The London senior-school market can be a competitive and complicated minefield. To help, we've put together an edited list of the best senior schools in the UK capital – read our reviews, watch our videos and use our search tools to find the right one for your child.
Where to begin when looking for a London senior school?
If you're just starting out on your London senior-school search, having the right knowledge at your fingertips is key. Catherine Thomlinson, the former head of a top London prep school, tells parents how to navigate the all-important 11+, from drawing up a shortlist of schools to tips for calming nerves on exam and interview day. And remember: if you need more guidance, our parent advisory
team is on hand.
Senior schools regularly tell us how easy it is to spot overly tutored pupils – but what can parents do if they feel their children need a little extra support? Henry Faber and Walter Kerr, founders of Oppidan Education
, explain how mentoring can help children prepare for the leap to senior school.
Older pupils may be considering a move for the final two years of their time at school. We asked Irfan Latif, principal of DLD College London
, to tell us about the advantages of moving to a sixth-form college in the city – and give us the lowdown on the benefits of a boarding education in the heart of London.
The school system in London
The London schooling system is much the same as the rest of the UK. Whilst most London schools follow the British curriculum, more and more are offering the international baccalaureate due to the increasing number of students attending from around the world.
If you are set on your child attending a senior state school in London, do your research. Due to its dense population, London schools work a little differently to other schools across the country – some catchment areas are within a quarter of a mile of the school gates so be sure to check entry criteria on local authority websites.
London is a hub for excellent private schools. Independent London senior schools are mostly day schools due to space in the city, however there are a few senior boarding schools although often with large waiting lists and a higher percentage of international pupils. If you are set on a London senior school, don’t delay planning, the top feeder prep schools have very limited spaces and often require registering your child early, but it’s never too late to register on the off chance a space opens up at a later date.
How many senior schools are there in London?
There are a whopping 3250 schools in London, however just 940 of them are senior schools.
What are senior schools in the UK?
It can get a little confusing with the international differences in education terminology, however senior schools in the UK are secondary schools that cater for children 11-18, with some starting at 13 due to prep schools running up to year 8.