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The best schools in Surrey

By Atom | Aug 14, 2023, 11:14 AM

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Are you considering a secondary school in Surrey for your child? Despite being one of the smaller counties in the UK, there's plenty of choice with around 200 schools to choose from.

Keep reading to find out which private schools and state schools are ranked the highest in Surrey in 2024. Learn about exam results, school fees, and how to apply for a place.

Top 10 private schools in Surrey

Around one in five children in Surrey attend an independent (private) school, with 109 independent schools in total.

Guildford High School is an all-through school for girls aged 4–18 in Guildford, Surrey. The school is ranked 2nd out of all independent schools in the UK and has an impressive collection of accolades, including ‘Independent School of the Decade’ (The Sunday Times), 'Independent Girls Sporting School of the Year' (School Sport Magazine) and ‘Best School for Pastoral Care’ (The Week).

Key information

  • Number of pupils: 1,000+

  • National league table rank: 2

  • Fees: £6,949 per term (excluding lunch)

  • 2023 A level results: 98% A*–B

  • 2023 GCSE results: 97.2% A*/A/9/8/7

  • Entry points: 4+, 7+, 11+, 16+

  • 11+ entry process: CEM Select exam and interview

How to apply to a private school

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

The top private schools in Surrey 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.

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Top 10 state schools in Surrey

Around one-third of children in Surrey attend a state secondary school, with 86 to choose from.

There are no academically-selective state schools in Surrey. The closest local grammar schools can be found in the London boroughs of Kingston-upon-Thames and Sutton, and in Berkshire and Kent.

St Andrew's Catholic School is a mixed comprehensive school in Leatherhead. In 2022, it was named 'Comprehensive School of the Year' by The Sunday Times. The school aims to help everyone in its community grow in faith, make the most of their innate ability, and recognise that making mistakes and taking risks are both part of learning.

Key information

  • Number of pupils: approx. 1,500

  • National league table rank: 56

  • 2023 A level results: 88.1% A*–B

  • 2023 GCSE results: 52.8% 9–7

  • Entry points: 11+, 16+

  • Catchment area: Ashtead, Banstead, Cobham, Dorking, Effingham and Fetcham, Epsom, Ewell, Leatherhead, and Tadworth

  • Admission priorities: Catholic children

How to apply to a state school

State schools are funded by the government, so you won't need to pay school fees. There are no academically-selective state schools in Surrey, which means that your child will not need to take a test to be offered a place.

However, many of the top state schools in Surrey do have priority criteria. This is usually for children of a particular faith, children of staff, or children who live in a catchment area. If your child falls into one of these categories, you may need to complete a Supplementary Information Form (SIF). This will be available on the school website.

If you would like to apply to a state school, you will need to name the school as one of your preferred options on your Common Application Form (CAF). This must be submitted to your home local authority by 31st October when your child is in Year 6. You will find out which school your child has been offered a place at on National Offers Day on 1st March.

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