Eight of the world’s best schools are in London

According to a prestigious ranking, several schools in the capital are among the best on the planet

Liv Kelly
Written by
Liv Kelly
Contributing Writer
St Paul’s School, London
Photograph: Stewart Ivan Darke /

Whether you loved it or loathed it, found your crowd or spent days dreaming of finally escaping to university, your time at school shaped who you are. And schools vary enormously – some are known for their sporting or academic excellence, while others are renowned for their commitment to mental health and wellbeing. But plenty do all that and more. 

Following the Times’ comprehensive ranking of London’s secondary schools back in December, now it’s the turn of research magazine Spear’s 500 Index. Spear’s annual ranking, which was launched back in 2020, assesses schools’ academic standing as well as social and pastoral factors through data collection, online forms and interviews. The index then lists the best schools in the entire world. 

In the prestigious ‘top flight’ category, a whopping eight private schools in London made the cut. Yep, eight schools across the capital are apparently among the planet’s best! 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Harrow made the cut. The northwest London school, which has been teaching boys since 1572, boasted very solid results at both GCSE and A level and has a legendary sporting reputation. 

Some central London schools were recognised by Spear’s too, such as Queen’s College and Westminster School. The latter has been around since the 14th century and boasts an impressive 96 per cent of IGCSE results achieving 7–9 grades.

Have a look at the list below to see which other London schools were recognised in the Spear’s index for 2024. 

These London schools have been named the best in the world, according to Spear’s 500 School Index

  • Harrow School
  • Highgate
  • King’s College School Wimbledon
  • North London Collegiate School
  • Queen’s College London
  • St Paul’s Girls School
  • St Paul’s School
  • Westminster

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To see the list of winning schools in more detail, you can take a look at all the UK schools that featured in the ranking, plus check out the full Spear’s 500 School Index here

But London’s list of excellent educational institutions doesn’t stop there. Have a look at which establishments featured when the Times named the city’s best secondary schools, and read more on Time Out about how this London uni made the top ten in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings

Did you see that these two famous London universities are merging?

Plus: The Elizabeth line could soon be extended to these two locations

Listen to Time Out’s brilliant podcast ‘Love Thy Neighbourhood’: the newest episode with Paul Foot in Fitzrovia is out now.

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