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With ten of the UK’s top 25 state secondary schools, including the top four, London has more secondary schools at the top of The Sunday Times Parent Power tables than any other region. London’s success is revealed in the latest Sunday Times Parent Power – the definitive guide to the best state and independent secondary and primary schools in Britain. The fully searchable guide is published in The Sunday Times and online this Sunday, November 14. The definitive online guide – which can be found at – contains 2,000 top state and independent schools, searchable by postcode, town, local authority and name of school.

As well as assessment of all academic results on a school-by-school basis, Parent Power enables parents to compare the performance of a given school with other schools in the same town, local authority, region or nationally. There are also live links to school websites and inspection reports.

Now in its 20th year of publication, Parent Power is widely acknowledged as the most authoritative survey of the country’s best schools. The rankings in the secondary school league tables are determined by the percentage of entries gaining A* to B grades at A-level in 2010 (which is given double weighting) and the percentage of entries returning A* and A grades at GCSE. A three-year analysis of Key Stage 2 Sat results at level 4 is used to rank state primary schools, while independent preparatory schools are also ranked on a three-year Sat analysis, this time at Key Stage 2, level 5.

The top 10 state secondary schools in Greater London

Regional rank School name Town % A-level A*- B % GCSE A*/A 2010

national rank


national rank

1 The Henrietta Barnett School London 97.9 92.7 1 1
2 Queen Elizabeth’s School Barnet 95.7 89.2 2 4
3 The Latymer School London 92.4 91.1 3 2
4 St Olave’s Grammar School Orpington 95.8 83.5 4 12
5 Tiffin Girls School Kingston-upon-Thames 90 89.8 7= 7
6 Tiffin School Kingston-upon-Thames 90.2 85.5 12 19
7 Wilson’s School Wallington 91.4 81.2 13 5
8 Newstead Wood School for Girls Orpington 88.3 83.8 14 21
9 Nonsuch High School for Girls Sutton 87 84.7 16 14
10 St Michael’s RC Grammar School, Finchley London 83.4 88.4 21 20

The Henrietta Barnett School takes the honours once again as not only as the best performing state secondary school in London but in the whole of the UK. No other state school in the country could match its excellent A levels or GCSE results. An astonishing 97.9% of A level entries were awarded A* to B grades, with 39.3% of papers gaining the highest A* grade, an achievement unparalleled in the state sector. At GCSE 92.7% of papers gained an A* or A grade.

Queen Elizabeth’s School takes second place moving up two places to rank second in the national league tables pushing Latymer School into third place on the back of its very impressive A level results – 95.7% of entries gained A* to B grades compared to Latymer’s 92.4%. Proving their calibre, none of the schools in the region’s top ten rank lower than 21 nationally.

The top ten state primary schools in Greater London

Regional rank School name Town Key Stage 2, level 4 aggregate (07/09) 2010

national rank

2009 national rank
1 St Elizabeth’s RC Primary School, Richmond-upon-Thames Richmond 900 5 21=
2 Our Lady of Victories RC Primary School, Putney London 900 12 5=
3 Hampden Gurney C of E Primary School, Westminster London 900 13= 10=
4 Tetherdown Primary School London 897 19= 111=
5 St James’ RC Primary School Orpington 897 22 20
6 Holy Trinity and Saint Silas C of E Primary School, NW1 London 896 23 93=
7 Riverside Primary School Rotherhithe London 895 25 216=
8 St Monica’s RC Primary School, Southgate London 892 38 69=
9 St Anselm’s RC Primary School, Tooting Bec London 891 47= 36
10 St Osmund’s RC Primary School, Barnes London 891 53 52

London also benefits from some excellent primary schools, led by St Elizabeth’s Catholic Primary School in Richmond. For the last three years the school has achieved a clean sweep of 100 scores across the board for English, maths and science – meaning that every final-year pupil gained the level 4 standard expected of them in Key Stage 2 Sat tests – resulting in the school leaping 16 places in our national tables to rank fifth nationally.

A number of schools in our London top ten have made even bigger leaps in our national rankings in the past year with Riverside Primary School in Southwark moving up 191 places to 25th and Tetherdown Primary School in Haringey rising from joint 111th to rank joint 19th.

The top ten independent secondary schools in Greater London

Regional rank School name Town % A-level A/B % GCSE A*/A 2010

national rank

2009 national rank
1 St Paul’s School London 99.3 98 2= 4
2 St Paul’s Girls’ School London 92.4 99.1 4 6
3 North London Collegiate School Edgware 98.3 96.6 5 3
4 City of London School for Girls London 97.5 97.8 6 10
5 Westminster School London 97.9 96.5 7 2
6 King’s College School, Wimbledon London 96.6 92.5 13 13
7 Notting Hill and Ealing High School GDST London 98.2 88.7 14 39
8 James Allen’s Girls’ School London 95.3 93.5 15 23
9 The Lady Eleanor Holles School Hampton 92.9 98.1 16= 17
10 The Godolphin and Latymer School London 95.1 90.7 25 31=

St Paul’s School, in Barnes, secures its place as the number one independent secondary school in Greater London following its outstanding performance this year. An astonishing 53.6% of A level papers were awarded the new A* , the highest proportion in the UK and more than 99 of every 100 A level entries achieved A* to B grades, matching the feat of Wycombe Abbey School in Buckinghamshire, which tops this year’s independent schools rankings. Only Magdalen College School, in Oxford, did better with a marginally higher proportion of A* to B grades overall. At GCSE only 2% of papers missed out on an A* or A grade. These excellent results boost St Paul’s national rank from last year’s fourth place to equal second with Magdalen College School.

In second place St Paul’s Girls’ School also gained an impressive haul of A* grades at A level with 49.4% of papers getting the new award, the third best performance in the country. With 98.2% of entries achieving A* to B grades, St Paul’s Girls’ School ranks joint sixth for A-level results. With 99 out of every 100 GCSE papers gaining either A* or A grades placing (ranking second national), St Paul’s Girls School rises to fourth in the national rankings this year, up two places on 2009.

The top ten independent prep schools in the Greater London

Regional rank School name Town Key Stage 2, level 5 aggregate (05/07) 2010 national rank 2009 national rank
1 City of London School for Girls Preparatory Department London 888 1 1
2 South Hampstead High School Junior School London 880 3
3 James Allen’s Preparatory School London 865 4 4
4 Notting Hill and Ealing High School Junior School GDST London 859 5 5
5 Putney High School Junior Department GDST Putney 841 8 6
6 Kensington Prep School GDST London 831 10 7
7 Wimbledon High School Junior Department GDST London 826 11 12
8 Bromley High Junior School GDST Bromley 822 12 10
9 Holy Cross Preparatory School Kingston-upon-Thames 804 13 15
10 Alleyn’s Junior School London 771 20 21

The City of London School for Girls continues to top the region’s table of leading preparatory schools, and maintains its number one spot nationally for the second consecutive year. It was The Sunday Times Independent Preparatory School of the year in 2001 and 2005.

South Hampstead High School in Camden takes the number two spot in London and ranks third overall in the Parent Power league tables. With a highly competitive market for private prep schools in the capital, the city’s prep schools dominate the uppermost echelons of the Parent Power table. The capital’s top 10 preps are all among the top 20 nationally with six in the UK top ten.

Data courtesy of The Sunday Times


About Author

Charles Whitworth is the Editor of the Young Academic publications. Graduating from the University of Liverpool with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism in 2008, Charles learnt his trade in newsrooms such as IPC Media and Sky. He has now developed as a top sports, music and current affairs journalist and has been printed in a range of publications including The Guardian. His interests include Cricket, Football, Rugby, Music and Current Affairs. Fresh from the editorship of Student Times he now takes the reins at Young Academic - the premier student news portal. Connect with me on Google+