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The Best Schools In Central London

Are you relocating to Central London? Here are Flex Living's top picks for schools in the area.
Alice
Alice

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The Best Schools In London Can Be Found In Central London

The city-centre is a hotbed for some of the best schools in London. But what are the best schools in Central London?

London is one of the world’s leading cities for education. Some of the most highly rated schools, colleges and universities, can be found within the city limits, catering to students of all ages.

teenager students in class

London is an incredible city for learning and for any family moving to the city, the options you have for your children’s education can indeed seem, limitless.

From elite private schools to international academies, state-funded grammar schools – even some of London’s nursery schools and Kindergartens come with incredibly high ratings! Then there are options for higher education, including brilliant colleges and some of the best-ranked universities in the country, as well as art and performing art schools if you’re kids happen to be born performers!

Schools in London can be quite expensive if you opt to send your children down the road of private education. On top of this, you might find living close to your preferred schools more costly than you first imagined. There is a very high demand for properties in London in general but, to live in neighbourhoods close to some of the best schools, you may find the price of a home significantly high! 

 Luckily, there are plenty of options across the whole of London for schools, which is why we at Flex Living have put together this guide to the best schools in each area of London, for you to explore what education options are available for your children before you make the move!

Education In The UK

There are several different types of schools in the UK. The two main pathways for school options in the UK come under state and private education.

A girl reading in the library

Most children moving to the UK with a parent on a work visa are eligible to attend state-run schools, like other children in the UK, free of charge. This can also include specialist schools and academies, including Grammar Schools, which are of a higher standard than many state schools.

Private Schools are run independently and charge annual or quarterly fees based on their estimations for the facilities and education they provide. Both state and private schools can include children of all ages or, be specifically aimed at educating certain age groups or even, specific genders (schools for boys and girls are still quite common in the UK).  

Schools for children from the ages of 4-11 are known as primary schools and schools for children from 11+ are known as secondary schools. Schools that cater to other, set ages like preparatory (prep) schools and finishing schools do also exist in the UK and London, although they are not as common. If you’re thinking of moving to London and want to enrol them in a local school (or even study yourself) there are a few things that it pays to be aware of before you start looking at schools and places to live. 

What options for schools you have will very much depend on what area of London you choose to live in. There should always be options for state-run primary and secondary schools in any area you choose to live in but, some areas will have more options for private and grammar schools, than others.

Small child learning in a young classroom

Some schools require prospective students to potentially complete several tests before being admitted, to determine their suitability for the school. There are age-related tests for entering grammar and certain private schools known as ‘Common Entrance Exams’, for students aged 11 and older (11 +) and those aged 13 and older (13+). Tests for children younger than this are usually at the preference of the school being applied to and may depend on the available grades and age of the child in question.

Additionally, for students who don’t have English as a first language, there are mandatory tests to determine the level of English of a potential student. There are a variety of different English tests that make use of the IELTS model for assessing a non-native English speaker’s level of English but, the UKiset test is becoming more popular with schools, as it assesses both the education level of the subject and, their level of English. Completing these is critical to a potential student being accepted into a school before they move to the country.

The Best Schools In Central London

 We would now like to draw your attention to our selection, of some of the most reputable schools across Central London, for you to potentially consider as destinations for your children’s future education.o.

City Of London School For Girls

The City Of London School For Girls

Type: All Girl’s Private School

Age Group: 7 – 18

Location: City of London School for Girls, Barbican, St Giles Terrace, Wood St, London EC2Y 8BB

Fees: £20,000 + annually

The City Of London School For Girls is an excellent all-girls school in the centre of London. First opened in 1894, the school is located in an incredible location at the Barbican, with many wonderful buildings and rooms for learning that have proudly helped guide and educate thousands of young women. With outstanding facilities and faculties, as well as fantastic teaching staff, it is one of the best options for All Girl’s schools in the city.

The school is split between the prep school (ages 7 – 11) and the main school, with a broad learning curriculum for all ages that includes several language options (French, German, Chinese and Spanish), as well as arts, sciences, humanities and technological subjects. Additionally, the school has some fantastic sports facilities despite its inner-city location, including a swimming pool, climbing wall, all-weather pitch and more.

The City Of London School For Girls prides itself on the level of education it offers to all students and is an equal opportunity provider. Many students at the school have joined through bursary and scholarship schemes and there is a strong presence of diversity amongst both pupils and teaching staff.

To find out more information about the school, including full fees and admissions, you can find everything else you might need to know on their website.

The City Of London School For Boys

A view of The City Of London

Type: All-Boy’s Private School

Age Group: 10 – 18

Location: 107 Queen Victoria St, London EC4V 3AL

Fees: £18,000 + annually

The City Of London School is an excellent all-boys school that is twinned with the previous entry on our list: The City of London School For Girls. The City Of London School was opened much earlier than its all-girls counterpart, dating back to 1837 although, the schools remain closely tied through mutual cooperation. The school is located close to the banks of the River Thames with more than a few iconic London Landmarks visible from classroom windows!

Education at the school is of the highest standard. The City Of London School is seen as a gateway school into admissions into the very prestigious Russell Group for university (more than 50% of students with 10% being accepted into Oxford or Cambridge). There are more than 20 A-Level subjects for students to study, with excellent facilities available for all school years including a sports campus and, a rather impressive music school.

Despite the school’s prestige and high achievement rate, the City Of London School remains open to accepting candidates from any background, providing multiple opportunities each year for scholarships and bursaries to exceptional students. Learning at the school is highly prized and places are limited due to the fierce competition but, the City Of London School is an incredible place for seeing any child reach their potential through education.

To find out more information about the school, including full fees and admissions, you can find everything else you might need to know on their website.

Westminster School

The Westminster School

Type: Private Co-Ed

Age Group: 7-18 (for boys) 16+ (for girls)

Location: 17A Dean’s Yard, London SW1P 3PB

Fees: £7,000 – £42,000 annually

Westminster School is one of the oldest schools in the city of London. Its survival into the present day has been guaranteed at times by various kings and queens of England, with the school enjoying special status within London, as a result. Although initially, an all-boys school, since the 1970s hundreds of girls have attended the famous Upper School to complete their education at what still is, one of the best schools in London. 

Westminster School has some incredible learning facilities. As a medieval school, many of the classrooms are hundreds of years old although, of course, they have been refurbished for a more modern education! The school’s Abbey is particularly beautiful and a great example of the school’s rich heritage, whilst the drama and sports facilities are all exceptionally modern, as well as the boarding facilities at the school for those living and studying at the school full-time.

The curriculum at the school is extensive, with far more opportunities for education than your average private school, as Westminster School places a lot of emphasis on other learning pursuits than just exam results. The school has some fantastic partnerships, particularly for the arts and extra-curricular activities, providing pupils with some extensive opportunities to develop and grow as individuals no matter where their strengths may be. 

To find out more information about the school, including fees and admissions, you can find everything else you might need to know on their website.

Knightsbridge School

The Knightsbridge School In Central London

Type: Co-ed Private School

Age Group: 3-16

Location: 67 Pont St, London SW1X 0BD

Fees: £22,000 – £28,000 annually

Founded in 2006, Knightsbridge School is one of the younger private schools you can find in Central London but, has come a long way as an education destination in a short time. The school is very well-reviewed in an area of London which has no shortage of outstanding options for children’s education. The fact that it also has a nursery, offering early years education, makes the school even more enticing for any families thinking of moving to the city with younger children.

The school’s curriculum is exceptional, offering a high standard of education and subjects taught to pupils of all ages, as well as a modern approach to learning. The school has a high number of Macbooks and Chromebooks, ensuring that pupils develop exceptional computer skills from as early as possible, on top of using computers in class for learning. It is an exceptional school for learning across all age groups, including for preparation for common entrance exams, into prep and grammar schools.

Knightsbridge School makes the most of access to some of London’s best sports, art and theatre facilities, as part of their pupils’ learning and development. With access to so many sites of historical and cultural significance nearby, the school frequently takes in-class trips off-campus, to experience and learn at some of London’s most significant landmarks and institutions, from Hampton Court Palace to the Natural History Museum. Knightsbridge School is a fantastic place for learning and development for your children to study in London no matter what their age is!

To find out more information about the school, including full fees and admissions, you can find everything else you might need to know on their website.

Southbank International School

Southbank International School Campus

Type: International Co-ed

Age Group: 3-19

Location: 17 Conway St, London W1T 6BN, 63-65 Portland Pl, London W1B 1QR, 36-38 Kensington Park Rd, London W11 3BU (Primary School), 16 Netherhall Gardens, London NW3 5TH (early years)

Fees: £19,000 -£33,000 + annually

Southbank International was originally founded as the American International School in 1979 and has been known for providing excellent education to students from all over the world ever since. The Southbank International School has several campuses across London, although their closest campus to the city centre, can be found in Fitzrovia.

The school is a fantastic home for international students looking for an excellent place to study in London, with multiple options for learning and development across the school’s campuses, from infancy to adulthood. With a diverse curriculum that is fully geared towards modern learning, as well as multiple options for study outside (the school offers an impressive 17 languages to learn), the school’s reputation for excellent education is well deserved.

Aside from the excellent curriculum, the school has some outstanding facilities, including a theatre, two modern computer libraries and several science labs. A particularly convenient service for students (and parents) that the school offers is a shuttle bus service to all campuses from around the city. This means that no matter where you choose to live in London, the amazing facilities and learning at Southbank International School, will always be accessible for your children!


To find out more information about the school, including all fees and admissions, you can find everything else you might need to know on their website.

ICS London

The ICS School In London

Type: Co-ed International School

Age Group: 3 – 19

Location: Early Years & Primary Campus, 7B Wyndham Place London W1H 1PN / Secondary & Diploma Campus, 21 Star Street, London W2 1QB

Fees: £19,000 – £27,000 (depending on age) annually

Founded in 1979, ICS has operated in the Marylebone area of Central London, growing to its present size with two fantastic campuses. One is dedicated to early years of learning whilst the other campus deals with students up until adulthood and the end of their compulsory education. The ICS has been the home of learning for students from all over the world and is consistently ranked among the top International Schools in London every year.

As one of only two schools in the United Kingdom that teaches the full International Baccalaureate, learning at the ICS comes as a privilege, for the many students who have attended the school since its creation. The Primary Campus provides a fantastic foundation for learning with the excellent teaching staff at the school, whilst the Secondary and Diploma Campus serves an important role in both preparing older students for higher education, as well as applications to some of the world’s top universities.

The Primary Campus is a fantastic location for learning. With modern and comfortable classrooms, plenty of space throughout the school for learning as well as a higher pupil to student ratio, ensuring that every pupil in the early school receives the right amount of learning focus and preparation. The Secondary and Diploma Campus boasts impressive facilities equipped with the latest technology to aid in learning, whilst fostering a culture of inclusion, community and cooperation, among its very international student base.

To find out more information about the school, including full fees and admissions, you can find everything else you might need to know on their website.

Soho Parish Primary

Street view of Soho Parish Primary School

Type: Co-ed Primary School

Years: 4-11

Location: 23 Great Windmill St, London W1D 7LF

Fees: None (church school)

Soho Parish Primary School can be found just a three-minute walk from China Town in the heart of Soho. The school is one of the oldest of its kind in London as well as the only remaining school to be found in Soho. As a Church Of England school, Soho Parish Primary has been kept running through the fantastic work of its staff and alumni, who often carry out fundraising initiatives and activities on behalf of the school in the local community.

As such, there is an incredible community to be found at this school that is dedicated to keeping the school running and, sticking to its educational principles. The school is incredibly well-reviewed and cherished by both parents and staff, as well as locals within the wider neighbourhood. The school is wonderfully diverse and inclusive and as a result of its popularity (and smaller size) – places at this school are filled very fast!

Although the school is still located in the very lovely if not small Victorian buildings it originated from, the school makes up for its smaller size with a fantastic curriculum, as well as smaller classes that ensure an excellent standard of teaching for every child. The school is modern, both in terms of facilities from the excellent new sports hall and library that were recently installed, to the progressive and balanced teaching methods of the staff. Soho Parish Primary may be the last school within Soho but, it is one of the best primary schools to consider sending your children to, in central London.

To find out more information about the school, including full fees and admissions, you can find everything else you might need to know on their website.

St. Clements Danes Primary School

The chapel of St. Clements Danes Primary School

Type: Co-ed Primary School

Years: 3-11

Location: 118 Drury Ln, London WC2B 5SU

Fees: None (church school)

St. Clement Danes is a fantastic Church Of England primary school based in Covent Garden. The school has existed in the city of London since the year 1700 and is now based in a wonderful Victorian building on Drury lane. Although a Church Of England school, St. Clements Danes Primary is open to pupils of any faith, with an inclusive religious education policy that forms a core part of the school’s curriculum.

The school has a very high standard for learning and ranks in the key developmental areas of early years education (reading, writing, spelling, numeracy, etc.) way above the national average. It is an ideal preparatory school for children who might one day take common entrance exams into either grammar or, private schools. St. Clement and Danes School also prides itself on a very active Performing Arts department, with an annual performance taking place in an amazing theatre such as the Royal Opera House, featuring the entire school and pupils of all ages!

Children can start from a younger age than in most other schools in the nursery at St. Clement Danes. With the possibility of enrolling children as young as three years old, as well as considering that the school does not charge any school fees, St. Clement Danes is an ideal place to guarantee excellent childcare and development for younger children. If you can successfully get your children admitted into the school, then you can rest assured that your child’s early education, will be in very good hands!

To find out more information about the school, including full fees and admissions, you can find everything else you might need to know on their website.

St. Marylebone Academy

Sports pitches of St.Marylebone School

Type: All-Girls Prep School (Co-ed Sixth Form)

Years: 11 – 18

Location: The St Marylebone CE School, 64 Marylebone High Street, London, W1U 5BA

Fees: None (Church Of England School)

The St.Marylebone School is a fantastic all-girls school run by the Church Of England. It has an excellent reputation for education in the city of London and provides further education opportunities at its Co-ed Sixth Form. The school may be a Church Of England school but, it has a wonderful, inclusive curriculum that aims to educate its pupils in all faiths, as well as provide a first-class education.

The St.Marylebone School places a big emphasis on growth through education. Whilst the curriculum at the school includes all the core subjects you would expect, the approach of the school is to encourage and facilitate their pupil’s growth through an emphasis on learning more creatively. Students are encouraged to ask questions, explore other options for answering questions and take, a more independent approach to study.

Education at the school becomes co-ed with the addition of boys to the Sixth Form. The school is greatly encouraging equal education opportunities and so, has a good split between not only both boys and girls studying in higher education but is also, open to all faiths and backgrounds. It is a modern school, with a modern approach to not only matters of faith but also, the development of its pupils into capable young adults and is an ideal place to send your children to school in central London.

To find out more information about the school, including full fees and admissions, you can find everything else you might need to know on their website.

Millbank Academy

Playground view of Millbank Academy

Type: Co-ed Primary School

Years: 3 – 11

Location: Millbank Academy, Erasmus St, London SW1P 4HR

Fees: None (state school)

Located close to the River Thames in the City Of Westminster, Millbank Academy is a fantastically run state school to enrol your children in to either begin or complete, their primary years of education. It is ideally located for those wanting a friendly, neighbourhood school in London, within easy walking distance of the city centre. Millbank is an inclusive and diverse school, offering the very best of state education following the National Curriculum, to the same quality and standard of learning as the best schools in the city.

Millbank Academy offers education even for those who are in their earliest years, with an excellent nursery school on-site, to kick-start a child’s learning. The school syllabus offers a balanced selection of subjects, whilst the staff are exceptional at fostering an open approach to learning, as well as catering to those with special and unique educational needs.

On this note, the Windmill Centre at the Millbank Academy is an exceptional learning facility for children with Autism, providing children and parents, with a solid foundation and plan for their child’s education and development. The Millbank Academy is an exceptional school in central London, fostering a kind and caring atmosphere and school community, which makes it a fantastic place for children of all abilities and backgrounds to be sent to begin their early education.

 To find out more information about the school, including full fees and admissions, you can find everything else you might need to know on their website.

Other Fantastic Schools In London

There are many other schools to potentially send your children to in London but we hope this list has provided you with some valuable guidance on education options you might find in the city.

Small girl with headphones learning

For more schools in other areas of London, you might want to have a look at some of our other guides for schools in London or, try looking at other helpful links such as The Good Schools Guide, for even more education options for your future move to London!

If you’re looking for some inspiration to find fantastic places to live in Central London, then why not look at our area guide to Central London or alternatively, start browsing our list of incredible properties to move into right now!

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