The Perse School Review: Rankings, Fees And More

Nestled in the heart of Cambridge, The Perse School stands as a beacon of academic excellence and holistic education for students aged 3 to 18. With a rich history dating back to 1615, this prestigious institution has consistently upheld its reputation as a premier co-educational day school, catering to the diverse needs of learners at every stage of their educational journey.

the perse school review

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Summary Of School

  • Type of school: Co-educational
  • Age range: 3-18
  • Pupils: 1564
  • Fees: £22,350 per annum (Upper School and Sixth Form)
  • 2023 A-Level Results: 78% A*-A
  • 2023 GCSE Results: 86% 9/7

Table of Contents

The Perse School Overview

Established in 1615 by Dr. Stephen Perse, The Perse School has a storied history of providing educational opportunities to individuals from diverse backgrounds. At the campus’s headquarters in Cambridge, a vibrant school community thrives where values of kindness, intellectual curiosity, and inclusivity are paramount.

Academic prowess and character development is a focal point of The Perse School, and the administration makes it a point to cultivate within each student a passion for learning and a profound sense of empathy. This ethos is manifested through a rigorous curriculum, exceptional teaching standards, and a plethora of extracurricular activities designed to foster critical thinking, resilience, and a global outlook.

The Perse School also has a firm commitment to the promotion of Inclusion, Equality & Diversity (IE&D). Through collaborative endeavours and transformative dialogues, the school actively fosters awareness and drives meaningful change, ensuring that every voice is heard and valued.

The Perse School Courses And Programmes

The Perse School offers a comprehensive range of courses and programmes tailored to each stage of a student’s educational journey, ensuring a robust foundation for academic success and personal growth.

In the Pelican and Prep School, children aged 3 to 11 benefit from a nurturing and supportive environment where they are encouraged to explore, inquire, and discover. Through a blend of structured lessons and play-based activities, students develop essential literacy, numeracy, and social skills, setting them on a path towards lifelong learning. The curriculum at this level is enriched with opportunities for creative expression, physical development, and personal growth, fostering a love for learning and a curiosity about the world.

At the Upper School level, students typically undertake the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) programme. This two-year course covers a broad range of subjects, providing students with a solid grounding in key disciplines while allowing them to explore their interests and strengths. The GCSE curriculum at The Perse School is designed to challenge students academically, foster critical thinking skills, and prepare them for further study at the Sixth Form level.

In the Sixth Form, students have the opportunity to pursue Advanced Level (A-level) qualifications, which are widely recognised and valued by universities and employers alike. The Perse School offers a diverse selection of A-level subjects, enabling students to tailor their studies to their interests and career aspirations. With small class sizes and expert guidance from experienced teachers, students at the Sixth Form receive personalised support to excel academically and achieve their full potential.

The Perse School also provides a variety of enrichment programs and extracurricular activities to complement students’ learning experiences. From leadership development initiatives to community service projects, these programs help students develop essential life skills, foster creativity, and cultivate a well-rounded perspective on the world.

The Perse School Application Deadline

For Upper School and the Sixth Form, registration forms must be submitted by 12 noon on  1 December in the year prior to entry. 

The Perse School Rankings And Results

In 2023, 78% of A-Level grades were A*-A and 86% of GCSE grades were 9-7, cementing The Perse School as one of the top performing day schools in the UK. Overall, The Perse School ranked 15th in our A-level League Table for 2023 and 51st in our GCSE League Table for 2023.

The Perse School Fees (2024/2025)

Here are the 2024/2025 fees for Upper School and Sixth Form:

  • School fees per term – £7,450
  • School fees per year – £22,350
  • Lunch charge per term – £338

The Perse School Entry Requirements


For entry into the Upper School at The Perse School, all applicants undergo assessment in the academic year preceding their intended entry. All candidates must attend assessments in person. The assessments consist of a combination of tests, a group activity, and an informal interview with a Perse teacher to discuss their interests and passions. The ability of a child to engage with the school’s extracurricular activities and uphold its values plays a significant role in the selection process.

Entrance assessments for Year 7 and Year 9 entry in September 2025 are scheduled for Saturday, January 11, 2025. These assessments, while stretching, do not require preparation or revision. Candidates sit papers in English, maths, and verbal reasoning, with Year 9 candidates also completing an additional humanities paper. The school ensures that these tests are accessible to all, and candidates are encouraged to declare any special educational needs or disabilities to facilitate appropriate adjustments.


For entry into the Sixth Form, all applicants are invited to attend a Sixth Form Entrance Test Day in November of the academic year prior to entry. The entry test day for candidates seeking admission in September 2025 is scheduled for Saturday, November 23, 2024. Similar to the Upper School assessments, candidates must attend the testing in person, where they will sit papers assessing a combination of reasoning and thinking skills. Additionally, candidates participate in a short informal interview with a Perse teacher to discuss their interests and engagement with extracurricular activities. Offers of admission are typically conditional on GCSE results, with a standard offer based on a minimum of 58 points at GCSE and specific grade requirements in chosen Sixth Form subjects.

Applicants not currently taking I/GCSE courses may be required to sit further subject-specific tests, with details provided if necessary. Candidates who attend the entrance test day will be notified of the outcome before Christmas, with an acceptance deadline in early January.

The Perse School Reviews

Jill Allen

“Great staff that truly supports pupils to achieve their best!”

Harry Wilkinson
“Quality educational experience.”
Current Oxford Student

“The Perse School is a rigorous academic training college for entrance to top-level academic universities. This can be both good and bad. On the one hand, it delivers the goods, particularly for sciences; Oxbridge entry statistics are amongst the best in the country. On the other hand, this is a high-pressured and somewhat narrow environment, and pupils can become rather left behind or worse, spoon-fed for exam performance. But these are problems at all elite schools, and the Perse makes up for them particularly well.

The Perse School Houses

At The Perse School, the house system stands as a testament to their commitment to fostering a vibrant and inclusive community. Each student, alongside their tutor group, becomes an integral part of one of eight distinct houses within the Upper School. This structure offers abundant opportunities for students to immerse themselves in school life, forge lasting friendships, and participate in a diverse array of activities.

Throughout the academic year, the houses organise a myriad of events spanning drama, music, sports, quizzes, and fundraising activities. These events not only cultivate camaraderie and healthy competition but also serve as platforms for personal growth and self-expression. Whether competing in sports tournaments or collaborating on creative projects, students have ample opportunities to showcase their talents, develop teamwork skills, and contribute positively to the school community.

The Perse School Student Services and Extracurricular Activities

Pastoral Care

At The Perse School, the pastoral care of students is a top priority, with a dedicated team committed to providing support, guidance, and understanding. Whether students need someone to talk to, share ideas with, or seek assistance in reaching out to others, the school’s specialist pastoral team is readily available and accessible. While the tutor serves as the primary point of contact for any questions or concerns, there is a range of staff members with specific pastoral responsibilities. This ensures that students have access to a diverse network of support tailored to their individual needs.

In addition to one-on-one support, the school’s curriculum includes timetabled PSHEE (Personal, Social, Health, and Economic Education) and emotional well-being lessons. The lessons aim to equip students with the emotional tools necessary to navigate not only their school years but also their future endeavours.

Extracurricular Activities

At The Perse School, students have access to a wide array of exciting extracurricular opportunities designed to enrich their educational experience. Students have access to activities such as art, music, drama, dance, sport, and outdoor pursuits, tailored to their interests and passions.

For example, Perse boasts over 100 clubs and societies, including robotics, debating, literature, and ecology, alongside 70+ music ensembles and over 150 sports teams. As such, there is without a doubt something for everyone to explore and enjoy.

One of the most popular extracurricular options at The Perse School is the Perse Exploration Society, where more than 700 students embark on thrilling adventures through expeditions both in the UK and overseas. These experiences provide invaluable opportunities for personal growth, teamwork, and exploration of the world beyond the classroom. For the full list of clubs, societies and activities, CLICK HERE.

The Perse School Contact Information

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