Overview of co-educational schools in London for all ages

One distinguishing feature of British private schools is that many of them still separate children by gender from as early as 3 or 4 years old. While there are more co-educational prep schools, from age 11, parents are almost forced to consider single sex education, if they are aiming for a top ranked school. This is true for state grammar schools as well. So what is a parent going to do if they have a preference for co-educational private schools?

There are three different paths you could take:
1. “the holy grail” would be finding a co-educational all-through school covering ages 4 – 18. The highly selective Alleyn’s School in Dulwich and Highgate School in Highgate would be excellent choices for those who can pass the 4+ assessment. The Harrodian School is Barnes and Ibstock Place School in Roehampton are other solid choices sligthly closer to the centre of London. Thomas’s London Day Schools and Fulham School (previously Fulham Prep) were prep schools covering ages 4 – 13 until recently, but now offer all-through educational for ages 4 – 18 with the opening of their new senior schools.

If you don’t have a co-educational all-through school near you or are not offered a place at the all-through schools, you could either choose the slightly risky path of a co-educational pre-prep (ages 2-7, 3-7 or 4-7) or a prep school (ages 4 – 11 or ages 4 – 13):

2. Co-educational pre-prep: your child would be prepared for 7+ entry to co-educational or other schools, ideally those that go up all the way to age 18. Here is a list of the most established co-educational pre-prep schools with potential co-educational onward options for ages 7 – 18:
– The Merlin School in Putney (ages 4 – 8, exit at 7+ or 8+), followed by Latymer Prep in Ravenscourt Park or the Harrodian School in Barnes
– Rowans School in Wimbledon (ages 3 – 7+)
Mulberry House School in West Hampstead (ages 2 – 7+), 7+ entry to Highgate School or Latymer Prep
Hampstead Hill School (ages 2 – 7+), 7+ entry to Highgate School or Latymer Prep
St John’s Wood Pre-Prep (ages 3 – 7+), 7+ entry to Highgate School or Latymer Prep
Children’s House School in Islington (ages 3 – 7+), 7+ entry to Highgate (7 – 18) or St Paul’s Cathedral Choir School ( 7- 13)
Riverhouse Montessori School in East London (ages 2 – 7), 7+ entry to Alleyn’s in Dulwich, Highgate School or the Forest School in Epping
Herne Hill School (ages 2 – 7) in Herne Hill followed by Alleyn’s in Dulwich
DUCKS in Dulwich (ages 1 – 7), followed by Alleyn’s in Dulwich
This would be a good choice if you think your child is relatively mature and precocious and hence likely to do well in a formal setting at an early age. Not ideal if you are looking for a progressive and very gentle and playful start to school though, in which case I would recommend option 1. or 3.

3. While finding a co-educational all-through school might seem ideal, great minds think alike, and as a result of thousands of parents trying the same approach, it might well be that you need to work on Plan B, which is finding an excellent co-educational prep school that will prepare you child for 11+ entry to a co-educational secondary school. Co-educational schools usually admit children mostly (in some cases exclusively) at 11+ rather than 13+. You would aim to find a prep school with a good track record of feeding co-educational secondary schools that you might be targeting, although of course I recommend keeping an open mind about where your child might go at age 11 when they haven’t even started school yet. There is a more comprehensive list of co-educational prep schools here, but here is a selection of them that you should be aware of:
Trevor-Roberts School in Hampstead, selective at 4+/5+
Devonshire House Prep School in Hampstead, selective at 4+
Newton Prep School, Battersea Park, selective at 4+
Chepstow House School, Notting Hill, non-selective
Thomas’s London Day Schools (Battersea / Clapham / Fulham / Kensington), selective at 4+
Fulham Prep School, Fulham, non-selective
Kew College (ages 3 – 11), Kew, non-selective
The Roche School, Wandsworth, non-selective
Prospect House School (ages 3 – 11), Putney, non-selective
Hurlingham Prep School, Putney, non-selective
St Paul’s Cathedral School, St Paul’s, selective at 4+
Ravenscourt Park Prep School, Ravenscourt Park, non-selective
Orchard House School, Chiswick, non-selective
Co-educational secondary schools to consider, depending on your location would be:
Latymer Upper School, Hammersmith
Harrodian School, Barnes
Emanuel School, Clapham
Highgate School, Highgate
Alleyn’s School, Dulwich
Kingston Grammar School, Kingston-upon-Thames
Mill Hill School, Mill Hill
Epsom College, Surrey
along with the long list of newly established co-educational secondary schools that have been founded over the last years to provide additional mixed places for that age group: Northbridge House School, Kew House School, Thomas’s Senior School, Fulham School, Radnor House School, Kensington Park School. It is important to note that these new schools are mostly for profit schools that tend to offer less financial aid than the historically established schools backed by charitable foundations.

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