Welcome to our top independent schools guide.

Top Independent Schools Guide

These are School Entrance Tests’ guidelines for choosing a good 2023 independent school.

● Know which type of school will help your child to learn and flourish. Ideally, have them join a small group of like-minded peers.

● Check each school’s results from the list of schools you are considering applying to. Although, the smaller a school is, the more volatile its rankings could be from year to year. When it comes to secondary schools with a sixth form, look at how many children stay on and where they then go on to university. Beware of overly selective schools which are only using their strict selection criteria to boost GCSE and or A- Level grades.

CAT4 test practice

● Always visit the school.
If the guided tour feels too manicured, give it the slip and get a truer sense of the mood at the school gates, the behaviour in the corridor, what the canteen serves up and, if you dare, the state of the loos. Often you will be accompanied by pupils: their best responses will be an unscripted joy. Ask what they don’t like, as well as serious questions such as how the school deals with bullying.

● Look for inspiring leadership by an enthusiastic and committed head teacher, matched by a keen and supportive senior management team.
Staff who have high expectations of themselves will have high expectations for all their pupils and a sense that just being good is not always good enough.

● Look for well-qualified teachers
Is there clear evidence of regular marking of work set?
How much effort has gone into putting up high qualit6 and stimulating classroom wall displays?

● Step back from the league tables.
There are many other equally important considerations. For example, consider the following key questions for each school you are considering:

  • What’s on offer before and after lessons?
    What sort of learning will help kids to succeed in the future inter- connected world?
  • Do you really want to be part of such a school?
  • Are there stimulating lesson plans for future parents to see?
  • Also, is the homework manageable?

Top schoolS guide 2023

Schools Entrance Tests guides 2023

  • London schools 2023
  • Southern schools 2023
  • Northern schools 2023
  • Welsh schools 2023
  • Scottish schools 2023
  • Midlands schools 2023

See the full Sunday Times top schools guide 2023