The Top 2,000 Schools in Britain - Find the Best Schools Near you

By The Sunday Times, PRNE
Thursday, November 10, 2011

LONDON, November 11, 2011 -

Top 10 state and independent schools in Britain revealed

The top 2,000 schools in Britain are revealed this Sunday when The Sunday Times publishes the 21st edition of its schools guide, Parent Power.

Using the latest results from public examinations and taking account of many of the marking appeals that have taken place since the summer, the Parent Power rankings of state and independent secondary schools are the last word on academic performance.

The Sunday Times Schools Guide is published online and in print with the newspaper this Sunday (November 13). The top 400 schools will be contained in a six-page section free with the newspaper with the top 2,000 schools contained in a fully-searchable database at:

As well as examination results from this summer for the top 500 secondary schools and more than 400 independent secondary schools, the comprehensive database contains results from as far back as 2005, allowing parents to track the performance of schools over several years. There are separate tables for A-level and GCSE, Highers and Standard Grade, the International Baccalaureate and the Pre-U examinations, making this the most comprehensive at-a-glance schools website in the country.

Searchable by postcode, town and local authority, parents can see instantly the schools close to where they live with the best outright examination performance. There are links from every school page to its inspection report, the school’s website, listings of property for sale or rent in the immediate area close to the school, and comprehensive contact details for each institution. Fee details are published for independent schools.

Much of the data from 2011 has not been published before. The government’s tables of 2011 examination performance are not released until January.

Primary and prep schools are ranked by their performance in Standard Assessment Tests taken by 11-year-olds in 2010, 2009 and 2008. For state schools, the proportion of children achieving the expected national standard of Key Stage Two, level 4 in both English and maths is used to rank schools, while for prep schools the benchmark is Key Stage Two, level 5.

The achievements of eight schools are recognised through The Sunday Times Schools of the Year awards. These awards recognise outstanding academic results in the past year or sustained improvement over several years.

This year’s winners are:

  • Independent Secondary School of the Year - Brighton College
  • State Secondary School of the Year - The Henrietta Barnett School, London
  • Independent Preparatory School of the Year - The Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School, Elstree
  • State Primary School of the Year - Hampden Gurney C of E Primary School, Westminster
  • International Baccalaureate School of the Year - Hockerill Anglo-European College, Bishop’s Stortford
  • Scottish Independent School of the Year - Hutchesons’ Grammar School, Glasgow
  • Scottish State School of the Year - Bearsden Academy, Glasgow
  • Northern Ireland Secondary School of the Year - Friends’ School, Lisburn

The top ranked secondary schools in Britain are listed in two tables - one state, one independent - below:

The top 10 state secondary schools in Britain

    2011        2010                                         A-Level  GCSE
    national    national
    rank        rank        School name Town                A*-B (%) A*/A (%)
                            Gardens     Barnet               98.4     90.0
    1           1
    2           2           School      Barnet               97.7     90.1
    3           13          School      Sutton               93.0     90.3
    4           7=          School      Kingston-upon-Thames 91.6     91.2
                            St Olave's
    5           4           School      Orpington            93.5     87.0
    6           11          School      Cheltenham           91.8     90.3
                            The Latymer
    7           3           School      Enfield              91.7     90.3
    8           9           School      Colchester           96.0     78.2
                            School for
    9           6           Girls       Altrincham           89.7     90.3
    10          12          School      Kingston-upon-Thames 90.9     82.8

The top 10 independent secondary schools in Britain

    2011                                                    A-Level  GCSE
    national     2010 national
    rank         rank            School name   Town        A*-B (%) A*/A (%)
                                 St Paul's
    1            4               Girls School  London       99.2     98.0
    2            2=              School        Oxford       98.2     99.5
                                 Wycombe Abbey
    3            1               School        High Wycombe 98.7     97.2
                                 North London
    4            5               School        Edgware      98.7     96.8
    5            7               School        London       98.2     97.6
                                 St Paul's
    6            2=              School        London       98.3     96.6
    7            10              Girls' School Manchester   97.2     97.1
                                 Aske's School
    8            8               for Girls     Elstree      97.1     95.8
                                 The Lady
    9            16=             Holles School Hampton      97.8     93.8
                                 Royal Grammar
    10           22              School        Guildford    96.9     94.6


Notes for editors

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The Sunday Times is the largest circulation quality newspaper in the UK with a circulation of 1,000,848 (ABC June 2011), 2.8 million readers (NRS Jun 2011) and a combined paying digital and paper audience of almost 1.1 million. Renowned for its technological innovation, the Sunday Times is available for download on all platforms and devices including Android, Amazon Kindle and iOS5. The Sunday Times has a reputation for courageous and campaigning investigative journalism, breaking many major world exclusives. With 12 sections every week, The Sunday Times offers great value to readers and it is recognised for not only breaking news but for its unrivalled coverage of sports, business, the arts and entertainment.


For the top 10 state and independent schools in your area and for further information, please contact Dan McMillan on +44(0)20-7782-6190 / +44(0)7887-627716. Alastair McCall editor of The Sunday Times Parent Power is available for interview.

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