Back to blog

The best grammar schools in London

School guides
The best grammar schools in London

With over 500 free secondary schools in London, deciding which is the best school for your child in the capital can be challenging.

If your child’s academic ability places them within the top 25% of their year group, you may be considering a grammar school education. Keep reading to find out more about the best grammar schools in London.

How many grammar schools are there in London?

There are 19 grammar schools within Greater London – eight are for boys, eight are for girls and three are co-educational.

Find out about the admissions processes for all the grammar schools in London.

Which London borough has the most grammar schools?

The London Borough of Sutton in South West London has the most grammar schools. There are five fully-selective schools – Nonsuch High School (girls), Sutton Grammar School (boys), Wallington County Grammar School (boys), Wallington High School for Girls and Wilson’s School (boys) – and one partially-selective school, which is Greenshaw High School (co-educational).

What are the top grammar schools in London?

Each year, The Sunday Times Parent Power releases its ‘best schools’ league tables based on that year’s GCSE and A level results. The following state secondary selective schools in London were named as the top 10 for 2022.

1. Queen Elizabeth's School (Barnet)

Queen Elizabeth's School, Barnet © telegraph.co.uk

Queen Elizabeth’s School for boys, founded in 1573, was named The Sunday Times State School of the Year for 2022. For the past three years, the school has had more students leave for Russell Group universities than any other state-funded school in the country.

Queen Elizabeth’s School is located in the borough of Barnet in North London. The closest station is High Barnet – just over 20 minutes’ walk away – which is served by the Northern line.

The entrance exam at Queen Elizabeth’s School is known to be competitive; thousands of boys sit the 11 plus exam each year with 180 places available for successful candidates. Find out more about the admissions process and the 11 plus exam at Queen Elizabeth’s School.

Queen Elizabeth’s School exam results (2021)

  • A level: 96.3% A*/A/B

  • GCSE: 91.5% A*/A/9/8/7

2. The Henrietta Barnett School (Barnet)

The Henrietta Barnett School © en.wikipedia.org

The Henrietta Barnett School, founded by Dame Henrietta Barnett in 1911, is the top girls’ state school in the country. In 2014, the school was listed as having the highest rate of successful applications for Oxbridge of all state schools in the country.

The Henrietta Barnett School is located in Hampstead Garden Suburb – an area of North London famous for its artistic, musical, intellectual, liberal and literary associations. Golders Green station, served by the Northern underground line, is a 20-minute walk away.

Entry to The Henrietta Barnett School consists of two 11 plus entrance exams (candidates who are successful in the first round are invited to a second round). Find out more about the admissions process and the 11 plus exam at The Henrietta Barnett School.

The Henrietta Barnett School exam results (2021)

  • A level: 93% A*/A/B

  • GCSE: 95.3% A*/A/9/8/7

3. Wilson's School, Wallington (Sutton)

Wilson's School Wallington © yourlocalguardian.co.uk

Wilson’s School is an all-boys school with an exemplary reputation. In 2020, it was named the ‘London State Secondary School of the Decade’ by The Sunday Times. It was originally founded in Camberwell (South London) in 1615, making it one of the country’s oldest state schools.

Wilson’s School is located in Wallington – an area within the Borough of Sutton in South West London. Waddon and Wallington rail stations, both served by Southern Rail, are within a 23-minute walk of the school.

Candidates for Wilson’s School first sit the Selective Eligibility Test before being invited to sit the second-stage entrance exam. 180 places are available for successful boys each year. Find out more about the admissions process and entrance exam at Wilson’s School.

Wilson’s School exam results (2021)

  • A level: 96% A*/A/B

  • GCSE: 87.5% A*/A/9/8/7

4. Tiffin Girls' School (Kingston-upon-Thames)

Tiffin Girls' School © tiffingirls.org

Tiffin Girls’ School is an all-girls selective school with academy status. It was recently rated ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted and won an award a few years ago for the excellent results of its pupils who are in receipt of Pupil Premium.

Tiffin Girls’ School sits on a nine-acre site just west of Richmond Park in Kingston upon Thames, South West London. Kingston Station, which is served by Southwestern Railway, is a 17-minute walk from the school.

Along with its partner school – Tiffin School (for boys) – Tiffin Girls’ School operates a two-stage testing process, with 180 places available for successful candidates each year. Find out more about the admissions process and entrance exams for Tiffin Girls’ School.

Tiffin Girls’ School exam results (2021)

  • A level: 92.1% A*/A/B

  • GCSE: 93.8% A*/A/9/8/7

5. St Olave's Grammar School (Bromley)

St Olave's Grammar School © tes.com

St Olave’s Grammar School, previously known as St Olave’s and St Saviour’s Church of England Grammar School, is a selective school for boys. It was named The Sunday Times State School of the Year in 2008 and ranked as the fourth-best performing state school in the country for its A level results by the Financial Times in 2011.

St Olave’s Grammar School is located in Orpington within the borough of Bromley (South East London). Orpington and Chelsfield rail stations, which are served by South Eastern Rail, are both a 20-minute walk from the school.

There are more than ten applicants for each place at St Olave’s Grammar School and a rigorous admissions process. Find out more and how to best prepare your son for the exams at St Olave’s Grammar School here.

St Olave’s Grammar School exam results (2021)

  • A level: 94% A*/A/B

  • GCSE: 88.6% A*/A/9/8/7

6. The Latymer School (Enfield)

The Latymer School © campbeaumont.co.uk

The Latymer School is a co-educational grammar school founded in 1624. In 2019, it was listed in The Sunday Times Parent Power as the top co-educational state secondary school in London and the fifth co-educational state secondary school in the UK.

The Latymer School is located in Edmonton – an area within the borough of Enfield in North London. Edmonton Green is a 14-minute walk away and is served by both the London Overground railway and Greater Anglia.

The 11 plus entrance exam for The Latymer School is known to be particularly competitive, with thousands of candidates applying for 192 places. Find out more about the admissions process and the entrance exam.

The Latymer School exam results (2021)

  • A level: 84.6% A*/A/B

  • GCSE: 83.4% A*/A/9/8/7

7. St Michael's Catholic Grammar School (Barnet)

St Michael's Catholic Grammar School © st-michaels.barnet.sch.uk

St Michael’s Catholic Grammar School is a voluntary-aided, Roman Catholic grammar school that was founded in 1909. It is relatively smaller than many other London grammar schools, with around 750 pupils in total, but its pupils’ GCSE and A level results still put it within the top 10 grammar schools in London.

The school is located in North Finchley with North London’s borough of Barnet. Woodside Park and West Finchley – underground stations on the Northern line – are both a 13-minute walk from St Michaels’ Catholic Grammar School.

Priority applicants are girls from practising Catholic families who have made their First Holy Communion. Find out more about the admissions process and the 11 plus exam at St Michael’s Catholic Grammar School.

St Michael’s Catholic Grammar School exam results (2021)

  • A level: 84.4% A*/A/B

  • GCSE: 80.8% A*/A/9/8/7

8. Tiffin School (Kingston-upon-Thames)

Tiffin School © tiffinschool.co.uk

Tiffin School is the boys’ counterpart to Tiffin Girls’ School. It was founded in 1880 and has specialist status in the performing arts and languages.

Tiffin School is located in Kingston upon Thames – a town within the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames, South West London. Kingston rail station (served by Southwestern) is only a five-minute walk from the school.

Tiffin School operates a two-stage testing process, with 180 places available for successful candidates each year. Find out more about the admissions process and entrance exams for Tiffin School.

Tiffin School exam results (2021)

  • A level: 85.7% A*/A/B

  • GCSE: 78.1% A*/A/9/8/7

9. Nonsuch High School for Girls (Sutton)

Nonsuch High School for Girls © mobile.twitter.com

Nonsuch High School for Girls is a girls’ grammar school with specialisms in science and languages. It was named after a palace, commissioned by Henry VIII, which was built in the next-door Nonsuch Park in the 16th century.

The school is located on a 22-acre site in Cheam within the London Borough of Sutton (South West London). Cheam rail station – served by Southern Railway – is a 15-minute walk from Nonsuch High School for Girls.

Like the other grammar schools in Sutton, candidates for Nonsuch High School for Girls sit an assessment process of two stages. Find out more about the 11 plus at Nonsuch High School for Girls here.

Nonsuch High School for Girls exam results (2021)

  • A level: 80.5% A*/A/B

  • GCSE: 84.2% A*/A/9/8/7

10. Sutton Grammar School (Sutton)

Sutton Grammar School © en.wikipedia.org

Sutton Grammar School, founded in 1927, is a boys’ grammar school and a member of the Folio Education Trust. It was awarded the High Performing Specialist School status in 2009 and makes the top 10 list of the best state secondary schools in London.

The school occupies a site in Sutton within the London borough of the same name in South West London. Sutton Rail Station – which is served by Southern Railway and the Thameslink – is just over a 10-minute walk from the school.

Boys hoping to secure one of the 135 places at Sutton Grammar School take the Sutton Eligibility Test, after which successful candidates are invited to take the school’s own Standard Admission Test. Find out more about how to apply for Sutton Grammar School here.

Sutton Grammar School exam results (2021)

  • A level: 80.8% A*/A/B

  • GCSE: 78.8% A*/A/9/8/7


We can help your child prepare for grammar school entry

Is your child preparing for entry to one of the top grammar schools in London?

Atom Nucleus – our platform for home learning – contains 90,000 teacher-written practice questions and unlimited mock tests that mirror the format and structure of the major 11 plus exam boards, including GL Assessments, CEM and school-specific entrance exams. We also offer live exam prep courses and daily lessons to help build your child’s skills in a friendly, encouraging and interactive way.

5 day free trial for 11 plus

You can start your 5-day free trial of Nucleus today to ensure your child is fully confident and prepared for the admissions process.


If you’re looking for exclusive tips and resources to help your child master key subjects, excel in exams and build academic confidence, join Atom’s email list.

Get expert tips and resources direct to your inbox for Key Stage 2 education and entrance exam prep

Atom

Learning

Follow Atom Learning

Atom Learning Ltd. is registered and incorporated in England and Wales. Company Registration Number: 10867907 VAT number: 316903508 Copyright Atom Learning Ltd. All rights reserved.