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Top academically performing state secondary schools in London

Editorial Feature

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Parents know what’s best for their children.  Choosing the right secondary school for your child will make a huge impact on their academic performance. 

Children aged 12 to 16-years-old attend secondary school if enrolled in public education. In London, there are now approximately 3,250 schools, with 520 of them being state secondary schools. Nearly every school’s entrance standards are based on the distance between your house and the school, and siblings are typically given first preference. Most school websites provide an entrance policy and prospectus.

With so many to choose from, It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack when it comes to discovering the top state schools in London. Below is a list of the 10 best state schools situated in London. The schools chosen are based on the outcomes of end-of-year exams.

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Queen Elizabeth’s School 
The London borough of Barnet

Year after year, Queen Elizabeth’s boys’ grammar schools consistently rank first in league tables. The school accepts boys aged 11-years-old, and admission is dependent on the results of the entrance examinations.

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Wilson’s School 
The London borough of Sutton

Wilson’s School is a grammar school for boys situated in Sutton. There are 1,100 boys aged 11 to 18-years-old. Wilson’s is one of England’s oldest grammar schools, having been established in the year 1615.

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Henrietta Barnett School 
The London Borough of Barnet

Henrietta Barnett School is a grammar school for girls aged 11 to 18. It has been at the top of the league tables, producing results equivalent to those of private schools. The school is extremely tough to get into, with a 2,000-person waiting list for 100 places available. There are two rounds of admission examinations. The first round consists of a computer-based exam. Based on the test results, 300 females go through to the maths and English examinations, as a part of the second examination stage.

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Tiffin Girls’ School 
The London borough of Kingston upon Thames

Tiffin Girls’ grammar school is situated In Kingston-upon-Thames. Every year, 180 new girls are admitted into the institution. Successful applicants must pass two rounds of admission examinations. The first round is a maths and English exam. Only those who cleared the first round are eligible for the second round. 

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St Olave’s and St Saviour’s Grammar School 
The London borough of Bromley

Orpington town, in the London borough of Bromley, is home to a grammar school for boys aged 11 to 18 and females aged 16 to 18. A total of 124 boys are accepted into Year 7 of the school every year. Admittance into the school includes maths and English exams. There are 110 seats in the sixth form, and entry is dependent on the school’s entrance examinations as well as GCSE grades.

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Tiffin School 
The London borough of Kingston upon Thames

A boys’ grammar school in Kingston-upon-Thames. The school focuses on modern languages and arts. The school admits 180 new boys from a pool of approximately 1000 applicants. The entrance tests in maths and English are used to determine admission.

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Sutton Grammar for Boys 
The London borough of Sutton

For males, this is a prestigious grammar school. It began accepting applications for females to attend the sixth form in September 2017. A total of 135 boys are accepted into Year 7 after passing the admission exams and being assigned to Sutton Grammar School.

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Nonsuch High School for Girls 
The London borough of Sutton

Admissions into Nonsuch High School are through a selective eligibility test. After passing the first test, there will be a second stage entrance examination. 

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The Latymer School 
The London Borough of Enfield

The Latymer School is a grammar school where students are enrolled based on the results of admission examinations. Every year, 192 new students begin Year 7 at this school. Children must live in the catchment area to apply for the school. maths, English, and verbal reasoning are among the entry examinations.

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Holland Park School 
The London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

Holland Park in London, there is a comprehensive school for boys and girls aged 11 to 18. With 2,000 applicants Holland Park school only accepts 240 students in Year 7 each year. Admission is dependent on the catchment area, with 20 spots available for those who pass the art and design test. 

Find out more at

To find and compare more schools click here.

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Christina is a freelance journalist based in London, holding a Bachelors and Masters degree in Journalism. She has gone on to work as a journalist with The Career Changers, and is now the business and education editor for Hurst Media Company’s Checklist website.

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