Below you will find specific information on Prep Schools.

Firstly, there is a huge range of Independent/private schools spread out over Great Britain, Ireland, The Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. These schools are fee paying and most of them are also members of the ISI (Independent Schools Inspectorate). Private schools are run by governors and independent of many regulations that apply to state schools. The biggest of these regulations they are independent of is the National Curriculum.

Private Prep Schools

Prep schools emerged in the early 19th century as boarding schools to prepare boys for leading Public Schools. In its modern form prep schools can be for boys, girls, co-education, boarding, day schools or any combination of those.

Prep schools generally fall into the following general categories:

  • Completely independent prep schools, both charitable and ownership
  • Junior schools connected to senior schools
  • Choir schools, which educate child singers of cathedrals and some other large religious institutions; they all accept non-chorister pupils with the exception of Westminster Abbey Choir School;
  • Schools offering special educational provision or facilities
  • Schools with particular religious affiliations

Prep (Preparatory) schools are those that cater for students up to the age of 13 to ‘prepare’ learners for school entrance to the public (expensive and exclusive schools for 13-18-year-olds), independent secondary schools or selective state selective grammar schools. The term ‘preparatory’ refers to the preparation for the Common Entrance Exam.

You can find the Website and Admissions pages for these schools either through the above links or by going to our various pages like:

London Prep School Guide

London Prep School Admissions

As each private school also manages their own admission procedures, these vary greatly. Most private schools are however academically selective and administer some kind of assessment. The ISI (Independent Schools Inspectorate) inspects most of these prep schools. Ofsted oversees this. All independent schools in England are however registered with the Department of Education. They are therefore regulated by the Secretary of State for Education.

Consequently for children, up to 7, a prep school would usually ‘assess’ prospective students through an interview and a taster day at the school. There are however schools the make use of 7+ formal assessments.

Prep schools London 

There are 32 boroughs in the 33 local authority districts in Greater London. The 33rd is the City of London, so not technically a borough.

Consequently, it would be easiest to find prep schools within your borough.

These 32 boroughs are as follow:

  • City of London (not a London borough, but local authority district)
  • City of Westminster
  • Kensington and Chelsea
  • Hammersmith and Fulham
  • Wandsworth
  • Lambeth
  • Southwark
  • Tower Hamlets
  • Hackney
  • Islington
  • Camden
  • Brent
  • Ealing
  • Hounslow
  • Richmond upon Thames
  • Kingston upon Thames
  • Merton
  • Sutton
  • Croydon
  • Bromley
  • Lewisham
  • Greenwich
  • Bexley
  • Havering
  • Barking and Dagenham
  • Redbridge
  • Newham
  • Waltham Forest
  • Haringey
  • Enfield
  • Barnet
  • Harrow
  • Hillingdon


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School News

Inequality in education

Throughout schooling, exams and until University children are constantly faced with social and economic inequality. How to combat this. In Aug 2018, education minister Nadhim Zahawi suggested a solution or should we say his own priority. Mr Zahawi proposed a government-backed scheme under which 40 private schools provide boarding places for looked-after children. Although this might sound like a great idea, his motives were clear when Mr Zahawi told Newsnight that Labour “would never be able to abolish” private schools if private schools help improve the life chances of vulnerable children. This might sound harmless, but approaching such an issue in this way may have even more severe consequences. Pushing already vulnerable children into (what might just be) a hostile environment is not necessarily the solution.

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