Top 100 secondary schools in England: A-Level & GCSE

The top 100 independent schools in the UK listed below as compiled by best schools are subject to change. This is because the data was gotten by considering results from past exams. But if you want full details on All the best secondary schools in the UK then click here.

However, examination results were not the only criteria with which we got this data on the Top 100 secondary schools in England. These schools that made it to the top 100 tables are very selective in their admission process also. On Top 100 secondary schools in England, we shall cover the following:

List of Top 100 schools in England by GCSE

The list below contains the top 100 independent schools in the UK by GCSE and the percentage of students that came out with the A*/A grade for the year 2019.

  1. St Paul’s Girls’ School—-99.6%
  2. Westminster School——98.6%
  3. Wycombe Abbey School—-97.6%
  4. Guildford High School for Girls–97.3%
  5. St Paul’s School—-96.7%
  6. North London Collegiate School—96.3%
  7. Godolphin & Latymer School—96.1%
  8. King’s College School – Wimbledon—95.9%
  9. St Mary’s School – Ascot—95.0%
  10. City of London School for Boys–94.6%
  11. City of London School for Girls—-94.2%
  12. Perse Upper School———93.9%
  13. Brighton College——-93.9%
  14. Magdalen College School—93.5%
  15. Eton College—–93%
  16. King Edward VI High School for Girls—93.0%
  17. Tonbridge School—–92.5%
  18. South Hampstead High School—92.2%
  19. Haberdashers’ Aske’s School for Girls–92.1%
  20. Latymer Upper School—92.1%
  21. University College School—91.6%
  22. James Allen’s Girls’ School—91.5%
  23. Wimbledon High School—91.3%
  24. Hampton School——90.6%
  25. Withington Girls School—90.3%
  26. Cheltenham Ladies’ College—90.3%
  27. Highgate School—90.2%
  28. St Albans High School for Girls—90.2%
  29. Francis Holland School – Sloane Square–
  30. Lady Eleanor Holles School—90%
  31. Royal Grammar School – Guildford–89.8%
  32. Trinity School – Croydon—89.7%
  33. Notting Hill and Ealing High School—89.5%
  34. Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School, Elstree—88.9%
  35. Manchester Grammar School—88.9%
  36. Oxford High School GDST—88.4%
  37. Merchant Taylors’ School—88.1%
  38. Kingston Grammar School—87.3%
  39. Alleyn’s School, Dulwich—-87.1%
  40. Sevenoaks School—
  41. Winchester College—87.0%
  42. Abingdon School–86.5%
  43. Eltham College—85.3%
  44. King Edward’s School – Birmingham—85.3
  45. St Helen’s – Northwood—85.2%
  46. Stephen Perse Foundation—85.0%
  47. Channing School—84.8%
  48. Concord College—84.4%
  49. St Helen and St Katharine—84.2%
  50. Dulwich College—83.9%
  51. Bancroft’s School—-83.8%
  52. Downe House School—83.5
  53. Hurstpierpoint College–
  54. Royal Grammar School – Newcastle–83.4
  55. St Catherine’s School – Guildford—-83.1
  56. Francis Holland School – Regent’s Park—83.0
  57. Wellington College—–
  58. Radley College—82.5%
  59. Putney High School—82.2
  60. St Mary’s School – Calne—82.0%
  61. City of London Freemen’s School—81.9%
  62. Whitgift School—81.9%
  63. St Albans School—81.3
  64. Palmers Green High School—-81.0%
  65. St Swithun’s School—80.9%
  66. St John’s College – Cardiff—80.3%
  67. Abbey School – Reading—79.7%
  68. St George’s College—79.5%
  69. Oundle School—79.4%
  70. Chigwell School—79.4%
  71. Walthamstow Hall–78.1%
  72. Loughborough High School–78.1%
  73. Caterham School–77.9%
  74. Benenden School—77.7%
  75. Badminton School—77.4%
  76. Rugby School—77.1%
  77. Queen’s College – London—77.0%
  78. King Edward VI School—76.9%
  79. Headington School—-76.7%
  80. Burgess Hill Girls—76.6%
  81. St John’s School – Leatherhead—76.0%
  82. Old Palace of John Whitgift School–76.0%
  83. Leicester Grammar School—-75.9%
  84. Bishop’s Stortford College—74.8%
  85. St James Senior Girls’ School—85.0%
  86. Forest School – London—74.1%
  87. Epsom College—73.8%
  88. Sheffield High School GDST—73.7%
  89. Ibstock Place School—73.7%
  90. Exeter School—-73.7%
  91. St Michael’s School – Llanelli—73.5%
  92. Howell’s School Llandaff GDST—73.5%
  93. Northwood College—-73.4%
  94. St Francis College—73.3%
  95. Ladies’ College—73.2%
  96. Croydon High School GDST—73.2%
  97. Reed’s School—
  98. Manchester High School for Girls—-73.0%
  99. Maynard School, Devon—-72.9%
  100. Bablake School—72.7%

Top 40 independent schools in London by A Level for the year 2020

RankSchool%A*-A
1St Paul’s Girls’ School92.4
2North London Collegiate School92
3St Paul’s School89
4Hampton School87.3
5Highgate School86.8
6Eltham College85.6
7Lady Eleanor Holles School85
8Haberdashers’ Aske’s School for Girls82.7
9Merchant Taylors’ School81.5
10St Albans High School for Girls79.2
11City of London Freemen’s School79
12Reigate Grammar School79
13Bancroft’s School78.8
14Channing School78.4
15Immanuel College78
16The Yehudi Menuhin School77
17Whitgift School75.3
18Kingston Grammar School74.8
19Woldingham School72
20St Albans School72
21James Allen’s Girls’ School71
22Caterham School70
23Ibstock Place School68.4
24Epsom College67
25St Margaret’s School67
26Kensington Park School65
27Sydenham High School GDST64.8
28The Purcell School for Young Musicians63
28St James Senior Girls’ School63
30Dulwich College59
31The Royal Masonic School for Girls57
32Queenswood56.7
33Cambridge Tutors College56
34Reed’s School50
35St John’s School50
36Mill Hill School49.3
37Haileybury49
38Farringtons School42.2
39Royal Russell School491.9
40Aldenham School28
100 secondary schools in England

High School( secondary school) system in England, UK

Secondary education in England and the UK in general starts from the age of 11 for most students. There are however some parts of the UK where middle schools run up to 12 or 13 years, though not common.

For international students who wish to come into the United Kingdom for their secondary education, it is common to enter at the age of 11 while some people wait till the age of 13 and have one year in school before they start the two-year GCSE program which will run from 14 to 16 years old.

In secondary schools, especially from age 11 to 14, students study a broad range of subjects such as Music, Math, English, Science etc.

On reaching 14 years, students get ready to enter the two-year process that is known as your GCSE ( which is called SCE for those in Scotland). What is the GCSE?

It is a set of examinations that test your knowledge. You are required to take the following core subjects:

English Language
Mathematics
Sciences( Biology, Chemistry and Physics)

Afterwards, students typically select an additional 4 or 5 subjects which they will take in the GCSEs. These subjects can be French, Business Studies, German, Design and Technology, Music and so many other subjects.

Most state schools will require students to typically take 4 or 5 subjects in GCSE which they select themselves and is selected based on student’s drive and ability.

However for schools that are independent which are often result-driven, it won’t be considered uncommon for students to take as many as 12 subjects, oftentimes more academic subjects compared to arts.

The whole process in GCSE takes a total of two years. That marks the end of compulsory education for students in the United Kingdom.

Once completed, students are left with the option to either move on into higher institutions or can decide to leave the school and look for work. what is the best high school in England? read on to see the list. Most of the data here were obtained from the Department for Education.

List of the best secondary schools in England by GCSE-Attainment 8

How is attainment 8 calculated?

The official document says, ” Attainment 8 measures the achievement of a pupil across 8 qualifications including mathematics( double weighted) and English (double weighted).

Three further qualifications that count in the English Baccalaureate measure and 3 further qualifications that can be GCSE qualifications( which includes EBacc subjects) or any other non-GCSE qualification on the DfE approved list.

Each individual grade a pupil achieves is assigned a point score, which is then used to calculate a pupil’s attainment 8 scores. Quite a confusing mouthful, huh? but it’s not that bad though.

For instance, a child that took 8 qualifying GCSEs and scored the top mark in them all their attainment 8 would be the maximum available of 90. Why?

This is because the maximum score in a GCSE is 9, so 8 GCSEs at 9 points is 8*9=72, but then you add the English and Maths scores again=72+(9*2)=90.

The English and Maths scores are double weighted because they are considered especially important subjects and the government wants that to be reflected in the measure. A pupil who scored five 6s and three 5s, with a 6 in English and a 5 in Maths, would have a score of (5 * 6) + ( 3 * 5) + 5 + 6= 56.

Attainment 8 is published at the school level, basically, this is the average attainment 8 across the year. That means you’d have to calculate this by adding up all the pupils’ attainment 8s of 50, 60 and 70. The school’s Attainment 8 will be ( 50 + 60 + 70) / 3= 60. Here’s the list:

  • The Henrietta Barnett School
  • The Tiffin Girl’s school
  • Kendrick School
  • Queen Elizabeth’s School, Barnet
  • Reading School
  • St Olave’s and St Saviour’s Grammar school
  • Wilson’s school
  • King Edward VI Camp Hill School for boys
  • Brighton College
  • Colchester County High school for Girls

List of the best 10 secondary schools in England by Review

  1. King’s College London Maths School
  2. Guildford High School for Girls
  3. Westminster School
  4. North London Collegiate School
  5. Wycombe Abbey School
  6. Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School
  7. King Edward’s School, Birmingham
  8. Magdalen College School
  9. King’s College School (KCS)
  10. Manchester High School for Girls

Guildford High School for Girls

Guildford High School for Girls is a remarkable place where curiosity thrives. While at this high school, you can feel the energy and the excitement amongst their students.

In 2016, Guildford was awarded the Sunday Times Independent Prep school and the Sunday Times South East Independent secondary school in 2018.

Guildford High School is awarded Best School for pastoral care 2018 by The Week magazine.

In 2020, Guildford High school is named the Sunday Times Southeast Independent School of the Decade. And that’s just a few of their achievements.

Westminster School

Westminster School is an ancient school in the heart of London. They have a long history as a boarding school and as today they can boast of a lively boarding community of about 190 boys and girls.

Westminster offers over 25 different sporting activities.

The ethos of their curriculum is carved to take pupils well beyond the examination syllabus, inspiring them with a life-long interest in the subject which enables pupils to achieve top grades in public examinations.

North London Collegiate School

North London Collegiate School is known for providing a pioneering and ambitious education to enable every individual student to thrive.

North London Collegiate School is constantly ranked in the top five UK schools for both GCSE and IB results.

North London Collegiate School prides itself on its academic ability and has a good reputation of bringing STEAM subjects to the fore in a high achieving all-female school.

The school was rated excellent in its 2019 ISI inspection and students were found to have extremely positive attitudes to learning.

Though there are no boarding facilities, North London Collegiate School teaches around 1000 students on a single Campus.

Wycombe Abbey School

Wycombe Abbey School is one of the UK’s premier all-girl boarding schools. It was founded in the year 1896. Wycombe Abbey School is accessible being just 30 miles from the Centre of London.

In 2014, 99.3% of their students achieved A*-B at A-level, and 98.7% A/A* at GCSE. Wycombe Abbey School was ranked first in the Sunday Times Top 200 of all independent secondary schools in the United Kingdom. The school is highly selective and only the strong and outgoing girls thrive.

Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School

Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School is one of the secondary schools that has a good teaching quality. This school has the largest coach network compared to any school in the UK.

Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School was named the Sunday Times independent school of the year in 2017 and is proud of their Nurturing excellence.

The school equally has a rich history of producing confident and self-motivated young men who are fully prepared for the challenges of the future.

King Edward’s School, Birmingham

King Edward’s School, Birmingham is one of the Unique secondary schools in England that makes an exceptionally large number of awards of means-tested assisted places, based on the income of the family, and the academic performance of students.

Around 40% of their students have some form of financial support and over 10% are studying for free. In general, they have an outstanding record of academic excellence.

Magdalen College School

Magdalen College School is an academically outstanding day school for boys between 11 to 18 years and girls 16 to 18 years in the Centre of Oxford.

Magdalen College School boasts of the most extraordinary results in the country. For 2020, 96% of GCSE pupils achieved A*-A grades and 98% of A-level grades were A*-B. As a matter of fact, Oxford and Cambridge are two of the most popular destinations for leavers.

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King’s College School (KCS)


King’s College School (KCS) is one of the top schools in the UK and is named the top-rated boys’ or co-educational school in the United Kingdom, retaining the title for the second consecutive year and being among the top secondary schools in the UK.

This followed on from being given the Sunday Times award for the Top London Independent Secondary school in 2017. King’s College School (KCS) achieved the best combined A-level, IB and GCSE results of any boys’ or Co-ed school in the whole of the United Kingdom.

It is one of the highest educationally performing schools in the United Kingdom. They were placed 2nd in the Times GCSE results league table in 2019 and 3rd in its results table for A-level, IB, and pre-U.

Manchester High School for Girls

Manchester High School for Girls has been educating girls since 1874 with a long distinguished history. Their girls are not only empowered to achieve their goals, but they also leave the school very ambitious.

Top 100 secondary schools in England FAQs

Below are some frequently asked questions on the subject Top 100 secondary schools in England.

What are the top state secondary schools in England ?

  1. The Henrietta Barnett School
  2. The Tiffin Girls’ School
  3. Kendrick School
  4. Queen Elizabeth’s School, Barnet
  5. Reading School
  6. St Olave’s and St Saviour’s Grammar School
  7. Wilson’s School
  8. King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Boys
  9. Brighton College
  10. Colchester County High School for Girls

What are the Best private schools in London by A Level result?

St Paul’s Girls School


Westminster School


St Paul’s School

City of London School


King’s College School (Wimbledon)

What are the 15 hardest private schools to get in the UK?

Some private institutions are hard to get in the United Kingdom. Therefore I will be listing the top ranking schools which are the toughest to get into.

Eton College. Annual fees: £37,602


Harrow School. Annual fees: £37,350


Westminster School. Annual fees: £36,462


Winchester School. Annual fees: £36,678


The City of London School. Annual fees: £14,886

Ampleforth Abbey and College. Annual fees: £32,733


Charterhouse School. Annual fees: £36,774

Benenden. Annual fees: £34,455


Stowe School. Annual fees: £33,000

Tonbridge School. Annual fees: £37,539


Cheltenham Ladies’ College. Annual fees: £34,302


Marlborough College. Annual fees: £31,350

Gordonstoun. Annual fees: £35,922


The King’s School Canterbury. Annual fees: £35,385

In Conclusion

Often times it is not just about choosing any of the Top 100 secondary schools in England, you must consider your need or your child’s needs, the learning style, the location of the school and so many other factors. Best regards!!

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