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‘Before I came here Oxford and Cambridge weren’t even on my radar but I think I can get there now,’ a year 12 student told us. A former student and recently appointed alumni governor described her experience at the school as ‘heaven’. Behaviour is generally excellent and exclusions happen very rarely. ‘This place really cultivates scholarship,’ a pupil told us. ‘It might be cool to be cheeky in other schools but not here.’ Teachers concurred with this. Harris Westminster follows the Westminster School timetable and curriculum, right down to Saturday morning lessons. Saturday school gives pupils the chance to focus intensively on their subjects and practise exam...

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What The Good Schools Guide says

Executive principal

Since 2014, the year the school opened, James Handscombe BA (Oxon) MA (Harvard) PGCE NPQH. Previously deputy head of Bexley Grammar School. Educated at Silverdale School, a Sheffield comprehensive, where he was the only one in his year to win a place at Oxford. He admits he found the transition from school to reading maths at Merton College ‘very challenging’. At school he was the pupil other students went to for help but expectations at Oxford came as a shock. ‘When I couldn’t do a question I thought there must be something wrong with the question,’ he says. ‘I didn’t realise that I was supposed to spend two hours working on it.’ His pride was piqued when his tutor told him he had a first-class mind but risked getting a third-class degree. However,...

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Please note: Independent schools frequently offer IGCSEs or other qualifications alongside or as an alternative to GCSE. The DfE does not record performance data for these exams so independent school GCSE data is frequently misleading; parents should check the results with the schools.

Special Education Needs

Interpreting catchment maps

The maps show in colour where the pupils at a school came from*. Red = most pupils to Blue = fewest.

Where the map is not coloured we have no record in the previous three years of any pupils being admitted from that location based on the options chosen.

For help and explanation of our catchment maps see: Catchment maps explained

Further reading

If there are more applicants to a school than it has places for, who gets in is determined by which applicants best fulfil the admissions criteria.

Admissions criteria are often complicated, and may change from year to year. The best source of information is usually the relevant local authority website, but once you have set your sights on a school it is a good idea to ask them how they see things panning out for the year that you are interested in.

Many schools admit children based on distance from the school or a fixed catchment area. For such schools, the cut-off distance will vary from year to year, especially if the school give priority to siblings, and the pattern will be of a central core with outliers (who will mostly be siblings). Schools that admit on the basis of academic or religious selection will have a much more scattered pattern.

*The coloured areas outlined in black are Census Output Areas. These are made up of a group of neighbouring postcodes, which accounts for their odd shapes. These provide an indication, but not a precise map, of the school’s catchment: always refer to local authority and school websites for precise information.

The 'hotter' the colour the more children have been admitted.

Children get into the school from here:

most years
quite often
sometimes, but not in this year

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