Private or independent schools are fee-paying schools. Although these terms are used interchangably, there is a slight difference. Independent schools are those that do not receive funding from its state government. Private schools are however independent schools that are overseen by a board of governors or trustees.


      *  *  CONTENT last updated October 2021   *  *


These schools are spread over London. There are around 2500 private schools in the UK. They provide education to about 615 000 children. Most independent schools are members of the Independent Schools Council (ISC). Independent schools that belong to the ISC are inspected by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI).  This is done according to a framework agreed upon between the various assessment bodies. These bodies include the DfE and Ofsted. These inspection reports are then published and can be very helpful in choosing a school.

top prep schools

Choosing the right private school in London

Choosing the right private school for your child can be a daunting task. In this section, you can find a list of private schools in London. You will find them divided into:

In these lists you will also find:

  • Admissions Info: A list of private schools in London for each subcategory
  • Entrance Exams: A list of private school entrance exam papers available

From these lists of private schools, you can also see which private schools there are in London. This could not only be helpful in finding the best private school for your child but also help you get an idea of what the Admissions criteria for each of these private schools in London. You will also be able to look at and download sample papers for those that make their entrance exam papers available.

top prep schools

Admission pages

Visiting the Admissions page for the relevant schools will help you understand the procedures each private school in London uses for admission and you will be able to see:

  • which forms of assessment is used
  • whether it is a day or boarding school
  • whether it is coeducational, a boys school or a girls school

Navigating each private school in London’s website will also provide information regarding:

  • school fees
  • religious affiliation
  • assistance such as scholarships and bursaries
  • religious affiliation
  • age range at each school
  • special education

It is still highly recommended to get in contact with each of the private schools in London that made it onto your shortlist and visit them on their relevant open days. It is also important for you and your child to get a feel for the school and make sure that your child is part of this process. You might also find my blog on School Open Days very informative and helpful.

Good luck with this very important journey.

  Exam preparation for all ages, all in one place.

Interesting facts

Some independent schools also appoint learners as what they call a ‘Don’. A ‘Don’ will give feedback to the teacher on what they (and those in their class) are learning and how they are learning. A Don is, therefore, a student leader in important departments of the school. They are usually associated with academic departments. You would, therefore, get a Don for Maths or Biology, but there may also be a Don for other departments like Library. These Dons can then do the following

  • Lead activities for younger learners
  • Organise external speakers and organise extracurricular societies
  • Pop up at A level choices fairs to tell potential subscribers “what it’s really like”
  • Offer heads of department feedback on lessons and curriculum
  • Lobby for changes in what and how they are taught

Our Other Which School guides

Firstly, private Sixth Form Admissionstop private sixth Forms Guide , private London Sixth Forms blog and London Sixth Forms Guide.

Secondly, London Prep Schools GuidePrep schools, London prep schools guide and Top London Prep schools blog.

Thirdly, London private schoolsPrivate London School Admissions (A-M), Sunday Times Private Schools League Table and top private girls schools in London.

Plus, London Independent Schools Guide, and London’s top independent school A-Level results.

Then, Grammar Schools GuideLondon 11 plus practice tests11Plus GL Guide,Grammars using 11 plus GL Assessment Guide , Guide to Grammar School Entry.

Also, UK Boarding Schools Guide, and primary school league tables,

Finally, London Pre-Schools Guide,

Our Which School Guides