Parent Power 2023: The Times releases its list of Best UK schools & league table

How did secondary school pupils fare from the pandemic - find out in this year’s Sunday Times Parent Power guide to UK schools.

It’s a win for the girls in this year’s Sunday Times Parent Power 2023 guide to best schools in the UK with single-sex schools topping the tables in both state and private sectors.

Sunday Times has published the 30th edition of its Parent Power guide to the best national and regional schools of the year. Amongst its findings, the Times identifies the highest-achieving schools in the UK based on their own criterion.

Parent Power is widely acknowledged and holds more than 1,600 schools in its database. If a parent, student, or teacher wants to find out about a school’s performance, they can search it by name, local authority, town and postcode.

Central to this year’s findings is the emphasis successful schools are placing on student well-being and self-care where pupils can access efficient, effective and non-judgmental support to get back on track and improve their experience at school.

Helen Davies, editor of The Sunday Times Parent Power guide, says: “These have been a challenging few years for teachers, pupils and their parents, and the success of many in our league table is testament to the stamina and support shown by all concerned.

“It is also clear that more attention is being placed on well-being and mental health – from meditation rooms to counselling support, even therapy dogs – and schools are being proactive to bring about positive changes.

“League tables are not the only criteria a parent can use when choosing a school, but they are a good starting point. We want to celebrate excellence. We want to champion schools that are doing wonderful work.

“We want our children to be well-nurtured and well-taught. In choosing a school parents are making one of the biggest decisions in their family life, and Parent Power and The Sunday Times is here to help.”

Henrietta Barnett School topped the Times' national list for academic performance

The Sunday Times Schools Guide, Parent Power, was first published in 1993. As well as a print section in the newspaper, there is a fully-searchable online database allowing users to search schools by postcode, town, local authority and school name.

But who won The Sunday Times’ national and regional school of the year awards?

The Sunday Times Parent Power 2023 national school of the year

The top secondary school for academic performance 

  • Henrietta Barnett School (grammar school for girls), Hampstead, London

Secondary school of the year 

  • Wycombe High School, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire

Comprehensive school of the year 

  • St Peter’s Catholic School, Guildford, Surrey

Top independent school for academic performance

  • St Paul’s Girls’ School, Brook Green, London

Independent school of the year 

The Times’ research found single-sex schools were excelling by taking a greater interest in student well-being
  • Francis Holland School, Sloane Square, London

International Baccalaureate school of the year

  • Godolphin and Latymer, Hammersmith, London

The Sunday Times Parent Power 2023 regional school of the year

East Anglia

Secondary School of the Year - King Edward VI Grammar School, Chelmsford

Independent School of the Year - Norwich High School for Girls

Independent School of the Year for Academic Performance - The Perse School, Cambridge

East Midlands

Secondary School of the Year - The King’s School, Grantham

Comprehensive of the Year - Northampton School for Boys

Independent School of the Year - Nottingham High School

West Midlands

Secondary School of the Year - King Edward VI School, Stratford-upon-Avon

Independent School of the Year for Academic Performance - King Edward VI High School for Girls, Birmingham

London

Secondary School of the Year - Mossbourne Community Academy, Hackney Downs

Comprehensive School of the Year - The Coopers’ Company and Coborn School, Upminster

Independent School of the Year for Academic Performance - St Paul’s Girls’ School, Brook Green

The North

Secondary School of the Year for Academic Performance - Ripon Grammar School

Comprehensive School of the Year - Prince Henry’s Grammar School, Otley

Independent School of the Year - Sheffield High School for Girls

Independent School of the Year for Academic Performance - Queen Ethelburga’s College

The Northeast

Comprehensive School of the Year - Durham Johnston Comprehensive School

Independent School of the Year - Dame Allan’s School (Girls’ and Boys’), Newcastle upon Tyne

Independent School of the Year for Academic Performance - Royal Grammar School, Newcastle upon Tyne

The Northwest

Secondary School of the Year - Altrincham Grammar School for Girls

Independent School of the Year for Academic Performance - Withington Girls’ School, Manchester

The Southeast

Secondary School of the Year - Wycombe High School, High Wycombe

Comprehensive School of the Year - St Peter’s Catholic School, Guildford

Independent School of the Year for Academic Performance - Guildford High School

The Southwest

Secondary School of the Year - Pate’s Grammar School, Cheltenham

Comprehensive School of the Year - The Cotswold School, Bourton-on-the-Water

Independent Secondary School of the Year - Cheltenham Ladies’ College

Wales

Secondary School of the Year - Ysgol Bro Preseli, Pembrokeshire

Independent Secondary School of the Year - Cardiff Sixth Form College

Northern Ireland

Secondary School of the Year - St Mary’s Grammar School, Magherafelt

Scotland

Secondary School of the Year - Williamwood High School, Glasgow

Secondary School of the Year for Academic Performance - Jordanhill, Glasgow

You can view the full list on the Sunday Times Parent Power website.