Ranking of London senior schools by 2015 GCSE results

kings college wimbledonGCSE results for 2015 are out and the usual suspects in the top 5 are dominating the league table again. A few schools have shot up the ranking quite markedly, such as Highgate and Wimbledon High School. UCS in Hampstead just narrowly missed out on a spot in the top 20.

The below ranking is based on the % of A* among all GCSE entries of the school. Why A* and not the more common ranking based on A-A*? Because there is a big difference between getting an A or an A* in terms of the mastery of the subject that is required, so only the percentage of A* gives us the true picture of the highest performing schools.

Ranking based on A-Levels becomes trickier because a) there is a big difference in the number of subjects chosen by pupils at this stage, enabling a school that limits pupils to three or four A-Level subjects in their chosen subjects to outperform schools that encourage a broader and more challenging selection of subjects and b) at the Sixth Form level, some top schools offer the IB as well as the A-Level, which makes it hard to know what reflects a particular school and what reflects only the subsegment of pupils who choose the A-Level rather than the IB, and lastly c) more and more schools have an additional intake of pupils into their Sixth Form based on GCSE results, so top schools can cream of the best candidates from other schools. Boys’ schools such as Westminster and King’s College now admit girls into their co-ed Sixth Forms, which means their A-level results only show the final outcome of the co-ed cohort, some of which have only been at the school for two years.

With that in mind, here are the top 20 senior schools in London by GCSE results 2015:

Rank School % A* Gender
1 St Paul’s Girls’ School 88.5 Girls
2 Westminster School 83.7 Boys
3 St Paul’s School 82.3 Boys
4 North London Collegiate School 82.1 Girls
5 King’s College School, Wimbledon 82.0 Boys
6 City of London School For Girls 76.9 Girls
7 City of London School 72.9 Boys
8 Wimbledon High School GDST 72.1 Girls
9 Godolphin and Latymer School 71.6 Girls
10 Haberdasher Aske’s Girls’ 70.8 Girls
11 Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys 70.0 Boys
12 Henrietta Barnett School 69.2 Girls
13 Latymer Upper School 68.4 Co-ed
14 James Allen’s Girls’ School 67.1 Girls
15 Lady Eleanor Holles School 67.1 Girls
16 Highgate 66.08 Co-ed
17 Hampton School 65.61 Boys
18 South Hampstead High School 64.5 Girls
19 Alleyn’s School, Dulwich 64.2 Co-ed
20 Tiffin Girls’ School 61.5 Girls

7 thoughts on “Ranking of London senior schools by 2015 GCSE results”

  1. Would it be possible to extend this list to inlude the top 50 schools? i.e. how about Channing School in highgate area?

  2. Victoria Lyon Grey

    I would agree with daddanxious about a) this site being a fabulous resource and b) about the suggestion to please start spreading your research now to schools beyond the centre of London. If you could begin to investigate and post on schools by geographical location – west\north\south\east and central London it would open your site to a much wider community of interested parents.

    I also disagree fundamentally with the obsessive emphasis on results that has been generated by league tables in the name of transparency. In my opinion, the sole accomplishment (?) of league tables has been to totally misdirect the way parents choose schools for their children.

    I take your point about transparency, but there is more to judging the success of a school – and choosing a school – than results alone. I know that your have repeatedly emphasise this point. But the sad fact remains that too many parents are happy to ignore the myriad of other factors that go into making a school what it is and how it might benefit their child in their quest to get their child into the “top school” – whether that school is right for them or not. Before league tables, schools were chosen on very different criteria!

    Of course schools should be held accountable, and this is the purpose of school inspections, which look at – and judge – the important things such as teaching quality and pastoral care – but comparing schools by their results is more often than not like comparing apples with oranges.

    1. Thanks for your comment. I have found that you can have twenty schools with “outstanding” inspection rating and there are vast differences between them that are not picked up in inspection reports. Often, the alternative is going by hearsay or rumours, which can be far more misleading than league tables. But I do agree that they can create pressure to choose schools that may not be the right ones for a child, just because parents think they need to choose “the best” school, even though it is not the best for their child.

  3. Great site by the way, but it doesn’t seem to spread much beyond zone 1 very often.

    I do agree with you about A level results for co-ed sixth forms being slightly misleading but you should still include for completeness sake.

    Also, the list you have compiled is not very useful for those of us interested in single sex education for boys. You have listed only five and this would depend on geography to make a commute feasible. A top 10 list for boys would be useful for those interested in such things, this would then add very strong schools such as Whitgift, Dulwich, Trinity, University College School, Merchant Taylors plus maybe one or two others.

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