The Best Prep Schools in England

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The Best Prep Schools in England
Pop-art image of school student (school image by bradley winborn from

A prep school in England is different from the educational establishments of the same name in North America. It is an independent, fee-paying school for children aged either up to 11 or 13, depending on the area. The prep refers to preparation for secondary education.

The schools in this list are selected either for their results in national testing of students or for strong reviews from independent school websites. Prep schools are not always required to submit national testing results for comparisons, such as "league tables."

Oakwood Preparatory School

Based in Chichester, West Sussex, this coeducational school has 280 places for children aged between 2 1/2 and 11. It is a day school, meaning students do not reside at the school. Fees range from £2,225 per term for Year 1 students to £3,530 for per term for Year 5 and 6 students. Admission is academically nonselective, meaning there are no entrance exams.

City of London School for Girls

Based in Central London, this day school has a total of 672 places, which covers both the prep and secondary schools. Fees are £4,377 per term, which includes lunches. Admission to the prep school is through one day of written assessments and half a day of practical assessments.

Red Maids' School

Based in Bristol, this school uses the phrase "junior school," which is used in state-funded education, rather than "prep school." It is a girls-only school. Admission is by an entrance assessment and fees are £2,210 per term, though there is a 5 per cent discount for new entrants who already a sister at the school.

Guildford High School for Girls

Based in Guildford, Surrey, this day school has a total of 936 places for girls aged 4 to 18 and also uses the term "junior school." Those entering aged 7 must pass an entrance exam covering English, mathematics, reading and an oral examination. Fees for the junior school are £3,243 per term plus an extra £187 for lunches.

St Bede's Preparatory School

Based near Eastbourne, Sussex, this is a coeducational school that takes both day pupils and boarding pupils, the latter residing at the school during term time. Fees range from £3,465 per term in year 3 to £4,305 per term in years 7 and 8. Boarding is an extra £2,010 per term. The school is nonselective, meaning there is no entrance exam.

Bromley High School

Based in Bromley, Kent, this is part of the Girls' Day School Trust, a charity operating 29 independent schools. The number of places varies from year to year but girls are placed into forms of 24 pupils. As of the 2010/2011 year, there were only eight places available for students joining at the age of 7. Entrants are assessed in English, mathematics, language skills and reading. Fees are £3,009 per term for those aged under 11.

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