15. York’s Queen Ethelburga’s College
  16. School named Emanuel in South West London
  17. The Berkshire-based Abbey School
  18. College of Hurstpierpoint in East Sussex
  19. School in Abingdon, Oxfordshire
  20. The Winchester school St. Swithun’s.

How expensive are private schools in the UK?

The lowest annual day fees in the UK are £72, while the highest annual day fees are £66,363. The annual board costs range from £2,700 for the least expensive boarding to £94,306 for the most expensive boarding.

The price of private schooling varies greatly depending on the area, the school, and the kind of education you desire for your child. For instance, “day schooling” expenses, where your child attends school but does not live there, are far less expensive than “boarding” tuition, when your child stays at the school and has a room during the school year.

The south of England, specifically London, Essex, Surrey, Kent, Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, etc., generally has higher independent school tuition costs. The north of England has lower independent school costs.

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West of England’s most affordable private schools

Two of the West of England’s schools with the lowest costs are located in Devon county. Male and females in grades kindergarten through eight receive a private education at Exeter Cathedral School. Children in reception begin paying less than £9,000 year, and as they go through the school, their tuition rises.

St. Peter’s Preparatory School in Exmouth, which is nearby, levies a comparable fee; annual tuition for first-graders is £8,580. As children advance in their education, these numbers increase once more.

East of England’s most inexpensive private schools

The annual starting price for tuition is just over £10,500. The Holmwood House might be a useful substitute for more expensive schools closer to London for families for whom money is a concern.

And in East Anglia, for about £20,000 a year, Riddles worth Hall Prep School in Norfolk provides co-ed spaces.

Affordable private schools in South of England

Unexpectedly, one of the UK’s most reasonably priced schools is located right in the heart of London. The starting price for a day place at the all-boys Westminster Choir School is slightly over £6,400.

However, if your son is a singer, it would be worthwhile to look at chorister places since they only charge £3,600 for boarding.

Outside of the city, Hall Grove in Surrey charges male and female in the reception £12,000 in day fees, with rates increasing as students move through the school.

North of England offers affordable private schools

Abrar Academy, which is located in Preston in the northwest of England, has the lowest tuition in the entire United Kingdom. With annual costs of just £1500 for day students and £3,000 for boarders, the school is substantially more affordable than many other independent schools in the UK and provides an Islamic and secular education for boys of secondary age.

There are two other reasonably priced Islamic schools in the North of England. The Institute of Islamic Education in Dewsbury charges just £1800 a year, while Jaamiatul Imaam Muhammad Zakaria, a girls’ secondary school close to Bradford, charges just over £1,000 per term.

However, affordability is not limited to Islamic institutions. Fees at Terrington Hall in North Yorkshire start at £9,600 for male and females in the first year and rise to more than $16,500 by the eighth year.

Even if that might seem expensive in compared to the schools we’ve already discussed, bear in mind that many public schools charge annual tuition rates of over £45,000 and even as high as £100,000 in some cases.

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Midlands affordable private schools

Consider sending your child to Tettenhall College if you live in the Midlands. Children in reception pay little over £8,000 at the school. As your child gets older, school costs increase until they are less than £16,000 for prep and 6th form students.

Additionally, Yarlet School, close to Stafford, charges annual tuition for a kid in reception that is under £10,000. Even for kids in year 8, the price is under £15,000.

Private schools in Northern Ireland that are affordable

Tyrone is home to one of the most reasonably priced schools in the UK. Fees for the secondary co-educational The Royal School Dungannon start at £5,400.

Belfast is located in Northern Ireland. A females’ school for children in pre-school, prep, and secondary school, Victoria College, likewise claims reasonable tuition rates. Here, the first year of tuition is only £5,500.

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Wales offers inexpensive private schools

Wales is home to many top-notch private schools, some of which charge reasonable prices and St. John’s on the Hill in Chepstow, enrolls students from kindergarten through year eight, charges fees of just over £9,000 per year for reception students.

Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools are a set of private schools that offer co-ed seats for both male and female from age 3 to 11, and single-sex schools from 11 to 18, if you’re searching for an all-through school.

For kids in reception, years one and two, the prep school costs £8,460 a year, with expenses increasing as they advance through the system.

The annual day tuition for the male school is set at £17,679, while the sixth form years for both male and female at Monmouth School for Girls cost £36,387.

Best private secondary schools in the UK

  • College of the Sixth Form in Cardiff
  • King’s College School in Wimbledon
  • Day Girls from Guildford High School
  • Westminster Academy
  • Oxford International University
  • Wycombe Abbey High School
  • High School for King Edward VI
  • University of London
  • Brighton University
  • School of Godolphin & Latymer
  • Magdalen College University
  • School for Lady Eleanor Holles
  • School of North London Collegiate
  • Girls’ School in Withington
  • Hampton College

FAQs on private schools in England

Which private school in the UK is the most prestigious?

Eton School
Eton, one of the most well-known elite and exclusive private schools in the UK, is located about a mile north of the picturesque Windsor town center, close to the River Thames.

Which UK school has the toughest curriculum?

A: With an acceptance rate of 19.37% for postgraduate students, the University of Oxford is the most difficult institution to get into in the UK.

The best schools are located in which region of the UK?

London. Given that 13% of people in the UK reside in London, it is not unexpected that the city’s capital is home to 84 schools that Oftsed has rated as outstanding. With about half of them being religious institutions, Kensington and Chelsea has one of the highest concentrations of excellent elementary and secondary schools.

Which UK private schools is the least expensive?

Tyrone is home to one of the most reasonably priced schools in the UK. Co-educational secondary school The Royal School Dungannon charges tuition starting at £5,400. Belfast is located in Northern Ireland. A females’ school for children in pre-school, prep, and secondary school, Victoria College, likewise claims reasonable tuition rates.



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