Trinity School goes to top of the class in post-pandemic exams

Single-sex selective schools shine in the annual Sunday Times schools rankings, in which the highest Croydon state school is rated only 186th

Towering performance: Trinity School delivered its best set of exam results

Trinity, the £20,000 per year boys’ school at Shirley Park, has been rated the top school in Croydon, and ranked in the top 25 independent schools in the country for the first time in this year’s Sunday Times Parent Power Guide.

This year’s 23rd place nationally is Trinity’s highest ever placing, putting them well ahead of their fellow Whitgift Foundation schools Whitgift, equal 46th, and Old Palace, 182nd.

The only Croydon state school to appear in the 30th edition of the Parent Power Guide listings is Coloma Convent Girls’ School, on Upper Shirley Road, which was ranked 186th in the country.

Half of the country’s top 10 secondary schools in both state and fee-paying sectors are located in London, according to the authors of the guide. All the pupils at the top schools in both private and state sectors sit entrance tests at age 11 or 13 to win a place. Many of the highest-performing schools in both sectors are also single-sex.

The tables are based on last summer’s GCSE and A level results, the first public exams post-covid.

Croydon’s best state school: Coloma girls’ was ranked 186th

According to the Sunday Times rankings, St Paul’s Girls’ in west London is the country’s best performing school. St Paul’s Girls’ has topped the tables among fee-paying schools every year but one since 2011. The £27,792-a-year school had 95.1per cent of its Sixth Formers get A*/A grades at A level this year, while 97.9 per cent of GCSEs were graded 9-7 or A*/A.

For Croydon’s top performing school Trinity, those comparative figures were 80per cent and 93per cent.

At Coloma, 77.9per cent got A*/A grades at A level, while 43.3per cent achieved the higher grades at GCSE.

In the state sector the top-performing schools are all-girls: the Henrietta Barnett School in Hampstead, which has 30 applicants sitting its entrance exam for every place available in Year 7. The school was recently downgraded from “Outstanding” to “Good” by Ofsted, the schools inspectorate.

The highest-performing comprehensive school in London is The Coopers’ Company and Coborn School in Upminster, which selects 10per cent of its Year 7 intake on aptitude for sport or music. Nationally, it was ranked 77th, up from 208th in 2021.

Of other notable schools locally, Alleyn’s, in Dulwich, was ranked 26th nationally, Reigate Grammar 34th, Dulwich College was equal 28th, and “JAGS” – James Allen’s Girls’ – was 48th.

Top of the form: Wilson’s, in Wallington, is rated as the third-best state secondary school in London

In a listing of the top state secondary schools in London, Wilson’s grammar in Wallington was third, Tiffin Girls’ in Kingston fourth, St Olave’s in Orpington (Croydon South MP Chris Philp’s old school) fifth, Wallington High School for Girls ninth, Nonsuch High School for Girls in Cheam 10th, Sutton Grammar 11th, and Wallington CGS 13th. All were rated ahead of Coopers’ Company and Coborn.

No Croydon state schools made it into London’s top 30.

During the pandemic, the government withdrew league tables for the first time since 1993 due to cancelled exams and having to rely on teacher assessment. “Collating data on extracurricular activities and learning support is challenging on many levels,” the Sunday Times said, “and it is not yet possible to compare schools across the UK fairly.

“We can, however, look at what happened in the examination hall this summer.”

The schools were ranked by performance at A level and GCSE in summer 2022. “School rankings are based on their combined performance in these examinations,” the newspaper explained.

The average UK results are: at A-level, 62.8per cent of entries were at grades B and above in 2022; at GCSE, 26.3per cent of entries were at grades 7 and above in 2022.

‘Academic results are only one aspect of school life’: Headmaster Alasdair Kennedy with pupils at Trinity

Trinity School this year saw its First XV win the national schools’ rugby cup at Twickenham for the first time, while the Trinity Boys’ Choir has an internationally respected reputation.

The school’s former pupils include two ex-MPs, Gavin Barwell and Andrew Pelling, Andrew Gowers, the former Editor of the Financial Times, Mark Butcher, who played cricket for Surrey and England, military historian Correlli Barnett and Colin Sell, the piano player on I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue.

Alasdair Kennedy, the Headmaster at Trinity, said that he and his staff “are extremely proud” of the school’s recognition in this week’s ranking tables.

“Academic results are only one aspect of school life at Trinity and the success we are aiming for is evidenced in the kind of people our students become, as well as the excellence they achieve,” Kennedy said.

“We want Trinity students to love being part of our rich and diverse community, to thrive on opportunities to learn and engage and to become the very best versions of themselves, impacting the world positively when they leave us.

“That, for us, is the greatest achievement.”

Pupils at Trinity achieved the school’s highest-ever set of marked GCSE results this summer, with 93per cent achieving 9, 8 or 7 grades (A*/A). In the Sixth Form, 84per cent of pupils got into their first-choice university or further education destination.

About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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