10 Best Grammar Schools in the UK
Are you looking for the best grammar schools in the UK to put your kid in? Grammar schools are selective secondary schools that focus on academic education and have entry requirements based on student’s performance in an entrance examination known as the 11-plus.
Grammar schools have a long-standing history in the UK educational system and are known for their rigorous academic standards.
Not all Grammar schools are of the same level. Some are better than others. Finding the best among them can be time-consuming and challenging at times. I have compiled the ten best grammar schools in the UK to save you that stress.
What is a Grammar School?
In the UK education context, a grammar school is a selective secondary school focusing on academic education. Grammar schools have a long-standing history in the UK educational system and are known for their rigorous academic standards.
Traditionally, grammar schools were state-funded schools that admitted students based on their performance in an entrance examination known as the 11-plus.
The 11-plus exam is typically taken by students in their final year of primary school (around the age of 10-11) and assesses their aptitude in verbal reasoning, non-verbal reasoning, and mathematics.
Grammar schools aim to provide a high-quality academic education and often have a strong focus on subjects like English, mathematics, sciences, and humanities. They generally have a more structured and formal teaching approach than non-selective state schools.
They are more prevalent in certain regions, such as parts of London, Buckinghamshire, Kent, and the West Midlands, while in other areas, they may be less common or non-existent.
Read More: What To Study Before Nursing School
10 Best Grammar Schools in the UK
The Henrietta Barnett School
The Henrietta Barnett School in Sutton is an all-girls grammar school in Hampstead, NW11.
Ofsted rated this all-girls grammar school as ‘outstanding’ and one of the most competitive schools to enter in London for admissions. The school only admits around 3,000 applications every year.
Wilson’s School is one of the best grammar schools in the UK, located in Sutton. In 2022, Wilson School ranked second in the best grammar school and came down to third position in 2023.
The school is known for its stellar reputation for sports and excellent academic progression rates. The school has a modern, well-equipped, and resourced campus to make your child comfortable studying.
Queen Elizabeth’s School, Barnet
Queen Elizabeth’s School, located in Barnet, is one of the best grammar schools in the UK. It was established in 1573 by royal charter and had a long-standing history characterized by its grand old.
Queen Elizabeth’s School is described as the school that offers “exceptional and rounded education,” and The Sunday Times voted it the “State School of the Year.”
The Tiffin Girls’ School
Located in Kingston-Upon Thames is Tiffin Girls’ School. This school is known as a potent incubator of sporting and artistic telnets of students.
Its creative learning environment helps students to build their innate capacities. Additionally, the school boost of general progression and exam results in every academic year.
Altrincham Grammar School for Girls
The Altrincham Grammar School for Girls at Altrincham, Cheshire, was established in 1910 and is one of the most recognized and best academic institutions in Cheshire and Greater Manchester.
Altrincham Grammar School for Girls is the largest all-girls selective school in the country. It is renowned for its outstanding performance in science, mathematics, modern foreign languages, and PHSE.
King Edward VI Grammar School
One of the oldest and best grammar schools in the UK with a rich history is King Edward VI Grammar School. The school was established in 1551 when King Edward VI issued a Royal Warrant.
The school is known for its rich history and architectural beauty and sits close to the center of historic Chelmsford. It is an extremely coveted school. However, it is very competitive to get into.
St. Olave’s Grammar School
St Olave’s Grammar School is an all-boy school in Orpington, a popular suburb on the boundary of Greater London and Kent. St Olaves has a reputation for being a school with excellent academic performance and results.
Pate’s Grammar School
Pate’s Grammar School is one of the UK’s oldest and best grammar schools. It was established in 1574 and boosted excellent results and performances in sciences.
Its physics department was formerly ranked as the best in the country.This historical school is situated in the residential area of Cheltenham, a historical city.
Colchester Royal Grammar School
Colchester Royal Grammar School is among the oldest grammar schools in the UK, having existed since 1128.
The school is primarily a boy’s school in the historic Colchester’s Lexden neighborhood. However, girls are admitted for sixth form.
Kendrick School in Berkshire is one of the most impressive Royal country educational schools. This school has been marred with consistently outstanding Ofsted ratings and a remarkable alumnae list. Its admission is highly competitive.
Are Grammar Schools Hard To Get Into?
Grammar schools in the UK are known for their selective admissions process, which often involves an entrance examination commonly referred to as the 11-plus.
The difficulty of gaining admission to a grammar school can vary depending on factors such as the competition level, the number of available places, and the academic standards of the specific school.
However, the 11-plus exam can be tough as it assesses a student’s aptitude in verbal reasoning, non-verbal reasoning, and mathematics.
Are Grammar School UK Free?
In the UK, most grammar schools are state-funded and therefore do not charge tuition fees for students to attend. The local education authorities or the government maintain and fund these schools.
Admission to grammar schools is usually based on students’ performance in the 11-plus entrance examination, and successful applicants can attend without paying fees.
Pick any school you want and review their specific requirements and admission process. Also, check for their strengths; some do better in sciences than others, while others are more artistic.