Top UK Grammar Schools – Ranking & League Table 2024

Looking for the best UK Grammar Schools? Explore our league table.

As you might already know, it’s quite the task researching schools for sending your child to – the school’s location, international student presence, facilities, teaching standards and so many other factors are important. We have put together a league table comparing UK grammar schools in terms of their academic performance which can make this process a bit easier for you. In this comprehensive guide to the best UK Grammar Schools, we compare the UK’s top Grammar Schools based on their academic performance at GCSEs and A Levels.

What is a Grammar School?

Grammar schools are a type of state school in the UK which are allowed to select students based on academic ability. Most grammar schools will require applicants to take an entrance examination – these are known as the 11+ and 13+. See our section UK Grammar School Entrance Exams below for more information about entrance exams.

top grammar schools in the uk

What Is A Selective School?

Selective Schools are schools admit students based on their performance in entrance exams, interviews, or other assessments. Admission is typically highly competitive, and students need to meet specific academic criteria to gain entry. For Grammar Schools, they primarily admit students based on their performance in the 11-plus exam, which is a standardised test taken by students in their final year of primary school. Admission to grammar schools is also competitive, and students need to achieve high scores in the 11-plus exam to secure a place.

UK Grammar School Age Groups

Grammar schools typically admit students from ages 11-18, with the most common entry year being age 11. Candidates will usually sit for a test at the end of primary education, at the age of 11-12. This examination is known as the 11-plus exam.

An alternative is the 13 plus test for late transfers – these are usually students who narrowly missed out on the requirements when they sat for the 11+ test. See the section UK Grammar School Entrance Exams below for more information.

UK Grammar School Admission

It is important to note that there is an extensive selection process for grammar schools. It’s strongly recommended that you start preparing your child for entry to a school from before Year 5 – we would be looking at a Year 7 entry with the 11+ entry point. Registration for grammar schools opens in April on the year before admission.

When applying for a grammar school, it’s crucial that you pay extra attention to key dates and deadlines for your school of choice.

How To Choose A Good Grammar School In The UK?

Choosing a good grammar school in the UK involves careful research, consideration of various factors, and understanding your child’s needs and abilities. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you make an informed decision:

  1. Understand What Grammar Schools Are: Grammar schools are state-funded schools that typically admit students based on academic ability, often determined by entrance exams called the “11-plus” or other similar tests.

  2. Research Available Options: Research the grammar schools in your desired area. Use online resources, school websites, and educational directories to create a list of potential schools.

  3. Consider Location: Think about the schools’ locations and the convenience of getting to and from the school for both you and your child. Consider transportation options and travel times.

  4. Inspect Ofsted Reports: The UK’s Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) provides reports on the quality of education in schools. Check the most recent Ofsted reports for the grammar schools you’re interested in to assess their overall performance.

  5. Check Exam Results: Look into the schools’ academic performance. Review their exam results, especially the percentage of students achieving top grades. This can give you an idea of the school’s academic standards.

  6. Visit Open Days: Attend open days or school tours if possible. This gives you an opportunity to meet teachers, see the facilities, and get a feel for the school’s environment and culture.

  7. Consider Specialisations: Some grammar schools might have specialised programs or strengths in certain subjects, such as STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) or the arts. Consider whether these align with your child’s interests.

  8. Talk to Current Students and Parents: If you can, talk to current students and parents of students attending the schools you’re considering. They can provide insights into the day-to-day experiences and the school’s overall atmosphere.

  9. Understand Admission Criteria: Each grammar school has its own admission criteria, which may include exam scores, catchment areas, and other factors. Make sure you understand these criteria and assess whether your child is likely to meet them.

  10. Consider Your Child’s Abilities and Preferences: Consider your child’s academic abilities, learning style, and preferences. Some children thrive in highly competitive environments, while others might excel in a more nurturing setting.

  11. Prepare for the Entrance Exam: If your child needs to take an entrance exam like the 11-plus, make sure they are well-prepared. There are many resources available, including practice books, online tests, and tutoring services.

  12. Apply to Multiple Schools: To increase your chances of getting a place in a grammar school, apply to more than one school. Keep in mind that these schools can be highly competitive, so having multiple options is beneficial.

  13. Review Admission Deadlines: Ensure you’re aware of the application deadlines for each school. Missing deadlines can result in your child not being considered for admission.

  14. Trust Your Instincts: After gathering all the information, trust your instincts. Consider what you feel is the best fit for your child’s personality, abilities, and goals.

Remember that finding the right school is a personalised process. What works for one child might not work for another, so take your time, involve your child in the decision-making process, and prioritise their well-being and academic growth.

UK Grammar School League Table 2024

Here you can find the top UK grammar schools based on league table rankings as of 2024. Grammar Schools are ranked based on their average performance using A-level, GCSE and IB outcomes from summer 2023.

Our League Table Methodology

There are a number of factors that are taken into consideration in these rankings. The commons ones are based on academic performance and Progress 8 scoresOur league table takes into account the average performance using A-level, GCSE and IB outcomes from summer 2023.

What Is Progress 8?

Progress 8 is a new indicator of a school’s performance. This is considered as an alternative measure of academic performance by the UK’s Department of Education compared to academic performance as it considers the progress of students of all abilities.

Before we get into Progress 8 scores, Attainment 8 is a scoring system which is an average grade of eight subjects taken by students. Progress 8 is then calculated by comparing the students’ Attainment 8 score with the national average of pupils with similar academic starting points.

Scoring goes from -1 to +1, where +1 Progress 8 scores indicates that students are achieving one grade higher in each qualification compared to similar pupils in other schools. According to the Department of Education, schools that score +0.5 and higher are considered above average. In other words, Progress 8 is a measure of a student’s progress from their academic starting point. The higher the Progress 8 score, the better.

Grammar Schools in Kent

Are you looking for grammar schools in Kent? Here’s a list of all grammar schools in Kent based on their progress 8 scores.

RankSchoolPupils achieving 5+ A*-C/ 9-4sProgress 8Pupils
19Invicta Grammar School, ME14 5DS1000.961409
21Dartford Grammar School, DA1 2HW1000.931483
24Tonbridge Grammar School, TN9 2JR1000.841166
45Gravesend Grammar School, DA12 2PR1000.451223
47Cranbrook School, TN17 3JD99NA744
50Weald of Kent Grammar School, TN9 2JP991.011426
52Highworth Grammar School, TN24 8UD990.981455
73The Judd School, TN9 2PN990.641152
74Chatham Grammar School for Girls, ME5 7EH990.6699
75Maidstone Grammar School for Girls, ME16 0SF990.591200
100The Skinners' School, TN4 9PG980.681021
111Highsted Grammar School, ME10 4PT980.5827
114Dover Grammar School for Girls, CT16 2PZ980.45881
122Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys, TN4 9XB970.391276
123Mayfield Grammar School, Gravesend, DA11 0JE970.331057
124Wilmington Grammar School for Girls, DA2 7BB970.22928
125Barton Court Grammar School, CT1 1PH970.14913
130Wilmington Grammar School for Boys, DA2 7DA960.37965
140The Folkestone School for Girls, CT20 3RB950.431139
141Simon Langton Girls' Grammar School, CT1 3EW950.391113
144Oakwood Park Grammar School, ME16 8AH950.171076
145The Norton Knatchbull School, TN24 0QJ950.161173
148Dane Court Grammar School, CT10 2RT951255
149Borden Grammar School, ME10 4DB95-0.03837
152Sir Roger Manwood's School, CT13 9JX940.041032
153Chatham & Clarendon Grammar School, CT11 7PS94-0.021470
154Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School, ME13 7BQ94-0.32981
155Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys, CT4 7AS94-0.51147
162Dover Grammar School for Boys, CT17 0DQ90-0.17795

Grammar Schools in Manchester

Looking to enrol at a grammar school in Manchester? This is a list of all grammar schools in Manchester and Greater Manchester.

RankSchoolPupils achieving 5+ A*-C/ 9-4sProgress 8Pupils
7Altrincham Grammar School for Girls, WA14 2NL1001.121327
22Altrincham Grammar School for Boys, WA14 2RS1000.91274
27Loreto Grammar School, WA14 4AH1000.811044
85Sale Grammar School, M33 3NH990.431290
79Saint Ambrose College, WA15 0HE990.511004
100Stretford Grammar School, M32 8JB980.68821
120Urmston Grammar Academy, M41 5UG980.191035

Grammar Schools in Warwickshire

Looking to enrol at a grammar school in Warwickshire? Here’s a list of all grammar schools in Warwickshire.

RankSchoolPupils achieving 5+ A*-C/ 9-4sProgress 8Pupils
24Stratford Girls' Grammar School, CV37 9HA1000.84810
41King Edward VI School, CV37 6BE1000.55726
72Rugby High School, CV22 7RE990.7843
89Lawrence Sheriff School, CV21 3AG990.4895
118Alcester Grammar School, B49 5ED980.341206

What Are The UK Grammar School Entrance Exams?


The 11 plus test is an entrance exam for students aged 11-12 taken in their final year of primary education. Academically selective schools in the UK such as grammar schools will usually require incoming students to sit for a test. The most common (and recommended) entry year into grammar school is Year 7, so the 11+ test is crucial in determining whether your child is accepted at their grammar school of choice.


The 13 plus test is designed for late transfer or late entry students. This is subject to the availability of places as there is no shortage of applicants into grammar schools – in fact, not all grammar schools will accept late entry students. The 13+ exam takes place roughly 18 months after the 11+ test which offers students who narrowly missed their place at a grammar school a second chance at entry.

UK Grammar Schools Map

Here is the map of the top 75 Grammar Schools in the UK.

Click on the image above to zoom in or to share the image to social media.

Best Grammar Schools in the UK

10. Altrincham Grammar School for Girls

Altrincham Grammar School for Girls (AGGS) takes pride in its tradition of academic excellence, diverse achievements in sports and culture, and community service. AGGS fosters independent learning, self-confidence, and leadership through engaging lessons and extensive extracurriculars. The school has a track record of preparing students well for the future, testament to their commitment to inclusivity, high aspirations, and academics.

9. King Edward VI School, Stratford

King Edward VI School at Stratford (not be confused with King Edward Grammar School) is renowned for its longstanding tradition of academic excellence, cultural and sporting accomplishments, and active community engagement. The school’s inclusive ethos ensures a welcoming environment that celebrates diversity. Students at King Edward VI School, Stratford, benefit from engaging lessons and a wide range of extracurricular activities, which foster independent learning and nurture their leadership skills.

8. Reading School

Reading School was founded in 1125, making it one of the oldest selective schools in England. 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. Tiffin's Girls School

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’s 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

CRGS is an 11-18 boys’ school with co-educational Sixth Form and is one of the few state boarding schools, fostering a multicultural community. It offers diverse experiences, exceptional music, drama, and sports facilities, and is renowned for its dedication to well-rounded, confident, and talented students. Recognised as the ‘top-performing state school’ by the Telegraph and praised by the ‘Good Schools Guide,’ CRGS was named East Anglia State Secondary School of the Decade by The Sunday Times in 2021.

5. St Olave’s Grammar School

St. Olave’s Grammar School, founded in 1571, is a distinguished institution steeped in history. This selective boys’ school, located in Orpington, Kent, has a strong tradition of academic excellence and has consistently ranked among the top-performing schools in the UK. St. Olave’s offers a challenging curriculum and a wide range of extracurricular activities, fostering a well-rounded educational experience for its students. The school’s commitment to high standards and its reputation for producing accomplished graduates make it a respected name in British education.

4. Pate’s Grammar School

Founded in 1574, Pate’s has a fascinating history that includes having once been a school for poor boys established by Richard Pate, a wealthy London merchant. Located in the charming town of Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, this institution has a unique connection to the famous composer Gustav Holst, who taught here. Pate’s Grammar School takes pride in its academic excellence and remarkable success in various fields, including an impressive number of students achieving places at top universities. It also stands out for its strong emphasis on music and performing arts, with a thriving tradition of musical excellence.

3. The Henrietta Barnett School

The Henrietta Barnett School, founded in 1911, has a remarkable history as an all-girls grammar school in London. One fascinating aspect is its unique architectural design, with the school building being an exquisite example of Edwardian architecture, known for its stunning red-brick façade and intricate detailing. This architectural charm adds to the school’s distinctive character and heritage. The school is celebrated for its commitment to academic excellence and empowering young women to achieve their full potential in various fields, making it a standout institution in the heart of London.

2. Queen Elizabeth’s School, Barnet

Queen Elizabeth’s School has a longstanding tradition of academic excellence. It was originally founded in 1573 as a free grammar school during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, thus, making it one of the oldest educational institutions in the United Kingdom. The institution is consistently ranked among the top 5 grammar schools in the UK, a testament to the quality of education they offer.

1. Wilson's School

Wilson School tops our list as the number one Grammar School in the UK for 2024. Founded in 1615, it has a captivating history as one of England’s oldest grammar schools. Its unique claim to fame lies in its association with the renowned scientist Sir Thomas Bayes, who studied at the school in the late 17th century. Sir Thomas Bayes is best known for his development of Bayes’ theorem, a fundamental concept in probability theory. This historical connection adds an intriguing dimension to the school’s heritage, showcasing its contribution to the world of mathematics and science.

Frequently Asked Questions About Grammar Schools

  1. What are UK Grammar Schools?

    • UK Grammar Schools are state-funded schools in the United Kingdom that select students based on their academic abilities through an entrance examination known as the 11 Plus or similar tests. These schools provide a focused and academically rigorous education.

  2. How do I apply to a UK Grammar School?

    • To apply to a UK Grammar School, you usually need to register your child for the 11 Plus exam or any other specific entrance examination used by the school. The exam is typically taken in Year 6 (ages 10-11). The results of the exam determine admission eligibility.

  3. Are Grammar Schools only available in certain parts of the UK?

    • Yes, Grammar Schools are not uniformly available across the UK. They are more common in certain regions like England and Northern Ireland, while Scotland and Wales have different educational systems. However, not all areas in England and Northern Ireland have Grammar Schools.

  4. What is the curriculum like in UK Grammar Schools?

    • The curriculum in UK Grammar Schools is similar to that of other secondary schools, covering a wide range of subjects including English, mathematics, science, humanities, languages, and more. Grammar Schools often have a focus on academic subjects and may offer a broader range of advanced level (A-level) subjects.

  5. Do Grammar Schools charge tuition fees?

    • No, Grammar Schools in the UK are state-funded schools, which means they do not charge tuition fees. They are part of the state education system and provide free education to students who meet the admission criteria.

Free Consultation - Contact us To Discover The Best Schools In The UK

Join our UK Study newsletter and get helpful articles on UK study, admission tips, courses and more delivered to your inbox.