EDUCATION ADVISERS LTD   phone +44 (0) 1622 813870

For Parents

How do you use a school league table?

A large proportion of visitors to our websites come because they want to know which is the best school for their child. That is why our biggest website is called and carries 12 different league tables updated each year.

The majority of these tables are based on academic exams taken between 16 to 18 and which are the main criteria for University entry. In the UK these are GCSEs (and IGCSEs), A levels,  IBDP, Pre –U, Scottish Highers and Scottish Advanced Highers. There are a few other qualifications such as BTECs or Foundation Programmes, which we don’t grade because their numbers are generally too small to warrant statistical comparison. Other publishers of tables tend to lump all the exams into one huge table – but we don’t. We keep them in the curriculum or type of school which the parent wants for their child. This way it’s far easier to find a suitable school.

Most parents want day or boarding – not both

Parents tend to know if they want A Levels or IB, but if unsure we can advise them

Most know if they want co-ed or single sex.

Some parents want sixth form colleges focussed heavily on exam success, whereas other prefer schools with more sport or music or drama or extra curricular activities.

You can see the main table divisions at      

In most cases we limit the tables to 100 schools. If you don’t see a target school in the table, then search for that school and examine their profile. Here we print their results and you can get a rough comparison with the bottom of the tables. Of course they may not have a comparison with a particular table – usually because they don’t offer the curriculum you are searching for. If you are confused just pick up the phone and speak to us on +44 (0) 1622 813870.

However – the most important factor of all. It’s usually wrong to pick the top school in any table and believe it’s the best for your child! There are lots of other factors to take into account, such as

  • Does it offer the subjects your child wants to study?
  • Does it have any vacancies?
  • Could your child pass the admissions criteria?
  • Does it offer all the non academic facilities important for your child?
  • Does the ethos suit your beliefs?
  • Does it build confident students ready to take on the world?
  • Do you like the culture of the school?

Generally the higher up the table, the further in advance you need to apply. Schools like Winchester and Eton need 3 to 5 years notice. Elite schools often have low acceptance ratios – so you may need to apply to 3 or 4 simultaneously.

But above all, does your child’s intellectual ability and potential match the requirements of the school. We now offer “assessment tests” which attempt to measure your child’s ability against the likelihood of passing certain school’s entry tests.

As you will see elsewhere we offer advice with expertise, impartiality and integrity. We know most of the schools in these tables and will give you a very honest appraisal of your child’s suitability.

Please don’t assume it’s as simple as picking a number from a league table!