Best Private Schools in the UK

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Tuesday, October 27, 2015 

under Education & Career by Stuart Lancaster

Private Schools in Britain are a growing in popularity as the public schools become over subscribed and experience mass funding cuts. The Private School System offers smaller classes and better facilities. Giving your child, in some cases an unfair springboard into a top ten UK University. Love them or hate them, if you have the wealth and the connections then why not send your child to one of these establishments. Most of these schools are not mixed and are all boys.

Harrow School




Harrow School will soon be opening a school in Shanghai. It has a very long history and is an all boarding school for the very wealthy. It is a boys only school with enrollment beginning at the age of 11. Some of the former Harrovian’s include Benedict Cumberbatch from BBC’s Sherlock Holmes.



Fees: £36,500/ CNY360,500



Dulwich College



Dulwich College is an independent, public school for boys in Dulwich, south east London, England. The college was founded in 1619 by Edward Alleyn, an Elizabethan actor, with the original purpose of educating 12 poor scholars as the foundation of "God'sGift". It currently has about 1,500 boys, of whom 120 are boarders thus making it one of the largest (in terms of numbers of pupils) independent schools in the United Kingdom. The school will be celebrating its 400th anniversary in 2019. Also in the academic tables it scored in the top ten with a 89% A/B ratio at A levels.

Fees: £36,000 / CNY 360, 000



St Paul’s School


Top of the GCSE and A level scores with A&B ratios of 97%. St Pauls has a very high academic reputation and has a history of rowing on the Thames. They also have an excellent rugby team.

St Paul’s is an independent school situated on a 43 acre sight near the river Thames. It was founded in 1509 and has a 500 year history.

Fees: £32, 640/ CNY 320, 000


Eton College


Eton College, often informally referred to simply as Eton, is an English boys' independent boarding school located in Berkshire, near Windsor. It educates over 1,300 pupils, aged 13 to 18 years. It was founded in 1440 by King Henry VI as "The King's College of Our Lady of Eton besides Wyndsor" making it the 18th oldest HMC school.

With Old Etoniand including the Prime Minister David Cameron Eton has a long list of distinguished former pupils. David Cameron is the 19th British prime minister to have attended the school,[Eton ranked among Britain's top three schools in getting its pupils into Oxford and Cambridge] partly because of nepotism.

Recently the Princes Harry and William attended Eton therefore it has the most esteemed reputation and it also boasts ia high academic percentile of 96%.


Fees: £34, 500 / CNY 340, 500




Winchester School


Spanning a 600 year history and located in Berkshire. Winchester represents a very prestigious choice.



Fees: £34, 500/ CNY 345, 500



Merchant Taylor’s School



Since 1933 it has been located on 250 acres (1 km2) of grounds at Sandy Lodge in the Three Rivers district of Hertfordshire.


Founded in 1561 by Sir Thomas White, Sir Richard Hilles. Today the school caters for 872 students between the agesof 3 and 18. The school is now an all through school from age 3 to 18 after a merger with Northwood Prep School, Northwood in September 2015. This school is only 30 minutes from London and has its own lake for sailing as well as swimming pools and army facilities.


Day Fees: £18, 500, CNY 185 000




Westminster School



Westminster School, is an independent school within the precincts of Westminster Abbey in England. It has the highest Oxford and Cambridge acceptance rates of any secondary school or college in the world. With a history going back to the 14th century, the school's alumni include Ben Jonson, John Dryden, Robert Hooke, Sir Christopher Wren, John Locke and seven Prime Ministers. Boys are admitted to the Under School at age seven, and to the senior school at age thirteen; girls are admitted only at sixteen.


Day Fees £25, 500

Full Boarding £33, 500/ CNY 330, 000



Radley College



is a boys' independent boarding school near Radley, Oxfordshire,England, founded in 1847. The school covers 800acres (3.2 km2) including playing fields, a golf course, lake and farmland.It is one of four boys-only, boarding-only independent senior schools in the United Kingdom, the others being Winchester College, Harrow School and Eton. All mentioned in this article above. Also the academic scores for A Level were at an impressive 89.7%!


Boarding Fees: £33, 500/ CNY 335, 000




Loughborough Grammar School


This school has a great reputation for Sports and a lot of famous athletes go to this school on scholarships as well as boasting good scores in GCSE and A levels. They are not situated in London and are close to middle England. Loughborough is one of England's oldest schools, pre-dating similar institutions such as Harrow, Westminster and Stowe by a number of centuries. Along side Winchester College, Harrow School, Monmouth School, Eton College, and Radley College, it is one of a select number of independent boarding schools in Britain that remain for boys only.




Day Fees: £11, 500 Boarding Fees: £23, 500 / CNY 235, 000


Merchiston Castle School



Merchiston Castle School is an independent school for boys in the suburb of Colinton in Edinburgh, Scotland. It has around 470 pupils and is open to boys between the ages of 7 and 18 as either boarders or day pupils.


In May 1833, Charles Chalmers took a lease of Merchiston Castle (the former home of John Napier, the inventor of logarithms) — which at that time stood in rural surroundings — and opened his academy, starting with thirty boys. This is one of the best schools in Scotland.

Boarding Fees: £23, 500 / CNY 235, 000

The Oratory School


The Oratory School is an independent Roman Catholic boarding and day school for boys aged 11 to 18 in Woodcote,Oxfordshire, England. Founded in 1859 by Cardinal John Henry Newman. According to the Good Schools Guide, 70% of pupils achieve A/B grades at A Level and that the school "enjoys inspirational leadership, has achieved GSG 'overall best in UK' for three years running and is consistently at the top of the tree", with "state-of-the-art" boarding facilities and an ongoing refurbishment programme under way.

Boarding Fees: £28, 500 / CNY 285, 000




Wellington College (mixed)


The Good Schools Guide calls the school "a serious player in the field of education". Examination results from recent years have firmly secured Wellington’s place as one of the UK’s most successful academic co-educational schools. In 2013, more than 50% of pupils’ GCSE results were A* and at A-level over 70% of pupils achieved A*/A grades.The Sixth Form 2013 pupils achieved an average IB Diploma score of 38.5,confirming Wellington College as one of the leading IB schools in the UK.

Boarding Fees:£11,375 per term/ CNY110, 000 x 3



This is just a handful of the best private schools in the U.K. and next week we will look at the all girls schools. Children need to sit an exam at the age of 11 called the 11 plus or Common Entrance in order to gain admittance into these schools. They also take students at the age of 13 usually from prep schools. The exams consist of verbal reasoning, mathematics and English composition. However, be warned the waiting lists are long, so register your child early!