Best independent schools in 2018

Posted on: 2018-09-01 05:00:00

Best independent schools in 2018: Full league table for GCSE results

St Mary's School Ascot is at the top of the tree when it comes to GCSE performance among independent schools this year.

The girls' school achieved a 97.5 per cent A*-A or 9-1 rate - one of four schools to surpass 97 per cent for the top grades, according to the Independent Schools Council (ISC).

Our interactive league table allows you to search these results by specific school and compare schools of your choice against one another.

Some independent schools decline to release their results in this fashion so it may be possible that there is a better performing school out there. However,  St Mary's School Ascot is the best among the roughly 300 schools who entered at least 20 candidates and agreed to have their results published.

Search for your school or town to find out where it ranks

Both Guildford High School for Girls and Guildford North London Collegiate School achieved 97.2 per cent A*-A or 9-1 rates among their entries, coming second and third in our table. 

Westminster School came a close fourth place, with 97.1 per cent of entries achieving either an A*-A or a 9-1.

In total, 20 schools with over 20 students managed to get 90 per cent of their entries gaining an A/7 or above, according to the ISC.

This year’s Year 11 GCSE exam results have revealed that nearly two thirds - some 62.6 per cent - of GCSE entries at ISC schools were awarded an A/7 or higher.

This is more than three times the national average of 20.3 per cent.

Over 95 per cent of entries received a C/4 grade or higher, a 0.5 per cent rise compared to last year. Nationally, this figure sat at 66.6 per cent this year.       

Overall, some 73.7 per cent of candidates gained at least one A* or 9/8 grade. This rate is among the 37,913 candidates at 549 independent schools who released their data to the ISC.

Barnaby Lenon, chairman of ISC, said: "The independent sector can celebrate another set of fantastic GCSE results this year. A fifth of pupils achieved a grade 9 in their results, a very impressive achievement.

"The results demonstrate the quality of teaching and ambition in our schools and prove the vital contribution the sector makes to the British education system. Well done to all pupils for their achievements."

Search for small independent schools for 2018 GCSE results

This year, changes in GCSE regime meant that a new numerical system was used to mark several subjects.

In an attempt to toughen up GCSEs, the new system uses grades one to nine, rather than from A* to G - with anything above a seven being level to anything above an A in the old system.

At a glance | GCSE changes

Conversion chart: Traditional A*-G marks with their 9-1 equivalents

In 2017, a new 9 - 1 grading system was introduced in three subjects: Maths, English Language, and English Literature. This summer, another 20 subjects will have 9 to 1 grading in 2018, with most others following in 2019.


  • Most assessments are by exam
  • Exams are taken at the end of the two-year course rather than on completion of modules
  • Questions follow more of an essay-style format
  • All students must do at least two science GCSEs either biology, chemistry or physics, with single science options being phased out
  • Coursework and controlled assessment have disappeared from most subjects aside from practical ones including art, dance and drama


Schools have been ranked by their rate for A*-A or 9-1 grades, for both GCSE and IGCSE results combined. Schools are tied, marked with "=", if their score is exactly the same. Otherwise, a tie is decided by differences at two decimal places.

Source: The Telegraph

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