11-Plus Schools Guide
September 20, 2021
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The Best Independent and Grammar Schools in North London

One of the most difficult decisions to make about your child’s education will be deciding what school your child will attend after their primary education. Choosing the right secondary school will impact your child GCSE grades, their A level grades and ultimately what university your child plans to apply to; selecting the right secondary schools will be not only selecting their learning environment for the next 7 years but choosing the foundations for their future.


State, Grammar or Independent? What’s the difference?

State, grammar and independent schools, are terms that are commonly used to classify different schools and it’s important to understand the difference between them to ensure that you are selecting the right school for your child.

Independent: Independent schools otherwise referred to as private schools. They are institutions that are not funded buy the state. They receive their funding via gifts, endowments and mostly through tuition fees. Students that attend independent schools will be required to pay termly tuition fees which vary from school to school, but on average these can range from 10,000 to 20,000 per year.  Not all independent schools are selective schools, but the majority are. This would mean that there is an entrance exam which must be passed in order to enrol. Despite the large fees that often come with private education, independent schools remain as a popular option amongst parents in North London, as they often produce students who enter the UK’s best Universities, as over 60% of Oxford and Cambridge University Students are from independent or grammar schools. (Bulman, The Independent)

Grammar: Grammar schools are selective secondary schools, that have a strong focus on academics. Students are selected for entry based on the results of the 11 Plus exam, which is taken in the final year of primary school. In the UK, there are a total of 164 grammar schools which is an incredibly small amount when considering that there are over 24,000 secondary schools in the UK. Grammar schools are a popular choice for parents, due to the strong academic focus, however, due to the scarcity, the application process is incredibly competitive. Most grammar schools receive 10 times the number of applications than the places they have available. It is also important to note that grammar schools are funded by the state and therefore do not require students to pay tuition fees.

State: A state school receives it’s funding entirely from the state and therefore do not require tuition fees and are provide free educations for their students. The majority of children in the UK will attend a state school and while results may vary from school to school, state schools will still follow the national curriculum.


The best independent schools in North London


North London Collegiate School

The North London Collegiate School was originally founded in Camden in 1850, now the school is in Edgware, Northeast London.

North London Collegiate School remains one of the best independent schools in London with students achieving 96.29% grades A-A* at GCSE in 2019.

The private school offers a friendly and warm atmosphere, glorious facilities and extensive extra-curricular activities. Each girl is given complete support during her time at North London Collegiate School.

General Information

Address: Canons Dr, Edgware HA8 7RJ

County: London Borough of Harrow, North London

Gender of Entry: Girls

Admissions policy: Selective

Haileybury And Imperial Service College

Haileybury is an independent school near Hertford in England. It is a member of the Rugby Group and though originally a major boys’ public school in the Victorian Era, it is now co-educational, enrolling pupils at 11+, 13+ and 16+ stages of education. Over 880 pupils attend Haileybury, of whom more than 550 board.

In 2019, 38% of Haileybury pupils scored A*/A for their A Levels examination. 65% of students scored A*/A for their GCSE examination while IB students scored an average of 36.4 points.

General Information

Address: Hertford Heath, Hertfordshire, SG13 7NU England

County: London Borough of Hertfordshire

Gender of Entry: Mixed

Admissions Policy: Selective

The best Grammar schools in North London


The Latymer School

This selective, mixed grammar school was judged as an “outstanding” by Ofsted for both school and sixth form.

The Latymer School is popular for providing a high quality education for both boys and girls, and is known as one of the best grammar schools in the UK.

General Information

Address: Haselbury Road, London, N9 9TN

County: London Borough of Enfield

Gender of Entry: Mixed

Admissions Policy: Selective

Henrietta Barnet

Henrietta Barnett School is a prestigious grammar school for girls aged 11 to 18. Founded in 1911, the school sits perfectly in the serene surroundings of Hampstead Garden Suburb.

The school has been known as “one of the best academic state schools in the country, providing a gentle, inspiring education in a wonderful setting for very clever girls,” according to Good Schools Guide.

In 2005, The Henrietta Barnett School was also among the ‘best of the best’ and ‘outstanding’ schools in the annual report by England’s education watchdog Ofsted.

100% of the candidates from The Henrietta Barnett School got 5 or more A*-C GCSEs including English and maths, and 95.33% entries were graded A*/A.

General Information

Address: Henrietta Barnett School, Central Square, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London NW 11 7BN.

County: London Borough of Barnet, North London

Gender of Entry: Girls

Admissions policy: Selective

Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School for Boys

In the market town of North London is the prestigious grammar school for boys Queen Elizabeth’s School. This reputable academy was founded in 1573 by, as the name implies, Queen Elizabeth I, and has consistently been one of the most successful grammar schools in England.

In 2007 and 2008, QE was consistently among the A-Level state schools. In 2008, 37 of QE students were able to enter in Oxford and Cambridge Universities.

General Information

Address: Queen’s Road, Barnet, Hertfordshire, EN5 4DQ

County: London Borough of Barnet

Gender of Entry: Boys

Admissions Policy: Selective

Dame Alice Owens

Dame Alice Owen founded the school in 1613 in Islington; initially a boys’ school, it followed the addition of a girls’ school in 1886 and became co-educational after the move to the present site.

At Dame Alice Owens, outstanding results are attained by the majority of the students with 93% of all Year 11 students secured 5 or more 9-4 grades including English and Maths in 2019.

(96% in 2018, 96% in 2017, 95% in 2016, 92% in 2015, 95% in 2014)

General Information

Address: Dugdale Hill Ln, Potters Bar EN6 2DU

County: London Borough of Enfield

Gender of Entry: Mixed

Admissions Policy: Partially Selective

If you need further advice on what school to choose for your child, please click the links below for further insight:

Each of these websites provide comprehensive information to help you pick the right school for your child.

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