Using the Good Schools Guide website

Article published 5th October 2011

The Good Schools Guide offers an unrivalled level of information and analysis about all 30000 schools in the UK and their performance. Drawing on information from the schools themselves, Ofsted data, information from the DfE and our own extensive knowledge we provide a unique set of data and exploration tools.


Use The Good Schools Guide website if you care about your child's future


Good Schools Guide School Pages

  • Do you need to Find A School for your child?
  • Are you moving house? Do you need to know about schools in other areas?
  • Is your child due to start school for the first time? 
  • Will your child be changing schools in the future?  Perhaps moving onto secondary school or sixth-form.
  • Are you unsure about your child's current school?
  • Do you need to know where the good schools are?
  • Are you seeking reassurance and advice on your choice of school(s)? 

Your school child


The Good Schools Guide is THE straight-talking, independent, unbiased and fun-guide to UK state and private schools. We feature 30,000+ UK schools in our comprehensive directory, plus a wealth of informative articles and sensible, practical advice on choosing a school.

But that is just the very start....


We have a respected, comprehensive search facility

School searches

You can get: 

A list of schools

Display them on a map

or Save them to My Schools...

but that's only the very beginning...

Don't settle for the sink school, or be fooled by the hype...

Avoid the schools others choose to miss.

Don't be fooled by hard sell and glossy brochures from schools that are all style and no substance. If you REALLY want the inside track, to know how good any particular school is for your child, you need to:


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Good Schools Guide Articles and features

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dvice on schools and schooling

On a range of educational issues, including:

  • School admissions advice
  • Tutors tutoring and school entry examinations
  • Special educational needs
  • How to find the right school...

and so much more.

Some are free others are available only to our subscribers.



Is your house on the right side of the street?

Good Schools Guide Catchment maps

Don't buy the family home without consulting our catchment area maps!

We have school catchment area maps, available to subscribers, that show which areas children, at any particular English state school*, come from.  

*Catchment maps are produced for English state schools only. English prep schools do not have any public examination results. 


For individual English schools*, subscribers get the inside track on:


How well does a child like yours do at a a school like this?

  • How well a school performs.
  • Which schools do best by the brightest, the average or below average child. 
  • Who adds the most value.
  • Which schools a particular school recruits from and where children move onto.
  • The universities sixth-formers go on to and the courses they follow. 
  • The types of courses available - just GCSEs and A-levels or vocational, IB, Pre-U and other options? 
  • What subjects are popular at a school and where the best results are.

Even good schools can have weak links - great results can mask a poor showing in an individual subject or department - make sure it isn't a subject that matters to your child. Please note data is not usually available for prep schools as pupils do not take public examinations, nor are prep schools obliged to keep records of value-added etc. 

*Catchment maps are produced for English state schools only. English prep schools do not have any public examination results. 


You have a short-list of schools - now what? 


Well you could opt for the school that has the uniform you like best or, if you are a subscriber,  you could compare the schools* via My Schools to see which really is best for your child. 

And of course you'll want to consult our check-lists on questions to ask when visiting schools and, whether your opting for a state school, a selective school or an independent school we recommend you check out our trusted advice on school admissions. 

*Catchment maps are produced for English state schools only. English prep schools do not have any public examination results. 


Different - is that your child? 

The Good Schools Guide Special Educational Needs survey


Thankfully children are different .

In Sussing Out Schools And Horses for Courses we recognise that what suits one child would be a nightmare for others.

We understand that some children have special needs or are gifted and that a high proportion have both special needs and are gifted,  so we take you through the world of the gifted and the special child and have one of the most comprehensive surveys of SEN provision in schools that you'll find anywhere (and it is searchable). 









GSG 19th Edition book cover

The Good Schools Guide 19th edition is out now available from our bookshop.

Authoritative, sought-after, truthful...

"It is highly opinionated: the only guide that offers parents a genuine flavour of what a school is like." The Daily Telegraph

Click here to buy online...

The Good Schools Guide on pupils

… we asked what one thing would improve their school. The answer was unanimous: girls! Apparently girls would ‘make the place tidier’ and ‘help with questions’. Dream on chaps.


We feature all schools so why are we called The Good Schools Guide?

  • Twenty eight years ago we set-out to uncover the best schools in the country based on what parents were telling us. That hasn't changed. The printed guide is still available to purchase from our online store. The candid reviews are available both in The Guide and to our online subscribers.
  • Today there are 1100+ schools that we think are particularly noteworthy; schools that parents rave about. We research, visit and independently review those schools then write our expert, trusted, candid reviews. These provide a bench-mark but importantly they help parents work out what is important for their child.  We've done the hard-work and asked the questions prospective parents dare not.
  • We have a positive outlook  - we try to help you find great schools but importantly to uncover the right school for your child. We have a wealth of advice and information - to guide you every step of the way - from first thoughts to final decisions. 
  • We celebrate teaching excellence; look out for senior schools that have received our prestigious Good Schools Guide Awards.
  • We want to give you great information on all schools so you can make the right choice for your child. We offer help, advice and guidance because we want your child's school days  to genuinely be among the happiest days of their life. 

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