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Introducing Talk Education’s NEW Top 250 Prep and Senior Schools in the UK

By Talk Education
26 August 2021

Drum roll please… After many months of discussion, we’re delighted to launch our brand new list of Talk Education’s Top 250 Prep and Senior Schools in the UK. To see the full list, head to our school search page and select ‘Top 250’.

How do we choose which schools make our list and which don’t? Well, it’s hard. Our team has been doing this for a very long time (before we launched Talk Education, we edited a magazine’s schools guide for nine years) and every year, the discussions get more heated. How to decide between a tiny country prep in the Midlands and a huge London day school? A non-selective co-ed in Scotland or a selective all-girls senior in the South-East? Which factors carry most weight: stellar academic results, shiny facilities, impressive leavers’ destinations – or the views of current parents and pupils? 

The answer is that we take into account a wide range of criteria: everything from the quantifiable (results, facilities, destinations and more) to the unquantifiables like word-of-mouth reputation. We have a huge team of researchers: most of them have been visiting schools for us for more than 10 years, and all are tuned into their local grapevines and have an unparalleled perspective on which schools are on the up – and which might not be. We have a vast network of spies, moles and informers – current and past parents and pupils, staff, former heads and local residents – who all help us to build a true picture of each school, and make Talk Education the only schools guide you need to read.

Yes, all the big-hitters are on our list, as you’d expect, but you’ll also find some surprises – schools which might not be the shiniest or best-known in their area but which made our researchers’ hearts sing when they visited. And that’s what it ultimately comes down to: that gut feeling, that instinctive reaction of ‘yes, that’s a great school’ and ‘yes, I’d send my own children there’.

If you need bespoke advice on your school choices, an impartial sounding board or a shoulder to cry on, Talk Education’s parent advisory team is on hand. We can offer impartial advice on bursaries and financial aid and help you plan for school fees, find the right support for children with SEND and pick the best nursery, country prep school or senior boarding school. Very soon, we’ll be launching our global schools guide, bringing the best of independent education all over the world. 

Choosing our Top Schools list is always a tricky juggling act, and we’re realistic about the fact that people will always disagree with our choices. If your school’s not on the list but you think it should be, please email us at – we’d love to hear your view.