The Spear's Schools Index in partnership with Carfax Education: Top Ten UK Prep Schools - Spear's Magazine

The Spear’s Schools Index in partnership with Carfax Education: Top Ten UK Prep Schools

The Spear’s Schools Index in partnership with Carfax Education: Top Ten UK Prep Schools

The top 10 prep schools in the UK, compiled by Spear’s magazine in association with Carfax Education 

Cothill House

Boys, Boarding ($37,510), 190 pupils, 8-13
Focus: Tolerance, kindness & trust
Curriculum: British curriculum
Accessibility: Heathrow; 55 min

Celebrating its 150th birthday this year, Cothill House in Abingdon is steeped in history but is very modern, with several new buildings. It offers a broad curriculum and all boys spend a whole term at its château near Toulouse to experience immersion in French and a range of outdoor activities. Boys leave unspoilt, unfussy and ambitious: 70 per cent go on to Eton, Winchester or Harrow.

Dragon School

Co-ed, Boarding & day ($39,900(B))/($27,410(D)), 821 pupils, 4-13
Focus: Exploring and developing talents
Curriculum: UK curriculum
Accessibility: Heathrow; 50 mins

Dragon School sits over two sites on the edge of Oxford. It places an emphasis on philanthropy from the start and pupils are encouraged to be leaders and social entrepreneurs. Academic success is very high, pupils are articulate and engaged, and they often win in national-level sporting competitions. Alumni include Emma Watson, Hugh Laurie and Antonia Fraser.

Falkner House School

Girls, Day $12,800-$25,260, 163 pupils, 4-11
Focus: Education in a family atmosphere
Curriculum: British curriculum
Heathrow; 30 mins

With only one class per year group, this small, family-run school maintains its domestic feel, with school dogs. Existing pupils become ‘big sisters’ to new arrivals. Pastoral care is the priority, with a focus on building confidence and tolerance. Academics are of a high standard and the school gets more girls into St Paul’s than almost any other. A boys’ school was established in 2016

Knightsbridge School

Co-ed/Day ($25,300-$26,860), 448 pupils, 3-13
Focus: Intellect, passion and imagination
Curriculum: British curriculum and EYFS
Accessibility: Heathrow; 30 mins

This rapidly expanding school was set up in 2006 by the charismatic Magoo Giles, whose enthusiasm permeates the whole place. The growth of the senior school will maintain the strong academic foundation, and communication with parents is second to none. With an ex-Ritz chef, the food has great write-ups and there is a strong SEN department to support those struggling.

Ludgrove School

Boys, Boarding ($35,400), 185 pupils, 8-13
Focus: Exploring potential
Curriculum: British curriculum
Accessibility: Heathrow; 35 mins

With alumni including Princes William and Harry, Ludgrove sits in the Berkshire countryside with extensive playing fields, a nine-hole golf course and a gigantic treehouse in the grounds. Classes are small and focus is on the child and his individual needs. The two-weekly boarding system encourages independence and allows boys to throw themselves into everything the school offers.

Port Regis

Co-ed, Boarding & day ($25,160(D)), ($34,703(B)), 331 pupils,2-13
Focus: Inspiring young minds
Curriculum: British curriculum
Accessibility: Heathrow; 1 hr 40 mins

Port Regis, in the Dorset countryside, has a reputation for producing well-rounded and balanced pupils. With an abundance of facilities, the school has a strong reputation for sports and music, but there’s no slouching academically. Boarding is at the heart of the school and there is an emphasis on kindness and community. Pupils go on to a range of senior schools.

Summer Fields

Boys, Boarding & day ($39,350(B)), ($27,430(D)), 308 pupils, 4-13
Focus: A healthy mind in a healthy body British curriculum
Accessibility: Heathrow; 50 min

Established in 1864 in Oxford, Summer Fields has a stellar reputation. It has a traditional approach and a curriculum that encourages boys to be ambitious and join in with all the activities, from fencing or polo to music and art. All abilities get into their senior school of choice, with a good number of scholarships. Alumni include Harold Macmillan and Christopher Lee.

Sussex House School

Boys, Day $27,840, 184 pupils, 8-13
Focus: Tradition and imagination British curriculum
Accessibility: Heathrow; 30 min

Sussex House in Chelsea, presided over by Nicholas Kaye for the past 25 years, is a classic prep school. Boys in their final year wear gowns and head off to some of the best schools in the country; it has a strong academic reputation and music is highly valued. Pupils are encouraged to shine through their own passions and are exposed to topics above their age group.

Thomas’s Battersea

Co-ed, Day $22,000-$28,000, 2,053 pupils, 4–13
Focus: Kindness, encouragement
Curriculums: British curriculum
Accessibility: Heathrow; 30-45 mins

Thomas’s has schools in Battersea, Kensington, Clapham and Fulham and counts Prince George and Princess Charlotte among its pupils. Each school has its own spirit but they are united in their approach. Pupils make progress in and out of the classroom with a wealth of music, art and drama to keep them busy. Academic results are high and there is an emphasis on manners and perseverance

Wetherby Preparatory School

British curriculum, Boys, Day ($29,420), 400 pupils, 7-13
Focus: Academic and creative balance
Accessibility: Heathrow; 30-40 mins

Wetherby has two schools in the heart of London and an expanding senior school and recently opened a school in New York. Although the sports facilities are not on site, it offers a huge range of activities, clubs and societies; the chess club is particularly strong. A thriving parent community binds both campuses together. Alumni include Hugh Grant and Princes William and Harry.

Carfax Education is the leading private education consultancy whose motto, ‘academic excellence without borders’ is underlined by a network of offices that stretches across London, Oxford, Monaco, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Moscow, Singapore and Hong Kong.