Back to blog

The best schools in Berkshire

By Atom | Aug 14, 2023, 3:31 PM

Group of teenagers in school uniform sitting and talking on the school grounds

Considering a secondary school in Berkshire? There are nearly 120 state and independent secondary schools to choose from.

Keep reading to find out which private schools and state schools are ranked the highest in Berkshire. Learn about exam results, school fees, and how to apply for a place.

The 10 best private schools in Berkshire

There are 46 independent senior schools in Berkshire. The following 10 schools are ranked based on their league table results in the 2023 Sunday Times Parent Power Guide.

Find out more

Eton College is a boys' boarding school in Windsor for boys aged 13–18. Founded in 1440 by Henry VI, the school is globally famous for educating world leaders, award-winning actors, aristocracy and Noble laureates. In 2015, Eton established the Tony Little Centre for Innovation and Research in Learning (CIRL) for which it won the 2020 TES Independent School Award 'Strategic Education Initiative of the Year'.

Key information

  • Number of pupils: 1,300+

  • National league table rank: 20

  • Fees: £16,666 per term

  • A level results: 95.8% A*–B

  • GCSE results: 94.2% 9–7

  • Entry points: 13+, 16+

  • 13+ entry process: ISEB Common Pre-Test, online predictive test, interview and Year 8 exams. Find out more details in our admissions guide to Eton College

How to apply to a private school

If you would like your child to attend a private school in Berkshire, you will need to register directly with the school. For most senior schools, registration closes in the autumn term of Year 6 for both 11 plus and 13 plus entry. A registration fee – usually between £100–£200 for UK applicants – will be charged when you submit the registration form.

The top private schools in Berkshire are selective, which means your child will need to take an entrance exam to be considered for a place. The type of exam depends on the school your child is applying for – some schools use an exam board, such as the ISEB or CEM Select, while others set their own bespoke tests. All exams test skills in English and maths, and some additionally test children's ability in verbal and non-verbal reasoning.

School offers – easy with Atom.

Prepare for private school exams with Atom. Unlock unlimited mock tests, 90,000+ interactive questions, automatic marking and progress tracking.

Find out more
Example of the Atom Nucleus platform

The 10 best state schools in Berkshire

There are 71 state secondary schools and academies in Berkshire. The following 10 schools are ranked based on their GCSE and A level results in 2022.

Reading School is a boys' grammar school in Reading and, at nearly 900 years old, one of the oldest schools in the UK. In 2017, the Sunday Times named Reading School 'The Southeast Secondary School of the Year'. Unusually for a state school, Reading School offers weekly boarding at approximately one-third of the fees charged by private schools.

Key information

  • Number of pupils: 1,100+

  • National league table rank: 12

  • A level results: 93.3% A*–B

  • GCSE results: 88.7% 9–7

  • Entry points: 11+, 16+

  • 11+ entry process: FSCE 11 plus exam (English, maths and creative writing)

  • Catchment area: Camberley, Crowthorne, Henley-on-Thames, Hook, Newbury, Pangbourne, Reading, Sandhurst, Tadley, Thatcham, Twyford, Wallingford, Wokingham and Yateley

  • Admission priorities: catchment area

How to apply to a state school

Grammar schools

If you would like your child to be considered for a place at a grammar school, you'll need to register for them to take the 11 plus exam.

Registration for Reading School and Kendrick School is via the school website. The four grammar schools in Slough belong to the Slough Consortium, so you'll need to register via the Slough Consortium website.

The 11 plus exam takes place in September when your child is in Year 6. The format and the content of the test depends on which school your child is applying to. You can find out more details in our guide to grammar schools in Berkshire.

You'll receive your child's 11 plus results in October. If your child has achieved the qualifying standard, you'll be able to name the school as a preferred choice on your Common Application Form (CAF).

All state schools

To apply to any state school (including grammar schools), you'll need to complete a Common Application Form (CAF). This must be submitted to your home local authority by 31st October when your child is in Year 6.

Some schools have priority places – such as for children of a particular religious affiliation, for children who live in a catchment area, or for siblings or children of current staff. If your child falls into one of these categories, you might need to complete a Supplementary Information Form (SIF) which will be available on the school website.

You will find out which school your child has been offered a place at on national offers day on 1st March.

Prepare for top schools with Atom

Looking to boost your child's school performance? Atom is the all-in-one online learning platform that helps children prepare for entrance exams, succeed in school, and build skills for life.

Build knowledge

Watch your child enjoy learning as they get to grips with the Key Stage 2 curriculum. Unlock over 90,000 interactive questions and collect coins to customise Ato, your friendly learning companion.

Build knowledge with Atom Nucleus

Learn at your pace

Bitesize learning is best! 20 minutes a day is all it takes to build academic confidence. Atom’s adaptive algorithm ensures that your child sees the right level of content to keep them challenged and motivated.

Maths learning journey on Atom Nucleus

Practice tests

Preparing for entry to a selective school? Atom can help. Refine exam technique with practice tests for the ISEB, CAT4, CEM Select and specific schools. Watch their confidence grow!

A non-verbal reasoning question on a Reigate Grammar School 11 plus mock test on Atom Nucleus

Track progress

Keep an eye on your child's progress on your parent dashboard. See their standardised age score, performance compared to peers, and know which topics to focus on next. Set tasks for them to complete or let Atom do it for you.

Start your learning journey

Create a brighter future for your child. Try Atom free for 5 days – cancel anytime!

Start free trial
Antonyms and synonyms on Atom Nucleus

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.