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Choosing the right school for your child is no easy task. After much deliberation, the Think Tutors admissions advisory team has devised their Top 5 Recommended UK Independent Schools for parents looking to maximise their child’s potential.

Think Tutors offer private tuition and admissions advisory for independent schools in the UK and Internationally. From the ISEB Pre-Test to 11 Plus and 13 Plus, online and in-person. 

We are practiced providers of traditional in-person tuition, longer term homeschool tutoring, mentoring support and holiday tuition. If you are interested in learning more about the admissions process for any of the schools listed below, please contact us.

1. Wellington College

Located in Berkshire, a convenient hour from London, Wellington College’s commitment to sport, music, art and drama is unrivalled, with facilities ranging from a golf course, 16 rugby pitches and 9 cricket pitches to a theatre and arts centre. According to the latest ISI Report, academic achievement is well above the national average across all year groups and disciplines in the 2020/2021 academic year. 

Inspired, Intellectual, Independent, Individual and Inclusive. Wellington College, founded in 1853, seeks to impart their five values upon every student who walks their 400-acre grounds. Wellington College is a co-educational school with 1080 pupils aged 13-18. Despite its size, the pupils are guided through a holistic pastoral structure, with ‘houses’ at the core, designed to shape students both inside and outside the classroom.

See our admissions guide to Wellington College for further details on the process and applying.

2. Harrow School

Harrow School has provided boys between 13 and 18 a world-class education since 1572. 

Upon visiting the school, families are immediately struck by the tradition. Students, donning straw hats, blue blazers and grey trousers move quickly between the red-brick buildings which were built as a result of a royal charter from Queen Elizabeth I in the late 1600s. Do not be fooled, however, into thinking Harrow is in any way archaic. Modernity lies at the core of their approach and is the primary reason why Harrovians have achieved excellent results in national examinations for as long as they have existed. 

Outside the classroom, students are excelling in community projects. For example, in 2021, the Shaftesbury Enterprise recorded a baffling donation of 8,000 hours of volunteering by Harrow students. Alongside a full-time, demanding education.

3. Eton College

Over its 600-year history, Eton College, known globally as ‘Eton’, has cultivated a reputation as the most prestigious school in the world; the benchmark for Independent Schools. Originally opened to 70 boys but now home to 1340 students.

Eton has an extraordinary reputation befitting its long and storied history. It may therefore come as a surprise that Eton continually moves forward at a staggeringly ambitious pace. 2019 saw the Queen open a new science department and an aquatics centre, for example.

Academia is taken very seriously. With staff-student ratios at 8:1, and class sizes between 20 and 25 pupils, students are fortunate enough to receive a perfect balance between tailored education, and the freedom to explore knowledge on their own terms. It is no coincidence that Eton has educated nineteen British Prime Ministers.

We’ve also put together a guide about the admissions process to Eton College.

4. Wycombe Abbey

Wycombe Abbey, located in Buckinghamshire, is the premier school for girls between 11 and 18. It is The Carrington Award Programme, which, for us, exemplifies why Wycombe Abbey is one of the leading girls’ schools in the world. Similar to Think Tutors own mantra, non vitae sed scholae discimus, The Carrington Award Programme helps equip students for challenges beyond school, by imparting them with the knowledge and skills to excel. This philosophy is carried forward into all aspects of academic and co-curricular life, where lessons, musical, artistic and sporting endeavours are contextualised by their ‘real life’ uses. 

Oxbridge and top US universities are common destinations for school leavers, whose grades are remarkably high year on year.

5. Winchester College

Winchester College, simply referred to as ‘Winchester’, is a full-boarding boys only Independent School in Winchester with a world-class reputation. They take pride in the fact that students are consistently challenged, in both academia and co-curricular contexts, to be the best student they can be – living up to their motto “Manners Makyth Man”. 

With a strong focus on academic development and notorious entrance assessments, it is no surprise that Winchester is ranked as the number 1 for Independent Schools admissions to Oxbridge, and almost unmatched when it comes to academic achievement. 

Of note, as one of only five full-boarding, boys only schools in the United Kingdom, Winchester college surprised all by planning to admit girls into the sixth-form in 2022 – a decision welcomed by many families who would like their daughter to share in the success and tradition of pupil excellence.

How we can help you achieve your goals?

Think Tutors are specialist providers of private tuition, having helped students excel through highly challenging admissions processes.

Throughout each stage of your child’s admissions journey, we can provide expert academic advice and unrivalled private tuition both in-person and online, at a time which suits you. Please contact us to find out more.