The state secondary schools in London: a vast landscape of educational institutions with varying reputations and confusing application criteria. We explore some of the best non-selective state secondary schools across all four corners of London.
The best non-selective state secondary schools in London
Whether you are considering moving to the bustling north, leafy south, edgy east or wealthy west, we have handpicked some of the best state secondary schools in each corner of London.
Don’t worry, your child’s place won’t be determined by an entrance exam at these non-selective educational institutions – making them easier to get to than grammar schools.
Wembley High Technology College – North Wembley
Wembley High Technology College is one of the top-performing co-educational schools in the country. For example, its Progress 8 score of +1.58 – an accountability score used by the government to measure the effectiveness of secondary schools in England – has been recognised as the 4th highest nationally and the highest in London by the Department for Education. This aptitude for educational excellence makes it easy to see why it is ranked the second-best state-funded school in the land.
Fortismere School – Muswell Hill
This Ofsted rated ‘outstanding’ school is a mixed foundation secondary school in the heart of Muswell Hill – and the highest-performing comprehensive school in the London Borough of Haringey. Set in 20 acres, the spacious site supports a comprehensive set of facilities for such a centrally located London institution – and contributes to Fortismere’s sporting excellence.
Sacred Heart Catholic School – Camberwell
Sacred Heart is a mixed Roman Catholic secondary school and sixth form that prides itself on consistently achieving outstanding academic results, above local and national averages across all subject areas – the school’s Progress 8 score places it as one of the top-performing schools nationally. Students that attend the sixth form regularly achieve places at top universities, including Oxford, Cambridge and other Russell Group universities, as well as Ivy League universities in the USA.
Harris Academy Bermondsey – Bermondsey
Harris Academy Bermondsey was rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted for the third time in a row in 2019. This is a girls’ school with drive and ambition in the heart of London, where making a difference to the lives of the young women that study there is of paramount importance. The school’s exam results aren’t bad either: 45% of students achieved grade 5 or above in English and maths, with nearly one girl in three achieving at least one grade 9 – the highest possible grade.
Mossbourne Community Academy – Lower Clapton
This was one of the country’s first academies when it opened its doors in 2004. Located in a borough with wide-spread educational underachievement, it has re-imagined what inner-city, non-selective co-education can be. Over the years, Mossbourne’s success has been built on the idea that learning comes first – from the way it recruits and trains staff to what it expects of students’ behaviour.
Forest Gate Community School – Forest Gate
The top-performing state secondary school in the London Borough of Newham has exceptional exam results to back up its Ofsted ‘outstanding’ rating: 64% of students achieved grade 9-5 in both English and maths, with 4/10 students achieving three or more GCSEs at grade 7-9. This is made possible through the school’s exceptional learning environment, together with a strong community spirit.
London Oratory School – Fulham
Commonly known as The Oratory, or The London Oratory to distinguish it from other schools, this is a Roman Catholic secondary school for boys aged 7–18 and girls aged 16–18 in the heart of west London. Founded in 1863 by the Fathers of the Oratory, the school is one of England’s oldest and most distinguished Catholic state-funded boys’ schools in the country.
Holland Park School
This co-educational secondary school and sixth form in the salubrious surroundings of Holland Park in west London attained academy status in 2013. Three times rated Ofsted ‘outstanding’ and with exam results consistently in the top 5% of schools nationally, it knows a thing or two about achievement and success. Its status as Platinum Investor in People school, together with its inclusion in The Good Schools’ Guide, add further weight to its reputation as a flagship for comprehensive education.
Get help from the experts (optional)
Relocation specialists Simply London can help you conduct a comprehensive state secondary school search, before assisting you with the application process. We offer two options, depending on your requirements: