The Best Independent Schools 2018

2018 marks the third time Peak Tuition have compiled our annual list of the most recommended independent preparatory and senior schools across Cheshire & Manchester. The list is of our most recommended schools based on academic results, client feedback and our first-hand experience with students attending the school. The best way to find your child’s ideal school, however, is to visit them in person along with your child. The choice we have in Cheshire & Manchester is varied & excellent.


Preparatory Schools

1 –The Manchester Grammar School, Manchester (Juniors) (#1 in 2017) (#3 in 2016)

The Manchester Grammar School (MGS) Junior School is an excellent and ever-popular prep school for boys, particularly for those wishing to progress through to the MGS Senior School. The school is academic, it’s entrance exam is unmistakeable academic and, as a result, outcomes are impressive. One of the reasons we particularly like MGS is that they really get to know each boy that takes an entrance exam, not relying on exams alone. The school continues to build on the success of previous years, never complacent and delivering consistently good academic progress.



2 – The Ryleys, Alderley Edge (#2 in 2017) (#2 in 2016)

Situated in leafy Alderley Edge, The Ryleys is a fairly small and popular non-selective prep school. Children leave with a good standard of education and most continue on to one of Cheshire & Manchester’s many selective independent senior schools. The school engages frequently with the local community and 100% of their most recent cohort of “Year 6” children were successful in passing their entrance exams and gaining offers. Be sure to go and visit when you’re looking at schools.



3 – The Grange School, Hartford (New Entry)

The Grange School (prep) is a large and popular prep school based in Hartford. Parents and students speak highly of the school, reporting of progress to parents is good and academic standards are also very good. Despite being an all-through school, the prep that is undertaken will equip students for any of the GL & CEM format entrance exams at 11+. The school has an extensive and successful competitive sport provision.



Honourable Mentions

Lady Barn House School (-) , King’s Macclesfield (Prep), Wilmslow Prep, Cheadle Hulme School (Prep) (+)


Senior Schools

1 – The Manchester Grammar School, Manchester (#1 in 2017) (#1 in 2016)

For the third year in a row, MGS lands our top spot for senior schools. The Manchester Grammar School (MGS) is one of the country’s leading academic schools for boys and the school is distinctly different to others locally. The entrance exam is intellectually challenging and ensures that boys are suitably prepared for the level of academic study to come. Boys that attend the school are well rounded and enjoy a wide range of extra-curricular activities. We’re repeating ourselves, but it’s a no-brainer.



2 – Withington Girls’ School, Manchester (New Entry)

This is Withington Girls’ School’s first entry into our top 3 and they’ve really earned their place this year. WGS could easily have made the list in both 2016 & 2017, but when we got down to the final 5 schools, they were pipped each time. This year, however, they are an easy addition. What pushed them over the line? It could be their record number of Oxford & Cambridge offers, their continued dominance of the school tables or their impressive sporting successes. In reality, for us, it’s a mixture of these things and a beautiful quote from one of our students.

“…because I trust them to help me get the results I need and to do what’s in my best interests. I know that they will push me to the gates of Oxford and not over a cliff.”



3 – The Grange School, Hartford (#2 in 2017) (#2 in 2016)

Despite the senior school being founded in 1978, making it a relative newcomer, The Grange School is a popular school based in the heart of Cheshire. The school is co-educational and is popularly considered to nurture children as individuals, both academically and through extra-curricular activities. Individual is a word frequently used by The Grange and it shines through with happy students that feel valued and happy to be at school. Entry at 11+ is recommended.



Honourable Mentions

King’s Macclesfield, Manchester High School for Girls, Alderley Edge School for Girls (+), Cheadle Hulme School (+)


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