London is home to schools of all types. But there’s one option that underpins a first-rate education with invaluable consistency: independent all-through schools – where children are typically educated from age 3 all the way to 18.
The best all-through private schools in London
An all-through school does exactly what it says on the tin: provides multiple phases of education – usually primary and secondary – in a single institution. This takes the pressure off choosing the right schools for your child’s education by consolidating the whole journey. Most importantly, for your child the continuity provided by an all-through school allows them to settle quickly and benefit from a seamless curriculum and leadership vision.
London is home to a selection of excellent independent all-through schools that combine inherent consistency with the allure of small class sizes, first-class facilities and table-topping exam results.
1 North London Collegiate School – Edgware
This northwest London girls school (ages 4-18) takes great pride in producing scholars and critical thinkers; an ethos that’s nurtured through exposing 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.
2 King’s College School – Wimbledon
This independent day school for boys aged 7-18 and girls aged 16-18, is tucked away in a leafy corner of southwest London – made famous by its iconic tennis tournament. Founded in 1829 by royal charter, it accommodates over 1,400 pupils who benefit from a combination of academic excellence and dedicated pastoral care. In 2019, 42 students from the school achieved places at the Oxbridge (Oxford and Cambridge) universities.
3 Highgate School
Founded over 450 years ago, Highgate School (ages 3-18) can confidently claim to still be one of the UK’s leading independent co-ed schools, having been named Independent School of the Year 2020 by Tes. This success has been built on a determination to cultivate individual curiosity and intellectual rigour, and nurture confidence, creativity and risk-taking in its pupils. An ethos that bears fruit, with 86% of sixth formers awarded A* or A for their A levels in 2020 (or Pre-U equivalents).
4 Hampton Court House
Situated in its own private parkland nestled in Bushy Park, Hampton Court House – a co-ed independent school for pupils aged 3-18 – is a 30-to-40-minute drive from central London or a 35-minute train journey from Waterloo Station. At the heart of the school’s culture and curriculum is the Department for Education’s requirement “to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs” – values that underpin the delivery of educational excellence.
5 Dulwich College
Dulwich College is an academically selective independent day and boarding school for boys aged 2-19 in south London. The school nurtures pupils that are characterised by their enthusiasm for learning, an ability to embrace opportunities, think creatively and work diligently. A broad and balanced academic curriculum provides the foundation for the development of such well-rounded individuals, with an emphasis on promoting independent, creative thinking based on practical knowledge and conceptual understanding.
Get help from the experts
Relocation specialists Simply London can guide you through the state or independent school selection and application process. We offer two options, depending on your requirements:
- School phone consultation – advice on schools, admissions and the general process.
- Full school search package – an in-depth, bespoke service that’s tailored to your family’s requirements.