14th August 2015

With A-level results coming out this past week and GCSE results set to follow, the media will be full of news of academic successes over the coming weeks and, typically, students from independent schools tend to perform significantly better than their state-educated counterparts.


Parents of young children are bound to be keeping a close eye on these news stories to help them decide which schools may be best for their children in the future. But does it matter which part of the UK they are based in as to whether or not they can access a high standard of private education? Do they need to be close to Oxford or Cambridge so they’re in with a better chance of a good university place?

We’ve taken a look at some of the best independent institutions across the country to show you that wherever your family is based, your kids can access the education needed to put them in with the best possible chance of being those beaming teenagers holding up their results on the front of our newspaper in a few years time.

Scotland – Belmont House School

Belmont House School, which is situated just outside of Glasgow, prides itself on having class sizes that are among the smallest in Scotland – just 12 or 13 pupils to a class is the norm – meaning students are given the attention they need to thrive academically.

The school has a nursery and a sixth-form attached, so children can attend from the age of three until they are 18, with the institution achieving an A-level A to C pass rate of 88 per cent in 2015.

Belmont House is open to both boys and girls and has a wide-ranging extracurricular programme, allowing students to enrich their learning experiences through activities such as Lego Club, a jazz band, the chance to complete the Duke of Edinburgh Award and all the usual sports teams.

Other notable private education institutions in Scotland include the Queen Victoria boarding school in Stirlingshire and Strathallan School. There are only around 100 private schools in the country in total, with the majority situated around Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen.

The north of England

The north of England is home to Cheshire, one of the country’s most affluent counties. With such a high number of households in a comfortable position to send their children to fee-paying schools, the region is home to some of the best independent schools in the UK.

For example, Alderley Edge School for Girls, which takes pupils from the age of two, The King’s School in Macclesfield, Wilmslow Preparatory School and The Ryleys School – also in Alderley Edge – all provide a high standard of education and extracurricular programmes to enrich the learning and social lives of pupils.

However, Cheshire isn’t the only independent school hotspot in the north – Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield and their suburbs are also home to a significant number of highly-rated private institutions.

The Midlands

Over in the Midlands, Nottingham, Lincoln and Birmingham are all home to a number of prestigious independent schools, with notable institutions including Hereford Cathedral School, which is believed to date back even further than 1380. The co-educational school is adjacent to the city’s historic cathedral and has a centuries-old reputation for outstanding education.

Although not quite as old, having ‘only’ been founded in 1722, The Blue Coat School in Edgbaston, Birmingham, has 15 acres of playing fields at its disposal, making this a fine institution for sports, as well as academia.


Affluent areas such as Chelsea are home to many of the capital’s private schools, including Chelsea Independent College, which is designed for boarders aged between 14 and 19, with the majority achieving places at prestigious universities once their time at the school is over.

There’s also the extremely popular City of London School, which has over 900 pupils at present, as well as more specialist institutions for children who excel in particular subjects. For instance, the Kensington Academy of English, which accepts pupils aged between 16 and 18, and the International School of Creative Arts – a co-educational school in Buckinghamshire for around 75 day students and boarders.

And of course, some of the country’s most famous independent institutions are located nearby, in the form of Eton and Harrow.

The south

Exeter Cathedral School is arguably one of the most notable private schools in the south of England and is particularly well-known for its musical prestige, but it welcomes pupils of all talents aged between three and 18.

A wealth of independent institutions are located throughout the region, with the south’s picturesque coasts and historic cities offering a wide range of cultural opportunities for boarders and day pupils to explore in their spare time.

This wide range of top-class private schools across the whole of the UK supports the idea that it doesn’t matter where in the UK you are based, you can access a high standard of education throughout the country. If you need advice on how to save for your child’s school fees, then SFIA are here to help.

Categories: All, Education