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The Best Schools In North London

Are you relocating to North London? Here are Flex Living's top picks for best schools in the area.
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Where Are The Best Schools In North London?

The North London area is filled with fantastic neighbourhoods to live in. But where are the best schools?

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.

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 arts schools if your 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.

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.

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.

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 North London

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

Highgate School

Type: Co-ed Private School

Years: 4 – 18

Location: North Rd, London N6 4AY

Fees: £20,000 – £23,000 (depending on age) annually

As far as schools in North London go, Highgate has a history that is hard to match, with more than 450 years of educating pupils at the school. Highgate is an incredibly impressive place to send your children for their education, no matter what age they happen to be, with both a primary and secondary school, as well as a sixth form to potentially, facilitate your child’s entire education until adulthood.

Highgate is a  beautiful school with stunning grounds and buildings and some incredible facilities for learning. The sheer number of sports pitches and playing facilities at Highgate is a sign of how much emphasis the school places on sports education and playing competitively against other schools. There is a 200-seat auditorium for school productions and arts performances, a stunning library, as well as numerous labs and other facilities that make the school a modern place for learning.

Learning at Highgate is an incredible privilege for children of all ages. The impressive facilities at the school backed up by an excellent staff and curriculum grant amazing opportunities to students studying at the school. The fees for the school are significant but not to the same level as schools in the centre of London and there are options for bursaries and scholarships. Overall, Highgate is an excellent school and one of the best private schools in North London to send your children to for their education.

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.

North London Collegiate

North London Collegiate School is an independent all-girls school that was founded in 1850. Since then, it has been delivering first-class education to young women and girls, whilst consistently ranking high among the very best all-girls schools in London. With a strong belief in progressive education and learning, the school has a reputation for providing an excellent education to its pupils, from early years up until the beginning of adulthood.

The North London Collegiate School has many beautiful Victorian-era buildings inside its incredible grounds. There is no shortage of green lawns and games pitches on the premise with the sports complex even containing a fantastic indoor swimming pool and gym. The school is well equipped for modern learning thanks to some impressive facilities such as science labs, graphic design and computer suites, and an exceptional theatre for performing arts.

Despite being an all-girls school, North London Collegiate aims to be as inclusive as possible and foster a strong sense of community and cooperation amongst its pupils, a significant number of whom, come from international backgrounds. It is a fantastic school for beginning or, continuing a girl’s education and then seeing them transform into capable and confident young women under the brilliant guidance of the school’s exceptional teaching staff. 

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.

Fortismere School

Type: Co-ed Secondary School

Years: 11 –18

Location: Tetherdown, Muswell Hill, London N10 1NE

Fess: None (state-funded)

Fortismere School has been ranked amongst the top 20 comprehensive schools in the entire country in the last five years. It is consistently ranked as one of the best state schools in North London and provides an excellent foundation for learning for those transitioning into the second phase of their education. With a brilliant Sixth Form attached to the school premises, it is an ideal place for learning for anyone making the move to London with older children, who will be aiming to finish their education.

The school’s curriculum and the standard of teaching at Fortismere is a big contributor to its high ranking amongst comprehensive schools in the country. Few state schools can offer a quality of education that can rival Fortimsere, particularly, when teaching subjects as difficult as learning Mandarin! The school has impressive facilities to help enable its impressive standard for learning, including a robotics lab and a school for deaf children. The school is incredibly spacious, with an impressive 20 acres of sports pitches and facilities, helping the school compete at a national level against other schools!

Fortismere is committed to championing diversity, with a strong multi-cultural presence amongst its pupils and teaching staff, fostering a welcoming and supportive community at the school. It is such an exceptional place for a child or young adult to attend that it is hard to believe there are no fees at the school! With that said, competition for places is high, with preference going to potential students living in the catchment area for the school, so perhaps it may be worth looking for homes with the same postcode before you make your move to North London!

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.

Jewish Free School

Type: Co-ed Independent School

Years: 11-18

Location: The Mall, Harrow HA3 9TE

Fees: None (privately funded)

The Jewish Free School is consistently ranked amongst the top five independent schools in the country. Home to more than 2000 pupils, the school is known for its impressive and modern curriculum, as well as for delivering a high level of education to students of all ages. Attendance at the school may only be open to those with a connection to the Jewish faith, however, this does not stop the school from meriting a place on our list due to the exceptional standard for education at the school.

The school commits to democratic principles and equips students of the school (even from a young age) with ideas and tools for upholding these, with debate and activity in the many student organizations and clubs strongly encouraged. The school wishes to foster a culture of open thought and debate about all manner of subjects, whilst providing a first-class education from its impressive teaching staff and facilities, spread out over a sizeable 20-acre school campus.

In 2021, the school won an award for promoting safe well-being amongst its students. Incredibly active when it comes to mental health and providing guidance for young learners, the Jewish Free school is trusted with educating and guiding its pupils as any school can be in the country, providing a solid foundation for growth and learning and most importantly, a haven to do so freely in London for all who wish to send their children to the school. 

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.


Type: All-boys Boarding School

Years: 13-18

Location: 5 High St, Harrow HA1 3HP

Fees: £42,000 annually

Harrow is one of the oldest and most prestigious schools in the country. Founded in 1572, the school has educated some of the most prominent and powerful figures in British history, from members of various royal families, as well as politicians and leaders of our country such as Winston Churchill. It is one of the best and most exclusive all-boys schools in the country, with places at the school highly valued for its status as an educator although, this comes at a significant price!

Harrow is highly regarded in the world of international education, with a strong attendance of overseas students throughout its history. Whilst there are many traditions at Harrow which are incredibly valued by the staff at the school, this does not mean that learning at Harrow remains stuck in the 16th century! The school has incredible facilities and options for learning. The curriculum is broad and even includes subjects and seminars that are geared towards fostering greater independence and self-management amongst pupils. 

The facilities at the school are breath-taking in places, with centuries-old classrooms and other buildings that have been flawlessly adapted for modern study through the installation of the latest technology. Sport is highly prized, with teams at Harrow competing at national and international levels in disciplines such as rugby, rowing, and cricket, to name only a few. The arts are also cherished, with a dedicated music college and performing arts centre. Harrow is an exceptionally prestigious school and any student who attends can expect to receive one of the best educations in the world!

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.

The American School

Type: Co-ed international school

Years: 4 – 18

Location: 1 Waverley Pl, London NW8 0NP

Fees: £28,000 – £32,000 annually

The American School is a fantastic home for international students studying in London. Backed by strong, consistent performance amongst its students and staff, the American Language school has been a consistent provider of excellent education in London, for over 70 years. Located within the beautiful area of St. John’s Wood, the school is an ideal location for families wishing to educate their children close to the heart of London.

Providing an exceptional, progressive, and thoroughly modern education, at the school, you will find all manner of subjects from studying ancient history to robotics! The latter subject is particularly worthy of mention, as The American School has an accomplished science and robotics department, offering some of the most advanced and early opportunities for studying in this particular field out of many schools from around the world.

There is a strong sport and artistic presence at the school, backed by some exceptional facilities including a six-lane swimming pool, performing arts theatre, as well as fantastic modern facilities equipped with the latest computers and learning technology. Admissions into the school may come at a substantial price but, make no mistake, The American School in London is one of the best places for education in the entire city.

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.

Bales College

Front and entrance to Bales College

Type: Co-ed Independent School

Years: 11-18

Location: 2j Kilburn Ln, London W10 4AA

Fees: £15,300 to £16,500 (dependant on age) annually

Bales College is known for being a fantastic place for students to complete their education. Students can attend either right at the beginning of their second phase of education or, when they are in the final stages of learning when compulsory education ends and applying for university starts. For which Bales has an exceptional Sixth Form for preparing for and guiding students through the application process to university.

The school is very inclusive and diverse, with a strong presence of international students in attendancel and an equally diverse and capable teaching staff. Bales College has a strong, assessment-based curriculum, with regular testing carried out at the school to determine students’ performance and set them on the right path to achieving the highest possible grades. With a focus on smaller class sizes to facilitate more focused learning and stronger support for students, Bales College is an exceptional place to send children for a well supported education and learning experience.

Bales College has some outstanding facilities, including modern labs and computer suites, whilst making use of some impressive local facilities for indoor and outdoor sports in nearby Maida Vale. Art and Design at Bales College are particularly highly valued subjects, along with performing arts, which are all taught to an exceptionally high level. It is ideally placed in a quiet neighbourhood that ensures children can learn in a safe environment, without fear of interruption or disruption.

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.

The Latymer School

Courtyard at The Latymer School

Type: Co-ed Grammar School (secondary school)

Years: 11-18

Location: Haselbury Rd, London N9 9TN

Fess: None (state school)

The Latymer School ranks exceptionally amongst the very best of London’s many grammar schools. The school has been on the receiving end of praise from both government and independent education inspections throughout the last decade, whilst providing a consistent standard of free, high-quality education. The school has created life-changing opportunities for thousands of students who have managed to successfully gain entrance through the common-entrance system and is rightfully – very proud of its history.

Since 1624, Latymer has been an exceptional provider of education for all of its pupils. Today, the school is committed to providing equal opportunities to its pupils, who come from many different backgrounds but are united by the school, in the pursuit of a first-class education.  The curriculum at the school is strong, with a high standard of teaching that incorporates all manner of subjects from personal development, to languages like Latin and Russian! The staff at the school are exceptional, providing invaluable support to students and guiding them on their pathway through learning, including students with learning difficulties.

Latymer has some impressive facilities that have been equippedthrough the generous donations over the years that have been made to the school’s fund, the Latymer Foundation. The school offers a fantastic opportunity for all pupils who attend it, providing they can navigate and achieve the desired results after taking part in the common-entrance exams required to enter the school. Any student who is accepted into Latymer is guaranteed to receive the very best of free education the city of London can offer. 

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.

St Mary's School

Entrace to St. Mary's chool

St Mary’s School

Type: Co-ed Private Primary School

Ages: 3- 11

Location: 47 Fitzjohn’s Ave, London NW3 6PG

Fees: £9,000 – £15,000 (depending on age) annually

St Mary’s is a delightful primary school in Hampstead, close to the stunning ancient woodland of Hampstead Heath, which is a wonderful part of North London to grow up learning and living in! The school frequently ranks very highly in school surveys and has an exceptional teaching staff.

With options available for students to join the school from as early as three years old, the school is a fantastic place to begin a child’s education and prepare them for further studies at any level. The school is beautiful, with stunning out-buildings and gardens that provide a peaceful, sheltered learning environment for all the young pupils attending. The emphasis on creative education, particularly from an early age, is one of the school’s strongest values, which is reflected in its curriculum and teaching practice amongst the staff.

Children from the earliest years are encouraged to learn and develop independently and explore learning in their own individual way. The school has some fantastic Art & Design facilities, encouraging pupils to get to grips with impressive technology such as 3D printing from a young age! Overall, St Mary’s offers an idyllic, creative education for a young child’s early education. Fees at the school are significant but not as high as other schools in the city centre, with various schemes in place for offering bursaries and scholarships, to suitable families.

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.

Northside Primary

Front entrance to Northside Primary

Type: Co-ed Primary School

Age: 2- 11

Location: 2 Albert St, London N12 8JP

Fees: None (state-funded)

Northside Primary is a wonderful state-funded primary school in North London, offering fantastic early learning opportunities to children from as young as two years old. Places at the school, particularly the nursery for pre-schoolers, are in incredibly high demand, so you will need to make sure that you’re living in the relevant catchment area if you want to see your child admitted here!

The school is an inclusive, family-friendly and community-driven establishment, that seeks to uphold progressive values for both staff and students. The school is committed to remaining as diverse a learning environment as possible, with many students and families coming from an international background, as well as committing to a multi-faith inclusion and learning policy.

Teaching at the school is of a very high standard, with Northside Primary frequently placing among the top state primary schools in London. The learning support provided to children of all learning abilities from such a young age is exceptional, whilst children are encouraged to enshrine and understand the school’s values of tolerance, fairness, respect, and individuality from the minute they start. Northside Primary is an exceptional place to send your children to begin their early education and see them recognize where their potential will lay for future studies and the development of their own personalities. 

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.

What About The Rest Of 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.

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 North London, then why not look at our guide to living in North London or alternatively, start browsing our list of incredible properties to move into right now!

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