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GDST Consortium: The Girls’ Day School Trust Schools in the UK


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Formed in 1872, The Girls’ Day School Trust (GDST) is a registered charity and the largest group of independent schools in the UK, including 25 schools in England and Wales. 


Established with the aim of providing girls with an affordable day (non-boarding) education, the GDST educates approximately 20000 students each year. It is considered one of the 20 largest charities in the UK, with a recent gross income of £261 million. [1]


Entry to most of these schools is highly competitive. To learn more about their admissions process, please click the names of the schools listed below:

Birkenhead High School Academy

Birkenhead High School Academy is a state funded girls’ Academy, based in Birkenhead, Wirral. It was Wirral’s main private girls’ school until it became a non-fee paying Academy and is the only academically non-selective school in this list.


Blackheath High School

Blackheath High School is an independent day school for girls in Blackheath Village in southeast London. Founded in 1880, the school was a state-funded grammar school until 1976. Its focus is on cultivating girls’ courage and intellectual curiosity as they are prepared for the world beyond school.


Brighton Girls

Brighton Girls is an independent day school for girls located in the city of Brighton and Hove, East Sussex. Founded in 1876, the school is noted for its stimulating learning environment, which gives girls the confidence and motivation to excel in all areas of their development and to act for the benefit of the local and wider community after school.


Bromley High School

Bromley High School is a girls’ independent school located in Bickley, Greater London. It was initially situated in the middle of Bromley, but was relocated in 1981 to occupy new buildings, set in 24 acres of grounds and playing fields. Pastoral care is at the heart of the school’s ethos and is based on a firm partnership between pupils, parents and staff.


Croydon High School

Croydon High School is an independent day school for girls located near Croydon, London. It is one of the original schools founded by the Girls’ Day School Trust. Croydon High was established in 1874 by the formidable suffragette Dorinda Neligan. The school is known for its balance between creating a challenging learning environment and individualised pastoral care.


UK's top-performing private schools for girls

Howell’s School, Llandaff

Howell’s School is an independent school for girls in Llandaff, a district in northern Cardiff. Founded in 1860, Howell’s is one of Wales’ top performing independent schools. Girls’ consistently outstanding exam results and extensive co-curricular achievements ensure they are well placed to take advantage of the opportunities ahead.


Kensington Prep School

Kensington Preparatory School is an independent day school for girls aged 4–11 in Fulham, London. Founded by the Girls’ Public Day School Company, it began admitting pupils in 1873. Its high academic standards are complemented with traditional values which help define the warm community, characterised by mutual respect and kindness.


Newcastle High School for Girls

Newcastle High School for Girls is an independent day school for girls in Newcastle upon Tyne. It was formed in 2014 by the merger of Central Newcastle High School and Newcastle upon Tyne Church High School. The school encourages girls to become leaders who will contribute positively to the world.


Northampton High School

Northampton High School is an independent day school for girls in Hardingstone, Northampton. The school was founded in 1878 by a committee of local church people and became independent in the 1970s. Supported by the GDST, the school offers a broad range of cutting-edge and forward-thinking subject options.


Northwood College

Northwood College was founded in 1870. Located in Northwood, in the London Borough of Hillingdon, it educates over 900 girls and is noted for its strong academic achievements. It recently outperformed 95% of all UK schools for core subject GCSEs results.


Norwich High School for Girls

Norwich High School for Girls is an independent day school for girls in Norwich. Founded in 1875, the school was recently named by a panel as the country’s top Independent Girls’ School. Norwich High teaches girls to be confident in their own voice and believe in their own agency.


Nottingham Girls’ High School

Nottingham Girls’ High School is an independent day school for girls which was established in 1875. The campus, on which the original Victorian mansions stand side-by-side with purpose-built modern facilities, is located close to Nottingham Arboretum, just a short walk from the city centre. The school has an excellent performing arts programme, supported by a state-of-the-art performing arts centre.


Notting Hill and Ealing High School

Notting Hill and Ealing High School (NHEHS) is an independent girls’ school located in Ealing, London. A popular school in the area, it produces consistently excellent exam results. Girls are taught a challenging curriculum to stimulate their learning, but always in a friendly environment supported by experienced pastoral care staff.


Oxford High School

Oxford High School is an independent day school for girls. Founded over 140 years ago, it is Oxford’s oldest girls’ school. It is set over three sites in the heart of the city, all within a short walk of each other. Oxford High is the only Senior School in Oxford to have been rated ‘exceptional’ by ISI.


Portsmouth High School

Portsmouth High School is an independent day school for girls in Southsea, a district in the southern coastal city of Portsmouth. Founded in 1882, it has an excellent academic track record in examinations. Portsmouth High enables girls to become problem solvers and successfully apply their knowledge and skills to a wide range of challenging situations.


Putney High School

Putney High School is an independent day school for girls aged 4 to 18. The school has recently celebrated its 125th anniversary, having been founded in 1893. It is widely recognised for its broad and impressive range of sporting and cultural pursuits.


top-performing girls schools in the UK

Royal High School Bath

Royal High School Bath is an independent day and boarding school for girls located in Somerset. It provides an outstanding education, specifically tailored to the needs of girls in the 21st century. Girls are encouraged to be a force for positive change as they take their place in the ever-changing world beyond school.


Sheffield High School for Girls

Sheffield High School (SHS) is an independent girls’ school in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. It was founded in 1878, initially catering for 39 pupils. In line with the ‘Go4it’ ethos, SHS nourishes creativity, teamwork and positive risk taking as vital for girls’ personal growth as they expand their intellectual horizons.


Shrewsbury High School 

Shrewsbury High School is an independent day school for girls in Shropshire. Founded in 1885, it is the best performing girls’ school in Shropshire at A-level. Actively invested in enriching the curriculum, the school regularly organises expeditions to far-off areas of the world, including India’s Old Delhi, the Himalayas, South America, and all the way to the deserts and savannas in Africa. 


South Hampstead High School

Founded in 1876, South Hampstead High School is an independent day school for girls, situated in north west London. The school educates approximately 900 girls aged 4-18 and is one of the UK’s most successful schools. Alongside a challenging, stimulating academic timetable, students are encouraged to be creative and tenacious.


Streatham & Clapham High School

Streatham & Clapham High School is an independent day school for girls located in south London. Founded in 1887, the school was recently rated as ‘Excellent’ by ISI in regards to the quality of pupils’ achievements and their personal development. Its very own enrichment programme named Kinza (an Arabic term meaning ‘hidden treasure’), provides girls with the opportunity to explore new interests without any examination pressure.


Sutton High School

Sutton High School is an independent school for girls from the ages 3-18 located in Sutton, Greater London. It was founded in 1884 as part of a pioneering movement that started nearly 150 years ago. A number of female scientists, writers and thinkers, who challenged perceptions and shattered stereotypes, are among the school’s alumni.


Sydenham High School

Sydenham High School is an independent school for girls located in Westwood Hill, Sydenham, London. Its facilities have expanded significantly in recent years due to ongoing investment by the GDST. The school also heavily invests in subject extension activities, such as conferences, trips and workshops, which reinforce teaching and learning.


The Belvedere Academy

The Belvedere Academy is an all-ability, state-funded secondary school for girls in Liverpool. The school’s impressive alumni community, spanning all over the world, ensures that girls benefit from a number of mentoring programmes, business networking and social events.


Wimbledon High School

Wimbledon High School is an independent day school for girls aged 4 to 18. Entry to Wimbledon High School is highly competitive, with over 500 external candidates applying for 45–50 places. The school combines Victorian red-brick buildings with modern, purpose-built facilities for a wide range of subjects. 


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