Best nearby Welsh Schools guide
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The top state secondary schools in Wales
1 Cowbridge Comprehensive School
2 Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Bro Myrddin, Carmarthen
3 Y. Gyfun Gymraeg Plasmawr, Cardiff
4 Ysgol Y Preseli, Crymych
5 Olchfa School, Swansea
6 Penglais School, Aberystwyth
7 Crickhowell High School
8 Ysgol Eirias, Colwyn Bay
9 Llanidloes High School
10 Ysgol Calun Cymru, Builth Wells
The top independent secondary schools in Wales
1 St John’s College, Cardiff
2 Ruthin School
3 St Michael’s School, Llanelli
4 Westbourne School, Penarth
5 Howell’s School, Llandaff GDST, Cardiff
6 Monmouth School for Girls
7 The Cathedral School Llandaff, Cardiff
8 Monmouth School for Boys
9 Christ College Brecon
10 St Gerard’s School, Bangor
Best Welsh Schools guide
How to apply for your Welsh secondary school places
Depending on your local authority you can submit between three and six school preferences.
Places are allocated by the school’s governing body, an academy trust or the local authority.
Each school will have its own admissions criteria, but within a national framework so that on school offer day parents will receive only one.
Best Welsh schools 2021 guide
- The proportion of A*-B grades at A-level has risen from 44.3% in 2012 to a record 69.1% last year, while top grades (9-7) at GCSE have gone up from about 20% to just under 30%.
- Based in Crymych, in Pembrokeshire, Ysgol Y Preseli serves a largely rural community. It ranks second in our Welsh state secondary school table, behind Welsh-medium Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Glantaf, our Welsh State Secondary School of the Year in 2019.
- Only a small proportion of state secondary schools in Wales share their results with Parent Power, so the 13 independent schools have equal representation in our rankings.
St Michael’s School, in Bryn
- The Sunday Times Welsh Independent Secondary School of the Decade, St Michael’s School, in Bryn, near Llanelli, has likewise come a long way in our tables.
- It ranked 229th in the UK as recently as 2014 and is now 52nd, with its proportion of A*-B grades at A-level exceeding 90% for the first time.
- A relatively small day and boarding school, with about 425 pupils, St Michael’s recruits strongly from home and abroad.
- Another school with a high proportion of international students is Cardiff Sixth Form College. It was the top-ranked private school in Wales last year with the best A-level results of any school in the UK.
- Westbourne School, in Penarth, with about 200 pupils, is one of the most consistently high-achieving independent schools in Britain, specialising in the international baccalaureate.
Top state secondary schools in Wales
- Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Glantaf, Cardiff
- Ysgol Y Preseli, Crymych
- Cowbridge Comprehensive School
- Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Bro Myrddin, Carmarthen
- Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Plasmawr, Cardiff
- Olchfa School, Swansea
- St Brigid’s School, Denbigh
- Ysgol Calun Cymru, Builth Wells
- Penglais School, Aberystwyth
- Ysgol Eirias, Colwyn Bay
Looking for the top Welsh schools?
No other school has pulled off a transformation on the same scale as Ysgol Y Preseli, our Welsh State Secondary School of the Decade. En route to winning one of our unique awards for this pandemic year, the 800-pupil bilingual school has soared nearly 300 places in our rankings since 2012 — from 468th to 186th= — under the headship of Michael Davies, who will retire at the end of the year.
Top independent secondary schools in Wales
- Cardiff Sixth Form College
- Ruthin School
- St Michael’s School, Llanelli
- St.John’s College, Cardiff
- Westbourne School, Penarth
- Howell’s School Llandaff GDST, Cardiff
- The Cathedral School Llandaff, Cardiff
- Rougemont School, Newport
- Monmouth School for Girls
- … and for Boys
Looking for the best UK schools 2023 in your region?
Here’s our top Scottish independent schools 2023. The top Southern independent schools 2023 and best East Anglian independent schools 2023. Then next our best West Midlands independent schools 2023 and our best Welsh independent schools 2023. The Best North-Eastern independent schools 2023 and best independent schools Midlands 2023. And then next are our best Northern independent schools 2023.
Next our Top South Eastern schools League Table 2022 and top schools across East Midlands 2022. The top North Western schools 2022 and . Then next our best London schools 2022. Plus, our best independent schools Northern Ireland 2023. Here are the top UK grammar schools 2023, and our best 2023 grammar schools guide. Finally, London private schools League table 2023.
Best Welsh schools 2023