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Best London schools by GCSE results in 2023

Best London schools by GCSE results in 2023

GCSE results aren’t just used by universities and prospective employers to assess a person’s suitability for a degree course or a job; they serve as a benchmark to evaluate the academic performance and quality of teaching at a particular institution – the better the results, the more desirable the school. This brings the annual London GCSE results table into sharp focus for parents when choosing where to educate their child in the UK capital.

With envelopes opened and tears shed across the country on results day in August, the 2023 edition followed a common pattern: private schools dominated the top spots, with all girls’ institutions outperforming their male counterparts.

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Here’s a breakdown of the top-performing schools in London by GCSE results across key categories:

Top-performing school – North London Collegiate School

With 93% of students achieving grades 8-9 and 99% 7-9, North London Collegiate isn’t just the top-performing school in London; it’s one of the most academically successful schools in England – placing in the top two in the Daily Telegraph exam league tables every year for over a decade.

This independent all-through girls’ day school (ages 4-18) exposes students to opportunities that push them intellectually, physically and emotionally. By delivering an education that is tailored to the individual, the school strikes the perfect balance between challenging each student and ensuring they find their subjects stimulating and fun.

Top-performing grammar school – Henrietta Barnett School

This non-denominational grammar school for girls in Hampstead takes third place. Having gained Academy status in April 2012 it has consistently been one of the top-performing state schools in the country.

Pupils have the privilege of receiving their education in a Lutyens-designed Grade II* Listed Building. Within this inspiring environment, the school is committed to encouraging students to explore their interests in a variety of ways and promoting curiosity of mind, independence of spirit and a love of learning – helping it to build a reputation for academic excellence.

Top-performing boys’ school – Westminster School

In fifth place, the highest-ranked boys’ school in London is steeped in history, descending from a charity school founded by Westminster Benedictines before the Norman Conquest. Today, this independent institution for both day and boarding pupils is built on an ethos that embraces learning, encourages deep thinking and takes pleasure in the pursuit of knowledge and understanding. It delivers this enriching education in truly inspirational surroundings, standing immediately next to Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament.

Top-performing co-ed school – Latymer Upper School

The highest-placed fully co-ed school sits at thirteenth place. Located in Hammersmith for pupils aged 11 to 18, this independent school was given a glowing review by the prestigious Tatler Schools Guide: “Unpretentious, cosmopolitan community; highly academic; forward-thinking, with a deep-pocketed bursary programme and a fabulous real-world co-ed buzz.”

Latymer Upper provides 1,400 girls and boys with an education that has social inclusivity at its core. This forward-thinking approach empowers it to equip and inspire pupils from a diverse selection of backgrounds to make a positive impact on society and excel in the wider world.

Top-performing non-selective state school – JFS

JFS is a Jewish co-ed comprehensive school in Kenton, north London for pupils ages 11 to 18. Consistently placing in the top five schools in the country outside the independent sector, it’s 76th in the London list. The school blends state-of-the-art facilities, specialist staff, and first-class pastoral care to offer a safe and nurturing environment that enables every child to reach their full potential and become contributing members of modern British society.

Whatever type of school you want to send your child to in London – private, non-selective state or grammar – you will have some of the top schools in the country to choose from in terms of exam results.


Want to learn about the school options in London? Buy and download our Guide to state and private schools in London!

This guide gives you all the detailed information to help you understand schooling in London, including:

  • Overview of the British education system
  • Where are the best schools in London?
  • Which school grade for which age?
  • The school day and the academic year
  • State schools
  • Private schools
  • International schools
  • Boarding schools
  • The applications process for state and private schools
  • GCSEs, A levels and the International Baccalaureaute
  • How to select a school for children with Special Education Needs
  • Glossary of school terms used in the UK
  • Links to essential websites and resources

Note: This guide covers primary and secondary schools, for children between 4 and 16 years old.
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