World’s best schools: 40 British schools have been named the best on the planet

A new ranking by Spear’s has ranked private schools around the world – and dozens are in the UK

Amy Houghton
Written by
Amy Houghton
Contributing writer
Eton College, UK
Photograph: Shutterstock

If you’re gonna spend hundreds of thousands of pounds on your child’s education, you’re probably going to make damn sure that you’ve done the proper research. 

Most of the time, parents are looking at schools’ academic achievements, sporting excellence, top-notch facilities or commitment to well-being. To help them out, research magazine Spear’s has looked into all those factors and released its 2024 index of the finest private schools in the whole world.   

All ten of Britain’s most expensive private schools made it into the prestigious ‘top flight’ category, so at least you can say that those kids are getting their money’s worth. In total, 40 posh schools from across the UK were named some of the world’s best. 

Among them are Eton and Harrow (of course), Marlborough College, whose famous alumni include Jack Whitehall, Princess Eugenie and Siegfried Sassoon, Shrewsbury School, which was attended by Charles Darwin and Sir Michael Palin, and North London Collegiate School, which taught Anna Wintour and Rachel Weisz. You can read more about all the London institutions that made the cut here.

Here are all the UK schools that Spear’s declared the best in the world. 

  • Belhaven Hill School, Dunbar
  • Benenden, Kent  
  • Brighton College, Brighton 
  • Broomfield House School, Richmond 
  • Charterhouse, Surrey
  • Cheltenham Ladies’ College, Cheltenham
  • Concord College, Shropshire 
  • Cothill House School, Oxfordshire
  • Cottesmore School, Crawley
  • Dragon School, Oxford 
  • Dulwich Prep School, Dulwich
  • Eton College, Berkshire 
  • Falkner House School, Kensington and Chelsea  
  • Fettes College, Edinburgh
  • Gordonstoun, Moray
  • Harrow School, Harrow on the Hill 
  • Highgate School, Highgate
  • Hill House School, Knightsbridge 
  • King’s College School, Wimbledon 
  • Lambrook School, Berkshire 
  • Ludgrove School, Wokingham 
  • Marlborough College, Wiltshire
  • North London Collegiate School 
  • Queen’s College London, Edgeware
  • Radley College, Oxfordshire
  • Roedean School, Brighton  
  • Rugby School, Rugby 
  • Sevenoaks School, Kent
  • Shrewsbury School, Shrewsbury
  • St Paul’s Girls’ School, London 
  • St Paul’s Juniors, London
  • St Paul’s School, London 
  • Summer Fields, Oxford 
  • Sussex House School, London 
  • Thomans’s Battersea, London 
  • Wellington College, Berkshire
  • Westminster School, London 
  • Westminster Under School, London
  • Winchester College, Winchester
  • Wycombe Abbey, Buckinghamshire  

Eight of the world’s best schools are in London 
The UK’s most expensive private schools have been revealed.

Most of us could only dream of having a spare £50k a year to spend on a fancy pants school. Thankfully, there are plenty of state schools that can compete with their student success — you can see ten of London’s best here. And in other education news, did you see that the school summer hols could be getting slashed to four weeks

Did you see that this Mexican restaurant chain is officially the most sustainable in the UK?

Plus: This Scottish luxury manor has been crowned Britain’s best hotel by the Times

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