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The best schools in London according to the league tables

When looking for a school for their child, parents often search for the ‘best’ schools in a given...

3 years ago

When looking for a school for their child, parents often search for the ‘best’ schools in a given area. But what does ‘best’ mean? Scholato is a tool to help parents find the right school for their child. Values, ethos, leadership, alumni… many factors can be taken into consideration when choosing a school. One of them will also be academic results, which is what people usually mean when they type ‘best’. Here we look at how London schools are ranked according to GCSE and A-level results and where can you find the rankings. And, perhaps most importantly, we look at what rankings can and can’t tell you.

What and where are the league tables?

Department of education

All schools in England are ranked by the Department of Education. The rankings can be found on their website which allows users to search according to a number of different criteria, including postcode, type of school and faith. Some independent schools do not disclose information according to the department of education methodology meaning that they are unranked according to certain criteria.

This ranking is not the same as an Ofsted ranking. Ofsted is a non-ministerial government department responsible for inspecting state schools. The Ofsetd inspection reports and gradings can be found on their site.

Newspaper rankings

The Telegraph publishes searchable rankings which combine the Department of Education and Ofsted data for state schools. For independent schools, the Independent Schools Council data is used. A number of independent schools do not submit data to the ISC leaving some obvious high-profile gaps in the rankings.

The Times publishes its annual parent power report which uses Department of Education data. A global league table shows schools ranked according to combined A-level and GCSE results. A second set of tables show results according to geography, age and school type.

For London schools only, the Evening Standard compiles a borough by borough listing of state and independent schools’ A-level and GCSE results. The average number of points per pupil at each stage are used to determine the highest performing school. Data is sourced from the Department of Education website.

Top ranked independent secondary schools in London according to The Times

  1. St Paul’s Girls School
  2. The Godolphin and Latymer School
  3. King’s College School, Wimbledon
  4. St Paul’s School
  5. Westminster School
  6. City of London School
  7. UCS Hampstead
  8. City of London School for Girls
  9. Highgate School
  10. South Hampstead High School GDST

Top ranked state secondary schools in London according to The Times

  1. The Henrietta Barnett School
  2. The Latymer School
  3. St. Michael’s RC Grammar School, Finchley
  4. Camden School for Girls
  5. Twyford C of E High School
  6. Hasmonean High School for Boys
  7. The Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School
  8. Hasmonean High School for Girls
  9. The Charter School
  10. The St Marylebone C of E School

If you would like to find out more about the league tables, we recommend you read our article, ‘Looking beyond the league tables’ here.

If you are interested in listening to leading education commentator Lord Anthony Seldon’s take on league tables, we recommend watching his talk at the Independent Schools Show here.

The chairman of the Independent Schools’ Council Barnaby Lenon gives his thoughts on the league tables here.


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