Guide to the Best Schools in Surrey

Guide to the Best Schools in Surrey

Are you looking for the best schools in Surrey?

If you are considering a move to the county of Surrey, you are likely to know quite a bit about it already.

Rolling hills, forests, and green landscapes alongside areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty abound and are a testament to its beauty.

The county is often associated with wealth and affluence, as it is home to some of the UK’s wealthiest towns and boroughs.

Its proximity to London makes it a desirable option. Aside from work in the capital many technology companies and research centres are located in the area.

If you are on the move with school-aged children, their education will be of utmost importance.

These days many parents choose a location based on how well the local school within the catchment area is performing.

The demand for properties in these areas is often greater, leading to increased competition among buyers and the potential for higher selling prices.

Surrey has a reputation for providing quality education from nursery through to university.

In our article, we explore some of the best schools in the county.

General Information About Education in Surrey

North Downs, Surrey

There are over 500 schools across the whole of Surrey. Image credit: Unsplash

Life in Surrey offers locals a huge choice of schools.

There are currently 301 Primaries, 92 secondaries, 72 special schools, 10 Further Education Colleges and 80 independent schools.

More than half the state secondary schools in Surrey have sixth forms.

In Surrey, 28% of state-run secondary schools are currently rated outstanding.

Of the rest, 65% are classed as “good”, 5% “require improvement” and 2% – or just one school – is “inadequate”.

5 Best State Primaries in Surrey

Primary Schools in Surrey

Primary Schools in Surrey. Image credit: Pixabay

Each stage of your child’s education is important, arguably starting school is the biggest jump for small children.

It is no small occasion for parents either.

Primary school is the beginning of a journey toward independence, knowledge, and personal development.

It can be a time of uncertainty and distress for some children as they come to terms with unfamiliar surroundings and people.

Choosing a good school does make the transition easier.

The following schools have been highlighted based on them each having been rated highly by Ofsted at their most recent inspections.

1. Pewley Down Infant School 

Pewley Down is located as its name suggests, on the edge of a beautiful green area to the south of Guildford.

An extremely popular mixed-state school for children aged 4-7 years.

Pewley has 180 pupils on its school roll.

A smaller-than-average school which boasts highly skilled teachers, an active governing body, and well-behaved pupils.

Rated” outstanding” by Ofsted in 2012, the school continues to excel.

You can download a copy of the full Ofsted report for the school HERE.

2. St Dunstan’s Catholic Primary School 

The school is located in Woking, a town and borough in northwest Surrey, England, around 23 miles from central London and convenient rail links into the capital.

This school has 630 pupils and a 21:1 teacher ratio which is very slightly over the 20.7 average for the UK.

Ofsted has described St Dunstan’s as “a multicultural school with high pupil attendance figures.”

“Pupil’s behaviour is exemplary both in and out of the classroom.”

“By the end of key stage 2, pupils achieve outcomes that are above national averages”.

“Parents and carers are overwhelmingly positive about the school.”

You can download a copy of the full Ofsted inspection report HERE.

3. Wonersh and Shamley Green CofE Aided Primary School 

Sitting in the large town of Guildford, this is another of Surrey’s well-regarded primary schools.

Pupils exceeded both the counties and the UK’s expected average target standards in reading, writing and maths.

Ofsted reported that “Pupils’ achievements are exceptional in this school. Beginning in the stimulating early years environment, reading is prioritised.”

“Mathematics learning is excellent. In 2022, 100% of pupils in Year 6 achieved the expected standard at the end of key stage 2. Work in books is impressive.”

Click here for further information regarding the school’s latest Ofsted Report. 

4. Lime Tree Primary School 

The quaint village of Merstham sits within the borough of Reigate and Banstead.

A pretty location known for its numerous Victorian and Edwardian terraces.

The school has a pupil roll of 441 teaching children aged between 3-11 years old.

Ofsted inspected the school recently in 2022 awarding it with the highest rating of “outstanding”.

You can access the full inspection report by following this link. 

Ofsted noted that “pupils at the school feel valued. Leaders listen and act upon the ideas pupils have on how to improve their school further.

A sense of partnership unites the school.”

5. St Alban’s Catholic Primary School 

The school is located in East Molesey a suburban district in the Borough of Elmbridge, along the south bank of the River Thames.

An area known for its attractive residential neighbourhoods, proximity to the historic Hampton Court Palace, and its overall tranquil and scenic environment.

It also provides some particularly good schools including St Alban’s.

A fairly large primary teaching around 409 pupils between the ages of 4-11 years.

Boasting KS2 results that are significantly above the national average across the board and an impressive “outstanding” rating from Ofsted makes St Alban’s a very popular choice for local parents.

5 Best Secondary Schools in Surrey

Surrey Secondary Schools

Surrey Secondary Schools. Image credit: Depositphotos

Similar to the county’s primary schools, most of the secondary schools in Surrey have managed to gain either a “good” or an “outstanding” rating from Ofsted, with just a few falling below.

Moving from primary to secondary school is a huge step in many ways.

It is a journey from childhood into adulthood, as well as a significant milestone in a child’s educational journey.

Choosing a school that you feel will offer your child the absolute best opportunities is incredibly important.

There are too many secondaries in the county to mention all of them, but we have compiled a little information here about five of the best.

1. Salesian School 

The school sits in the historic town of Chertsey, notable for its 7th-century medieval monastery and appealing riverside location.

Salesian is a large mixed comprehensive school for 11-18 years, including Sixth from provision.

The school is Ofsted rated “outstanding.”

Its report stated that “achievement is outstanding across all key stages, in all subjects and for all groups” and that “teaching is also outstanding.” An incredible accolade for the school’s success.

Additionally, the school has been named the 8th best school in the UK according to the Times Best State and Grammar Schools 2024 list.

2. Rosebery School 

Epsom became an exclusive and popular spa town and leisure destination in the Georgian era and is still viewed as an affluent area today.

Several private schools and a number of colleges are based in the town plus, and there is a campus of the University for the Creative Arts based in Epsom too.

When it comes to secondary education, Rosebery Girls School is a hard one to beat.

A state school teaching around 1417 pupils aged 11-18 and includes 6th form education.

As well as being an Ofsted “outstanding” school, it consistently achieves a high success rate in its annual GCSE results. 

Ofsted highlighted ‘exemplary education provided’ and that students are ‘proud members of the school community’ and leaders ‘are relentless in their pursuit of excellence and joy for every child in the school.’

3. Rodborough School 

Godalming has been inhabited since Saxon times, and its present population stands at approximately 22,000 people.

Nestled within the Metropolitan Green Belt, the town holds particular appeal for commuters.

Rodborough School is a coeducational secondary school catering for 183 pupils aged 11-18 years.

Located in Milford, just a few miles west of Guildford Central, the school is a feeder school for Godalming College.

Last inspected by Ofsted in 2022 it was awarded a “good” rating.

The school also performed well concerning GCSE results whereby 80% of all grades were at Grade 4 or above with 29% at Grade 7 or above, compared to the national figures of 68% and 22%.

Ofsted noted that “Rodborough is a friendly school with a feeling of community. Everyone lives the school’s values: inspire, challenge, and lead. Pupils are happy and feel safe.”

Adding that “leaders and staff are ambitious for pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND)”

4. Gordon’s School

Midway between Camberley and Woking, West End is a relatively small village that sits in the beautiful Surrey Heath area.

Alongside several very popular primaries in Woking, Gordon’s School is a secondary school with academy status in West End.

A non-selective boarding school for 840 children aged between 11-18.

West End sits close to Woking making it ideal for progression from primary to secondary education.

Following its full Ofsted inspection in 2014 Gordon’s was given an “outstanding” status. Having received a monitoring visit in 2017, the school continues to operate at the “outstanding” level.

Included in Osted report were some very complimentary observations including “the school leads a dedicated and well-trained staff who have very high aspirations for your pupils, both academically and pastorally.”

Ofsted further added that “the children felt safe, which enabled pupils to focus on their studies, benefit from the extremely rich and broad curriculum on offer and achieve impressive academic success.”

The full Ofsted report for Gordon’s can be found HERE.

5. Woolmer Hill School 

The town of Haslemere is in southwest Surrey, around 38 miles southwest of London and less than an hour from the south coast.

It is a stunning location boasting the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to the north of the town and the South Downs National Park to the south.

Woolmer Hill School is a successful mixed, comprehensive academy of approximately 800 students aged from 11 to 16 years. Situated on the outskirts of Haslemere and is the area’s main secondary.

A well-attended and in-demand school attracting students from a wide area including Thursley, Grayshott, Hindhead, Beacon Hill, Chiddingfold, Grayswood, Liphook and Churt, as well as Haslemere itself.

The schools last inspection was conducted recently in 2023, the outcome of which Ofsted reports that it continues to be a “good” school.

Further positive comments concluded that “There is a happy atmosphere in this school. Staff know pupils well and care about them. Relationships are overwhelmingly positive. The values of ‘proud to belong, proud to achieve’ are reflected in pupils’ behaviour generally and in how they approach their work.”

Find out what else Ofsted has to say about this well-regarded school HERE.

How to Change Schools

Moving Schools in Surrey

Moving Schools in Surrey. Image credit: Pexels

Once you have explored what schools are available in your chosen area of Surrey, you can start the application process.

Many years ago, it was sufficient to just move into a new area to qualify for attendance at local schools.

Things have changed dramatically.

Sometimes parents cannot get their children into the closest school to home leaving them with longer journeys and with the possibly of attending an under-performing school.

Strict procedures are now in place with high-performing schools often having a waiting list. It is imperative to apply for a school place as early as possible.

Regardless of what school your child goes to, there is an enrolment procedure you must follow starting with an application form.

You can submit your application either online or on paper and you can choose up to four schools in order of your preference.

For help and a full explanation, including all forms and procedures are available on the Surrey County Council website:

School Term Dates

Back to School Calendar

Back to School Calendar. Image credit: Depositphotos

If you are new to the county, depending on where you are moving from there could be significant changes to term dates and inset days.

This information is particularly useful if you work and must organise childcare well in advance of school holidays.

It is also worth stating that schools in Surrey vary their INSET days, and Academy, Voluntary Aided and Foundation schools’ term dates may also vary.

You can download a list of all upcoming school closure dates for the academic year 2024-2025 HERE.

In Conclusion

Preparation in advance is key to making sure you have the best possible chance of securing a school place in the location of your choice.

Thankfully, for anyone in the midst of planning a move to Surrey for the most part the education standards across the county are high, no matter where you are planning to move.

As well as providing you with some details about what are regarded as good schools in Surrey, it is well worth visiting several of them in person before you make your final choice.

You may be able to afford private education, in which case Surrey also has an excellent range of independents.

Simply visit My Top Schools for information regarding Surrey’s 47 private schools.

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