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The best private schools in London

Choosing a private education for your child in London is the easy part of the school selection process. Deciding what path they will take within the independent school system requires more thought. Will you consolidate their compulsory education by sending them to an all-through school? Or will you fragment it by sending them to separate preparatory (age four up to 13) and secondary (from age 11 up to 18) schools? With such a wide selection of independent schools within both age brackets in London, this second option is a popular one.

The best private schools in London

London is home to some of the UK’s best private schools – both preparatory (age four up to 13) and secondary (from age 11 up to 18).

To give you a head start in your school selection process, here’s an overview of six of London’s top independent preparatory and secondary day schools in family-friendly areas:


1 St Philip’s School – Kensington

St Philip’s is a small Roman Catholic preparatory school for boys aged 7 to 13, located on its foundation site in the heart of Kensington. A broad curriculum balances academic, moral, and religious learning with creative and sporting opportunities. The school’s holistic outlook allows it to personally nurture pupils in the classroom, while also ensuring they feel a valued member of the school community.

2 Wandsworth Preparatory School

Located in Wandsworth, southwest London close to the banks of the River Thames, this co-educational independent day school for children aged four to 11 takes its mission seriously: to prepare children for their future by placing a sustained emphasis on the breadth and balance of their education, ensuring that they enjoy their learning, whilst being mindful of the senior school entrance exams they take in Year 6. This is underpinned by small class sizes that ensure a high level of individual support for every pupil.

3 Dallington School – Islington

This creative, family-run co-educational day school for children aged three to 11 in the heart of London has been nurturing independent, curious, resilient learners for more than 40 years. The school’s determination to embrace new technologies, seek emerging opportunities and explore new horizons allows it to provide pupils with an outstanding and forward-thinking education.


4 St Paul’s School – Barnes

This independent school for boys aged 13 to 18 is located on a 43-acre site by the River Thames in Barnes, west London. For over 500 years it has been providing an outstanding intellectual, spiritual, and physical education. Today it prepares its student for their future by combining a rich tradition with the best of the present.

5 Godolphin and Latymer School – Hammersmith

This west London school for girls aged 11 to 18 provides access to quality teaching and learning, alongside a real emphasis on the personal development of every pupil. Ambitious and innovative in its approach to education, the school is well-equipped to inspire its students to flourish in the outside world.

6 Emanuel School – Battersea

This independent, co-educational day school in southwest London has an illustrious history: it was founded in 1594 by Anne Sackville, Lady Dacre and Queen Elizabeth I. The school, which occupies a 12-acre site close to Clapham Junction railway station, continues to provide pupils with a well-rounded education over 400 years since first opening its doors.

Get help from the experts

Relocation specialists Simply London can guide you through the independent school selection and application process. We offer two options, depending on your requirements:

Download the free guide to schools in London

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