Top schools of London

August 9, 2023
Top Schools Of London

All children in England between the ages of 5 and 16 are entitled to a free place at a state school. Here’s a guide to the different types of schools available in London, along with some top-performing areas and specific schools of note.

State Schools

State schools in England are free to attend and come in various forms, each offering unique benefits and structures:

  • Community Schools:
    • Run by the local authority.
    • Not influenced by business or religious groups.
    • Follow the national curriculum.
  • Foundation and Voluntary Schools:
    • Funded by the local authority but have more autonomy.
    • Some are supported by religious groups.
  • Academies and Free Schools:
    • Run by not-for-profit academy trusts.
    • Independent from the local authority.
    • Have the freedom to change their curricula.
  • Grammar Schools:
    • Can be run by the local authority, a foundation body, or an academy trust.
    • Select pupils based on academic ability through entrance tests.
    • No catchment area requirement.

Private Schools

Private schools, also known as independent schools, charge fees for attendance. These schools offer several advantages:

  • Smaller class sizes.
  • Flexibility to follow their curricula.
  • Specific schools for expats, such as the American School in London.
  • Specialisation in teaching children with special educational needs.

Other Types of Schools

  • State Boarding Schools:
    • Provide free education but charge for boarding.
    • Prioritise children with specific needs for boarding.
  • Special Schools:
    • Cater to children with special educational needs (SEN).
    • Specialise in areas like communication, cognition, social and emotional health, and sensory and physical needs.
  • Faith Schools:
    • Follow the national curriculum but have autonomy in religious studies.
    • Have unique admissions criteria and staffing policies.
  • Home Schooling:
    • Parents must ensure full-time education but do not need to follow the national curriculum.
    • The local council may check on the suitability of home education.

Travel to and from School

Most state schools in the UK do not provide a school bus service, so parents need to arrange transportation. Public transport options and costs for school-age children in London include:

  • Children under 5: Travel free on all types of transport in London when accompanied by an adult.
  • Children aged 5-10: Travel free on the underground, DLR, London Overground, and some National Rail services with an adult, and also free on buses without an adult.
  • Children aged 11-15: Travel free on buses and at child-rate Pay-as-you-go fares on other services with an 11-15 Zip Oyster photocard.
  • Children aged 16-17: Pay half the adult rate on most services with a 16+ Zip Oyster photocard, and can buy child-rate travelcards.

Top Performing Boroughs for Schools

London and its surrounding areas boast some of the top-performing boroughs for education. Here’s a closer look at some of the best regions:

1. Kingston upon Thames

Located in southwest London, Kingston is known for its excellent schools.

  • Average House Price: £838,614 (July 2023, Rightmove)

2. Sutton

In southeast London, Sutton is renowned for its top-tier educational institutions.

  • Average House Price: £522,827 (July 2023, Rightmove)

3. Barnet

Situated in northwest London, Barnet offers a range of high-performing schools.

  • Average House Price: £869,811 (July 2023, Rightmove)

4. Richmond

A leafy suburb in southwest London, Richmond is known for its outstanding schools and family-friendly environment.

  • Top Schools:
    • Sacred Heart Primary School: Roman Catholic primary with various after-school clubs.
    • St Richard Reynolds RC College: Coeducational Catholic school with a music specialism.
    • St Stephen’s School: CofE Primary school with extensive before and after-school programs.
    • Grey Court School: Mixed-sex high school academy with ample sports facilities.
    • Hampton High School: Coeducational secondary school with a sixth form.
  • Average House Price: £861,644 (July 2023, Rightmove)

5. Kensington & Chelsea

One of London’s most prestigious areas, known for its high-quality education and cultural amenities.

  • Top Schools:
    • Hill House School: Independent preparatory day school with courses in Switzerland.
    • Sussex House School: Independent day school for boys with a strong arts reputation.
    • English National Ballet School: Specialist classical ballet school for talented dancers.
    • Imperial College London: Renowned university for science, engineering, medicine, and business.
  • Average House Prices:
    • Chelsea: £2,374,794 (Last year)
    • Kensington: £2,365,185 (Last year)

Special Mentions

  • The American School of London: For American expats, located in St John’s Wood, follows the USA curriculum.
  • Ecole André Malraux: For French expats, located in Ealing, follows French educational programs.
  • International School of London: Offers the International Baccalaureate Diploma, with primary and middle school in Chiswick and diploma college in Ealing.

London offers a diverse range of educational options, catering to different needs and preferences. Whether you prefer state, private, or special schools, there are excellent choices available throughout the city.

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