The Ten Best Independent Schools in South West London


If you’re thinking about independent secondary schools for your child, London has some of the most prestigious in the UK. According to The Times’ Parent Power schools guide, half of the country’s top 50 private schools are in the capital, with many in, or easily accessible from, South West London.

If you’re thinking about a school for your child, it’s never too early to start your research. Consider the type of school environment that would suit your child; whether single sex or co-ed; one with an academic ethos or a big emphasis on sport or the arts. Remember that the high-achieving schools will have competitive entrance requirement that require plenty of preparation.

To help you sift through the options, here are the top 10 independent schools in South West London, according to the latest Parent Power guide, published in December 2021.

King’s College School, Wimbledon

Right beside lovely Wimbledon Common, King’s College is an independent day school for boys aged seven to 18, and girls at sixth form. Founded in 1829 by royal charter, the school claims to be, “one of the most academically successful schools in the world” and is ranked number two in London by The Times. Results are impressive with 96.9% of A-level students gaining grades A* to B and 96.5% awarded grades 7 to 9 at GCSE. The school’s famous alumni include Education Secretary, Nadhim Zahawi, TV medics Chris and Xand Van Tulleken and singer Marcus Mumford.

St Paul’s School, Barnes

St Paul’s boys’ school is based in Barnes. It’s been around for 500 years and promises an “outstanding, all-round education” for “gifted boys” aged seven to 18. Rated sixth by The Times, results include 95.4% of A-level students awarded grades A* to B and 96.1% achieving grades 7 to 9 at GCSE. Former pupils include former Chancellor George Osborne, journalist and presenter Dan Snow and actor Rory Kinnear. St Paul’s girl’s school in Hammersmith isn’t too far from South West London and tops The Times’ listing.

Lady Eleanor Holles, Hampton

Lady Eleanor Holles is among the oldest girls’ schools in the UK. A day school, it takes girls aged seven to 18 and boasts that more than 90% of last year’s leavers received places at their first-choice university. Famous students include journalist Lynn Barber, actor Saskia Reeves and DJ Annie Nightingale. It is rated 18th in the UK by The Times. Results include 94.2% of A-level students awarded grades A* to B and 92.5% achieving grades 7 to 9 at GCSE.

Wimbledon High School

Ranked 20th in the UK by The Times, Wimbledon High is part of the Girls Day Schools Trust (GDST). The school had been educating girls since 1880 and takes them aged four to 18. It describes itself as a school, “with each individual at its heart, where girls are known and nurtured, where laughter fills the air.” Famous alumni include author MIchelle Paver and journalists Rosie Millard, Samira Ahmed and Afua Hirsch.

Hampton School

“For over 450 years, Hampton has been helping boys to fulfil their potential and realise their aspirations,” according to the school. Hampton takes boys aged three to 18 and 91.7% achieve A* to B at A Level with 92.7% getting grade 7 to 9 at GCSE. It is ranked 22nd by The Times.

Putney High School

According to the school’s website, “academically high-achieving, rounded and responsible, Putney is as down-to earth as it is dynamic.” This GDST school is ranked 26th by the Times. The score for A* to B at A level is 92.5%. Putney High has also been named one of the UK’s top five schools for sport.

Trinity School, Croydon

Trinity School takes boys aged 10 to 18, and girls in the sixth form. The school ranks 43rd in The Times listing and 89.4% of students achieve A* to B at A Level with 88.7% gaining a grade 7 to 9 at GCSE.

Whitgift School, South Croydon

Another Croydon school, Whitgift is a day and boarding school for boys aged 10 to 18 with a history dating back to 1600. It was named Independent Boys’ School of the Year in 2020 and described as ‘amazing’ by Sir David Attenborough – no less. A* to B at A level = 89.5%.

Kingston Grammar School

Rare among The Times’ top ten, Kingston Grammar is a coeducational independent school, which takes pupils aged 11 to 18. While strong academically, the school has a big emphasis on art, drama and music – and has its own arts centre. The school is ranked 56th nationally by The Times and 86.3% of students achieve A* to B at A level and 82% gain places at Russell Group universities.

Surbiton High School

A girls’ high school (with boys in the prep school), Surbiton is strong academically and at sport, excelling at the ‘super eight’; hockey, cricket, football, netball, gymnastics, rowing, tennis and skiing. Almost 90% of students enter Russell Group universities with an average of eight students a year getting Oxbridge offers.

If your search for a school for your child will involve a South West London house move, we’d love to advise you. We’d be happy to talk you through the areas we cover and the schools close by – independent or state. Call us today for a chat about your options.