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Best 2024 Scottish state secondary schools

Compare Scottish schools’ performance here.

with the best secondary schools in uk, the top secondary schools in uk and the best UK schools.

How to analyse school league tables.

Best Scottish secondary schools 2024

1. Jordanhill School, Glasgow (1) 2. Bearsden Academy (3) 3. St Ninian’s High School, Giffnock (2) 4. Woodfarm High School, Thornliebank (8) 5. Douglas Academy, Milngavie (11) 6. Cults Academy, Aberdeen (4) 7. Boroughmuir High School, Edinburgh (6=) 8. Mearns Castle High School, Glasgow (10) 9. Williamwood High School, Glasgow (5) 10. Eastwood High School, Newton Mearns (6=)

2024 Best private schools in Scotland (for Highers)

1. St Mary’s Music School, Edinburgh (1) 2. The Glasgow Academy (-) 3. George Heriot’s School, Edinburgh (2) 4. The Mary Erskine School, Edinburgh (7) 5. The High School of Glasgow (6) 6. Hutchesons’ Grammar School, Glasgow (5) 7. St Margaret’s School for Girls, Aberdeen (9) 8. Dollar Academy, Clackmannanshire (10) 9. St Columba’s School, Kilmacolm (-) 10. George Watson’s College, Edinburgh (12)


Thinking of a private school video

Best private schools in Scotland 2024 (for A-Levels)

1. St Leonards, St Andrews (2) 2. Fettes College, Edinburgh (1) 3. Merchiston Castle School, Edinburgh (3) 4. Strathallan School, Perth (5)


THE best performing 2024 Scottish schools nearby according to 2024 school league tables.

How to get your child into the top nearby school?

Getting your child into the best Scottish school for them is all about:

  • Researching which are the highest rated schools in your local area.
  • Planning alternatives in advance – since there is of course no guarantee of your first choice working out.

  • Realistically assessing your current financial situation.


Which school entry exam practice best suits your child’s needs?

Previous years’ Scottish school league tables

1 Jordanhill School, Glasgow

2= St Ninian’s High School, Giffnock 2= Boroughmuir High School, Edinburgh 4 Mearns Castle High School, Glasgow 5 Dunblane High School 6 Bearsden Academy 7 Williamwood High School, Glasgow 8 Gryffe High School, Houston 9 Douglas Academy, Milngavie 10 Bishopbriggs Academy 11 Cults Academy, Aberdeen 12 Banchory Academy 13 Lenzie Academy 14 Eastwood High School, Newton Mearns 15 Balfron High School 16 North Berwick High School 17 James Gillespie’s High School, Edinburgh 18 Woodfarm High School, Thornliebank 19= Boclair Academy, Bearsden 19= Strathaven Academy

Illuminated Heriot's School as some of best Scottish Schools 2021

Best Scottish schools from the Sunday Times best Scottish School Awards 2023

Top independent secondary schools in Scotland (Higher/Advanced Higher/National 5)

1 George Heriot’s School, Edinburgh 2 Hutchesons’ Grammar School, Glasgow 3 The High School of Glasgow 4 The Glasgow Academy, Glasgow 5 St Mary’s Music School, Edinburgh 6 St Margaret’s School for Girls, Aberdeen 7 The Mary Erskine School, Edinburgh 8 The Edinburgh Academy 9 St Columba’s School, Kilmacolm 10 Stewart Melville College, Edinburgh 11 Dollar Academy 12 St Aloysius’ College, Glasgow 13 George Watson’s College, Edinburgh 14 High School of Dundee 15 Albyn School. Aberdeen 16 Kilgraston, Perth 17 Lomond School, Helensburgh 18 Kelvinside Academy, Glasgow 19 Edinburgh Steiner School

Best independent secondary schools in Scotland (A-levels/IB/GCSE)

1 Fettes College*, Edinburgh 2 Merchiston School, Edinburgh 3 St Leonards School*, St Andrews 4 Glenalmond College, Perth 5 Loretto School, Musselburgh

*Ranked on A-level and IB, with GCSEs

Top Scottish schools 2021

East Renfrewshire breaks new ground in this year’s Parent Power as the first local authority to have all of its secondary schools in our rankings of the top 100 schools in Scotland.

Good Scottish schools 2024

Three of its seven schools, southwest of Glasgow – St Ninian’s High, in Giffnock, Mearns Castle High, in Newton Mearns, and Williamwood High, in Clarkston – are in the top 10. Eastwood High, also in Newton Mearns, is in 11th place.  
  • Last year’s rankings included six of the East Renfrewshire schools. This year Barrhead High makes it a full set, entering at 96.
  • Neighbouring Renfrewshire has only two schools in the top 100, but one of them, Gryffe High School, in Houston, is named our Scottish State Secondary School of the Year. 
  • It has risen to its highest ranking yet (6=) following sparkling examination results in 2019, when 69% of pupils gained five or more Highers, 89% attained five or more National 5s and 31% got two or more Advanced Highers. The ranking gives a double weighting to performance in Higher examinations.
  • As well as outstanding examination results, our School of the Year award acknowledges other factors. Gryffe High was the first school to achieve an “excellent” rating in the new-style Education Scotland school inspections.
  • The school’s long-standing strategy has been to target wellbeing, attainment and achievement.

Glasgow schools

  • The Glasgow Gaelic School and Hyndland Secondary School are among the city’s leading lights in education.
  • Edinburgh takes the honours in the perpetual battle between Scotland’s two biggest cities, with nine schools in the top 100.
  • Boroughmuir High and James Gillespie’s High, both former Schools of the Year, make the national top 10. Boroughmuir is second to Jordanhill this year.

Edinburgh schools

  • Edinburgh is also home to George Heriot’s School, the Scottish Independent Secondary School of the Decade.
  • George Heriot’s was the top-performing independent school based on those examinations – with more than 90% of Higher and Advanced Higher grades at A or B.
  • Its award recognises sustained academic excellence over the past 10 years as well as the philanthropic spirit that underpins the school.
  • Almost 140 of the current school roll of 1,650 are on full or partial fee remission through a variety of means-tested bursaries, scholarships or, uniquely, places for children who have lost a parent.
  • The school offers practical and emotional support for families following a bereavement.
  • Children of all ages are heavily involved in charity and community initiatives.
  • The oldest pupils, in S6, volunteer to look after younger children so their parents can attend support meetings without the worry of getting a babysitter.

Best Scottish schools 2024

Top state secondary schools in Scotland

  1. Jordanhill School, Glasgow
  2. Boroughmuir High School, Edinburgh
  3. St Ninian’s High School, Giffnock
  4. Mearns Castle High School, Glasgow
  5. Bearsden Academy
  6. Douglas Academy, Milngavie
  7. Gryffe High School, Houston
  8. Dunblane High School
  9. Williamwood High School, Glasgow
  10. James Gillespie’s High School, Edinburgh


Best Scottish schools leagues

Top independent secondary schools in Scotland

  1. George Heriot’s School, Edinburgh
  2. Hutchesons’ Grammar School, Glasgow
  3. The High School of Glasgow
  4. The Glasgow Academy
  5. St Mary’s Music School, Edinburgh
  6. St Margaret’s School for Girls, Aberdeen
  7. The Mary Erskine School, Edinburgh
  8. The Edinburgh Academy
  9. St Columba’s School, Kilmacolm
  10. Stewart Melville College, Edinburgh

Looking for your best local schools?

Our other top independent schools Scotland features include:

  • Which are the best Scottish schools near me?
  • Where are the top performing private schools in Scotland? 
  • How do the best Scottish private schools compare to the top Scottish secondary schools?
  • Which are the best Scottish private schools ?
  • Where are the top Scottish schools near me ?

Scotland private schools; best schools in Glasgow;

top independent schools in Scotland; best high schools Scotland;

best secondary schools Scotland; and league tables secondary schools Scotland.