UK School Structure

School classifications:

State schools, where finances depend on state funding. Teaching strictly follows the state curriculum. There are no tuition fees. Unless they have relocated to the UK with their families, these schools do not admit overseas students.

Independent or private schools include those termed ‘public’ schools, preparatory schools, colleges, and senior schools. These schools are independent in admissions, finance, teaching and other aspects. Students need to pay tuition fees and other fees.

Most of the independent schools, especially those with boarding facilities, recruit a small number of overseas students. Teaching in independent schools does not follow the national curriculum guide completely. The atmosphere, curriculum and, teaching styles of these schools varies widely.

Other – there are several other types of schools in the UK, including community schools, religious schools, free schools, specialist schools and so on, but there are not many of these schools. Many have strict and unique requirements for admissions.

About UK independent schools

Britain has over 2300 independent schools, each with its own history, unique education strengths and offers. School rankings are published by a variety of different agencies, according to GCSE or A-Level grades; school history; comprehensive performance or university admissions performance. However, these rankings cannot fully depict the image of a school. It is necessary to understand the situation and characteristics of a specific school before you can choose a school that truly matches an individual child.


The schools below are part of the UK’s recognised outstanding independent schools. These schools have not only achieved academic excellence, but have also made remarkable achievements in their respective areas of expertise. These schools all have distinctive features and a long history, with a common characteristic – to treat every student as an independent individual, and to cultivate and nurture each one, so that they can perform to the best of their ability.