How to get your child into the best performing state schools

Want to know how to get your child into your nearest top performing state schools?


Which are the best performing 2024 state schools near me?

2023 State school league tables

1. Wilson’s School,
2. Queen Elizabeth’s School
3. The Henrietta Barnett
4. Pate’s Grammar School
5. St Olave’s Grammar School
6. Colchester Grammar School
7. The Tiffin Girls’ School
8. Reading School
9. King Edward VI School
10. Altrincham Grammar School for girls
11. King Edward VI Grammar School
12. Chelmsford County High School for Girls
13=. King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Boys
13=. Colyton Grammar School
15. Kendrick School
16. Tonbridge Grammar School
17=. Tiffin School
17= . Lumen Christi College
19. Dartford Grammar School
20. King Edward VI Camp Hill School for girls


How to get into a top performing state school

Getting your child into a high performing state school is all about researching which are the highest rated state schools in your local area. Planning for state school alternatives in advance since there is of course no guarantee of your first choice working out.

  • Researching which are the highest rated state schools in your local area.
  • Planning alternative state school options in advance. This is because there is of course no guarantee of your first London school choice choice working out.
  • Realistically assessing your current financial situation and hence whether private schools are an option.

How to interpret the Sunday Times state school league tables

The Sunday Times‘s state school league tables make a fascinating read for anyone. In particular, if you are looking for the top independent schools in the UK. The Guardian, The Times and The Telegraph websites allow you to add filters to their published London school league tables. So, you can

  • Pull out the top state schools nearby. Then compare your chosen state school group on those criteria which are most important to you.
  • Conduct your own analysis to determine which state school best suits your child’s specific needs.
  • Visit each of your chosen state schools. Which has the right ethos for your child.
  • Check the latest Ofsted state school reports too.

Interpreting Ofsted reports

  • Each Ofsted report is an analysis of that state school’s teachers’ professional competence .
  • Plus, whether Ofsted’s performance standards have been met across the state school.
  • There are three possible outcomes: under-achieving state school; achieving state school; or outstanding state school.

State school league tables

Top independent school entry test practice

11+ entry past papers and MATHS 11+ and ENGLISH 11+ test prep

13 Plus test practice and recommended 13+ prep private school entry.

16 Plus Test Practice and our top 16+ private school entrance past papers.


Improving your critical thinking skills

  • involves developing the ability to think more effectively, analyze information, and make reasoned decisions.
  • is an ongoing process that can benefit various aspects of your life, from making informed decisions to solving complex problems and understanding the world more deeply.
  • Ask Questions: Cultivate a curious mindset by asking questions about the information you encounter. Challenge assumptions and seek deeper understanding.
  • Gather Information: Research and gather relevant data from credible sources to ensure you have a solid foundation of information on a given topic.
  • Analyze Information: Break down complex information into smaller parts and examine each component to understand how they relate to the whole.
  • Consider Multiple Perspectives: Avoid jumping to conclusions. Evaluate different viewpoints and perspectives, even if they contradict your initial beliefs.

Evaluate Evidence

  • Assess the quality and reliability of evidence and sources. Look for biases and consider whether the evidence supports a particular claim.
  • Recognize and Manage Biases: Be aware of your own biases and cognitive biases that can cloud judgment. Strive for objectivity and open-mindedness.
  • Practice Critical Reading and Listening: When reading or listening to information, actively engage with the material by questioning, summarizing, and assessing its validity.
  • Solve Problems: Practice problem-solving regularly. Break down problems into manageable steps and consider various solutions before deciding on the best approach.
  • Reflect and Self-Assess: Periodically reflect on your thinking process and decisions. Identify areas where you can improve and learn from your experiences.
  • Engage in Discussions: Engage in thoughtful discussions and debates with others to expose yourself to different viewpoints and sharpen your argumentation skills.
  • Play Brain-Training Games: Games and puzzles that require logical thinking and problem-solving can be a fun way to exercise your critical thinking muscles.


Which entry test practice formats should my child use to practice?

School entrance tests are constantly changing formats.

The three school entry exam publishers are: GL Assessment, ISEB and CEM Select.

Familiarizing your child with their entry Test content & entry exam formats. Increase your child’s confidence as part of their prep.

What are the benefits of using our our Practice test recommendations?

  • These 16 plus exam practice materials are closest to your own specific school entry exam format.
  • Clearly detailed answer explanations are provided for each question.
  • Each 16 plus practice paper breaks down the different question types. Each question format needs to be mastered.
  • You can also use the following private school practice tests as your mock exam paper. This is because they mirror the real test’s content.


Who are School Entrance Tests?

Rob WilliamsWe are run by Rob Williams. An Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society, Rob Williams is a Chartered Psychologist with over 25 years of experience working and designing tests. Rob has consulted for many of the top school entrance test publishers, including the ISEBCambridge Assessment ; Hodder Education, and the GL CAT4 publisher.




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