Best State Secondary Schools in the UK – Rankings & League Table (Updated 2024)

Looking for the top secondary schools in the UK? Our league table will make the research easy for you. We have compiled our league table of the top state secondary schools in the UK based on published data on public examination results. We also have a league table of state secondary schools based on the latest GCSE and A-Levels results. You can find the latest UK State School results in this article.

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Top UK State Secondary Schools - Methodology

best state secondary schools in the uk

Our league table is based on Parent Power’s ranking of all state secondary schools in the UK. These rankings are determined based on the average performance of the schools in public examinations, which include A-Levels, GCSEs, International Baccalaureate, Pre-U, Advanced Higher, Higher, and National 5 outcomes. Junior schools are also included in the league table and are calculated differently based on Standard Assessment Tests.

Our league table includes different types of schools in the UK as specified below:

  • Academy – Government funded, run by an academy trust
  • Independent school – privately funded schools
  • Maintained school – Government funded, run by a local authority

The schools included in our rankings are selective with pupils to various extents – some are 100% selective with pupils, such as grammar schools; some are partially selective with only a certain percentage of its students; while some schools are comprehensive and do not select their students.

What Is A State Secondary School?

A state secondary school in the UK is a publicly funded educational institution that provides education to students typically between the ages of 11 to 18. These schools are maintained by local authorities or regional governments and are open to all students regardless of their background or ability to pay fees.

The state secondary schools follow the UK national curriculum and offer a wide range of subjects, including core subjects like English, mathematics, and science, as well as optional subjects such as foreign languages, humanities, and arts. Other vocational courses and extracurricular activities may also be offered.

Top State Secondary Schools 2024 - League Table

The UK State Secondary School 2024 League Table ranks all the state school in the UK, based on their official A-Levels and GCSE results for 2023. We’ve compiled all their results and listed them in the table below.

Top A-Level State Secondary Schools 2024 - League Table

Here is a comparison of all UK state secondary schools based on their latest A-Level results.

Top GCSE State Secondary Schools 2024 - League Table

Here is a comparison of all UK state secondary schools based on their latest GCSE results.

UK Secondary School Application Process

There are three major steps in the application process to UK secondary schools. Contact Britannia StudyLink for assistance in the application process today – our services are free.

UK Boarding School Application Process

You could read our article on UK boarding school application process for more information or leave your contact details and one of our associates will be in touch with you with more information!

Top 10 State Secondary Schools in England

10. Altrincham Grammar School for Girls, Altrincham

The Altrincham Grammar School for Girls has earned its spot in the top 10 on our league table this year for its academic excellence. Located in Greater Manchester, Altrincham Grammar School for Girls is the biggest all-girl’s school in England, with over 1200 students.

9. King Edward VI School, Stratford-upon-Avon

Also known as the King Edward VI Shakespeare’s School, this school is a selective all-boys’ school that is co-educational at the Sixth Form. It has an excellent track record in academics and outstanding extracurricular programmes that include drama productions, a rugby tradition, other competitive sports, music groups, and more.

8. Reading School, Reading

Renowned for its rich heritage and academic excellence, Reading School has consistently produced exceptional results in national examinations. Its distinguished faculty and a culture of academic rigour contribute to its reputation as a premier educational institution.

7. The Tiffin Girls’ School, Kingston upon Thames

The Tiffin Girls’ School admits approximately 1200 students, including 300 or so students in the Sixth Form. The school has won numerous accolades in the past decade for outstanding academic achievements.Tiffin School not only places a strong emphasis on academic achievement but also encourages students’ personal development, fostering a well-rounded education.

6. Colchester Royal Grammar School

Located in Essex, the Colchester Royal Grammar School is a state-funded grammar school. The selective school has earned its number 6 spot on our list as it has consistently produced top results in both the GCSEs and A-Levels.

5. St Olave's Grammar School

Founded in 1571, St Olave’s Grammar School is a boys’ grammar school located in Greater London. St Olave’s was once named as the State Secondary School of the Year on Sunday Times in 2008, one of the most prestigious awards for schools in the country.

4. Pate's Grammar School

Pate’s Grammar School was named as the State Secondary School of the Year on two separate occasions by The Sunday Times’ Good Schools Guide which is a rare accolade. The school has also earned the prestigious Outstanding rating by Ofsted, a mark of the school’s high standards in education.

3. The Henrietta Barnett School

Dubbed as one of the “magnificent seven”, the school was founded by Dame Henrietta Barnett in 1911 to improve girls’ education. It has since been recognised year after year as one of the best schools in the country, with high acceptance rates at Oxbridge and top achievements at GCSEs and A-Levels.

2. Queen Elizabeth's School, Barnet

The Queen Elizabeth’s School, Barnet, has been consistently ranked among the top schools in the UK. Queen Elizabeth’s School topped the A-Level league tables for five years in a row and it is consistently ranked among the top 5 schools in the UK.

1. Wilson's School, Wallington

Wilson’s School was named as The Times’ London State Secondary School of the Decade in 2020. The school has a total of 1250 pupils and admits 180 pupils every year through a rigorous, two-stage entrance examination.

Best State Secondary Schools in London 2024

This league table lists all state secondary schools in the London area based on their overall 2024 ranking.

Best State Secondary Schools in Bristol 2024

This league table lists all state secondary schools in the Bristol area based on their overall 2024 ranking.

Frequently Asked Questions

Based on 2024 league tables, the number one state secondary school in England is Wilson’s School in Wallington.

The top state school in London is the Henrietta Barnett School, followed by the Latymer School and St. Michael’s Catholic Grammar School in second and third place respectively.

The top state school in Bristol is the Bristol Cathedral Choir School.

First, you will have to submit application forms and other relevant documents. Depending on the school of choice, you may have to take entrance exams. The school will make its decision based on its admissions criteria.

Get Free UK State School Application Assistance

If you would like a free consultation on any step of the application process, contact us today or come visit us at our office. Book an appointment with us now!

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