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All-through schools: education from kids to adults

The pressure is on when it comes to choosing the right school for your child’s education – and this crucial task can be stressful, with the next big decision always on your mind: Which primary/prep school should they attend after nursery? Which secondary school will give them the best chance of getting the grades they need to secure a place at university? 

All-through schools: education from kids to adults

There’s another option that condenses these decisions into one, making it less complicated: all-through schools – where children are educated from the age of three all the way to 18. This makes them the perfect option for parents searching for consistent, high-quality education for their child. 

Benefits of all-through schools

  • Students remain settled: The continuity provided by an all-through school allows your child to settle quickly. By eliminating the upheaval of moving from a prep/primary school to a senior school, your child’s routine and friendships remain intact. Teachers at all-through schools can prepare students for moving on to the next level of their education, rather than sending them off into the unknown.
  • Seamless curriculum and leadership vision: Cohesive planning across school phases engenders a holistic curriculum that adds value throughout each age group. The all-through model also offers a diverse senior leadership team, with specialist heads of the primary/prep and senior departments combining their skills and experience to support the entire age range within a single vision.
  • Shared philosophy and ethos: Venessa Willms, director of primary for Ark Schools – an international children’s educational charity based in London – extolled the all-through model: “I think the biggest advantage is about having a shared philosophy and ethos which ensures that there is greater consistency around expectations, pedagogy and the cultural ethos of the school,” 
  • Shared facilities: The advantages of your child being educated on the same site throughout their school journey are compelling – from younger pupils benefitting from access to specialist senior facilities – such as sports, science, and the arts – to specialist teachers having an input in lower year lessons and after school activities.

Independent all-through schools in London

London is home to a wide selection of excellent independent all-through schools, including:

  • Highgate School: This north London co-ed school educates over 1,400 pupils aged three to 18, forming the Highgate Foundation.

State all-through schools in London

All-through schools are less common in the state school system, but London is the place to be if you would like your child to benefit from this model – these include:


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