When searching for the ideal school for your child, you need to make sure that you do plenty of research. This is the place where you want your child to not only be in the best position to reach their potential and excel, but also somewhere for them to feel comfortable and safe.
London is full of top-quality schools, but which one is right for your child?
If you’re currently looking for a girls-only independent school within the London area, you’ll no doubt be spoiled for choice. Some schools have lengthy waiting lists and difficult admission processes, but we’ve narrowed down a list of the best options, to make life easier for you.
St Paul’s Girls’ School, Hammersmith
Located in West London, St Paul’s Girl’s School has long been considered one of the best girls-only independent schools in the capital. Students attending this school often go on to achieve academic excellence and it has very strong rankings in terms of academic performance overall. Around half of girls attending this school go on to achieve A* grades in their A-levels in years to come. Many girls leaving St Paul’s also go on to study higher education programmes at Oxbridge.
The good news is that St Paul’s success has pushed the owners to grow further over the years to come, opening up the school to more potential admissions, to around 20% extra. While the admission process can be lengthy and there is a long waiting list, it’s advisable to register your interest as early as possible if you want your daughter to be in with a chance of attending this prestigious school.
There is also a heavy focus on extra-curricular activities, ensuring your child widens their skill set as much as possible. Sport is a particular focus for this school.
Godolphin & Latymer School, Hammersmith
Another Hammersmith-based school, Godolphin & Latymer School is another extremely prestigious and highly rated school in the capital. It has long waiting lists for admission and again, it is best to register your interest as soon as possible to be in with a chance of enrolment.
This is an independent day school which has excellent academic results across the board; around 42% of girls attending this school go on to achieve A* results in their A-Levels and many also go on to Oxbridge.
Children who attend Godolphin & Latymer need to have an ambitious streak and be keen to push themselves to succeed. This is reflected in the school’s sports success – in 2019, the school reached seven regional finals in various sports specialities.
There are some bursary places available every year for this particular school, however they are very limited, with only 10 girls per year awarded a funded place.
North London Collegiate School, Harrow
Located in Edgware, Harrow, North London Collegiate School is a top quality and very in demand day school for girls. It was first founded in 1850, originally in Camden Town, however the school moved to its current, modern campus to accommodate more students as its reputation grew.
This school is regularly top of the national league tables and girls who attend this school are expected to reach high academic performance levels. In 2019, a huge 42.2% of girls achieved the top result in their Al levels and the IB charts regularly feature this school at the top.
While academic success is one of the stand out features of this school, it also has a very strong focus on community. The aim is to make children feel comfortable during their time, so they can then shrug off any fears or discomfort and reach their potential as a result. There are also several outreach programmes which aim to help children develop into well-rounded, open-minded, compassionate young women.
Again, this is a high demand school and it is best to register your interest as soon as you possibly can. There are some bursary places awarded every year, however they are very limited.
City of London School for Girls, Barbican
Located in central London, this school is one of the most in demand in the capital. Founded in 1984, the school’s ethos is to provide a liberal and broad education for girls who attend. It is a very academic choice, and students are expected to achieve high grades consistency during their time. In 2019, the school achieved top quality GCSE results, with 81% of girls achieving A or A* in their A levels.
Girls are encouraged to express their interests and choose subjects they love to learn about – the basis of this school’s educational programme is that when you love what you’re learning, you pour your heart and soul into it. This has certainly yielded great results for past students and the school continually reaches the top of the league tables year after year.
To register your interest for this school, it’s best to do so as early as possible. This is another very in demand option and its central location makes it desirable for many parents. There are some bursary places every year, around 15% of students receive these places and up to 80% of these are funded completely.
Haberdashers’ Aske’s for Girls (Habs), Borehamwood
Haberdashers’ School For Girls, regularly known as Habs, is another top quality independent school for girls, accommodating between ages 4-18 years. This school regularly ranks at the top of the UK league tables with extremely good academic results.
This is also a school which places a large focus on the arts and sports, with music being a particular strong point. Habs has a symphony orchestra of 50 students which regularly performs at prestigious events, including on the international stage.
Girls who want to attend this school can expect fierce competition for a place. There are 30 free places every academic year and more than 600 applicants trying to obtain one. Registering your interest as early as possible is strongly recommended and expect a very vigorous application process.
Queen’s Gate School – Five locations across central London
Accommodating girls between ages 8-14 years, Queen’s Gate School has five different locations across central London, including close to Kensington Gardens, two in South Kensington, Hyde Park, and Gloucester Road.
Class sizes are kept to around 23 students, to ensure a high degree of personalised teaching, with 500 students in total throughout the school and around 81 sixth formers studying for their A levels.
Founded in 1891, this school prides itself on academic excellence, yet maintains a strong and supportive feel to ensure that students are able to shed away their inhibitions and focus on their studies. Girls are encourages to identify their interests and talents and pursue them within the boundaries of the curriculum.
Again, competition for places within this prestigious school is fierce, so early registration is vital, along with careful preparation throughout the application process.
The Village Prep School, Belsize Park
Our final choice on our list of the best girls-only primary independent schools in London is located Belsize Park. The Village Prep school offers places to girls aged between 2.5 years to 11 years and places a strong focus on helping to develop strong, resilient, and well-rounded young adults.
This school strongly believes that girls should be able to learn in their own way, with their teaching tailored to their specific needs. The school also has sizeable grounds which allow children to head outside and explore their immediate environment, making use of the space to further enhance their learning experiences.
This is another school which has regularly achieved very strong academic results and has a strong focus upon academic excellence. However, the school also encourages children to take part in a range of extra-curricular activities, which is made easier by the large grounds and facilities on site.
Sport is a firm focus, with netball and rugby two firm favourites.
Choosing The Right School For Your Child
This is a choice which needs to be put into place as early as possible. The top quality independent schools in London all have very long waiting lists and some have rigorous admission programmes which mean it’s entirely possible that you won’t get your first choice of school for your daughter.
By knowing the best schools in the area and understanding which is best suited to your child, you’ll be able to put the wheels in motion earlier, rather than later.
It’s a good idea to register your interest with all schools you have an inclination towards and then narrow down your choice as your child nears school age and you start to look more closely at which is the best choice for them.
By understanding each school’s strengths, you’ll be able to tailor your child’s interests in a way that enhances their education and allows them to find true joy and passion in learning.