Skip to main content

What says..

Loughborough Schools Foundation’s spacious town centre campus boasts something of a ‘one stop shop’. Academic pace is ‘quick’ but ‘no one gets left behind’. Pupils we spoke to concurred - ‘teachers get to know you’, ‘they encourage you to achieve more’ are ‘really caring and attentive’.‘Stand out’ music school is the ‘creme de la crème,’ a parent marvelled. ‘It’s why we sent our daughters here.’ ‘Our enrichment is a strong selling point,’ asserts head. Years 10 and 11 choose from CCF, sports leaders, additional maths, HPQ or music. In sixth form, yet more options include EPQ, volunteering...

Read review »

What the school says...

Loughborough High School is a lively academic school which offers a traditional education in an excellent environment alongside numerous extra-curricular activities. Our pupils not only achieve very good results but they also learn to be active and participative members of the community, developing excellent leadership and communication skills.

Entrance examinations consist of: 11+ - English, maths and NVR (interviews may take place where there is a discrepancy). 12+, 13+ and 14+ - English, Maths & Reasoning. Entry to the sixth form is by interview and GCSE grades. ...Read more

Do you know this school?

The schools we choose, and what we say about them, are founded on parents’ views. If you know this school, please share your views with us.

Please login to post a comment.

Other features

All-through school (for example 3-18 years). - An all-through school covers junior and senior education. It may start at 3 or 4, or later, and continue through to 16 or 18. Some all-through schools set exams at 11 or 13 that pupils must pass to move on.

What The Good Schools Guide says


Since 2019, Dr Fiona Miles BA MD. With strong family roots in the Midlands, she felt this post was her ‘destiny’, adding with a twinkle in her eye, ‘I went to Nottingham Girls’ High School - LHS were our sporting rivals so it’s nice to be on the winning team now’. Read English at Cambridge and cut teeth at Haberdashers’ Aske’s School For Girls. But with thoughts of medicine ‘always in the back of my mind,’ she decided to retrain at King’s College London. Quickly felt, however, that medicine was ‘patching up, not developing a relationship’, so returned to teaching – and indeed Habs - to make ‘more meaningful change to a person’s life’. Rose to head of English, assistant head and then deputy head (academic) before coming here, where she works closely with fellow Foundation heads at Loughborough Grammar, Amherst and Fairfield Prep. Also finds time to teach PSHE - ‘It’s really important that I get to know the children and they see me in a different way.’

Greets us in her sparsely decorated study with a firm handshake and gentle charm. Self-effacing and a self-confessed introvert. Parents say things changed ‘like a switch’ upon her arrival. Includes tightening up uniform, more technology, less phone use, dropping GCSEs from 10 to nine, revamping sixth form common room, actioning student petition to join boys at CCF, launching Futures department. And there’s more to come, she says – rolling out of vertical house system, increased peer mentoring, embedding Girls on Board Scheme and focus on sixth form retention. ‘We are outgrowing the site and planning that as a Foundation,’ she adds. ‘She’s here to champion and empower the girls and has hit the ground running,’ summed up a parent.

‘Delightful,’ ‘so good with the girls’ and ‘always reaching out for feedback’ (including during her informal croissant and coffee mornings), they told us. Girls say she ‘knows our names but also our parents',' ‘wants us to run activities and committees’ and ‘she listens’.

Lives onsite with husband Jason and two daughters (one at Fairfield, one LHS), appreciating ‘huge benefit of seeing my school through their eyes and as a parent.’ Plays netball ‘whenever I get the chance,’ is ‘voracious’ reader (currently The Lamplighters’ by Emma Stonex) and ‘occasional’ organist for local church (‘music has connected me with people all my life’). Is also learning Polish on Duolingo as a ‘nice challenge’.


Year 7 entry sees 60-70 external candidates examined in maths, English and computer assessment for 45 places. Additional 40 progress from Fairfield without exam, providing a 50/50 split of old and new. Majority sit above average ability, we heard. Interviews and assessment for ‘handful’ who join in years 8, 9 and 10. Around 10 join at sixth form - based on interview, reference from current school and grade 7s in subjects to be studied at A level plus grade 6s in at least five subjects including maths, English and a science.


Just under 20 per cent leave after GCSEs. Most sixth formers to uni - Russell Group for around 65 per cent of them. Approximately half study STEM courses. Popular unis: Durham, UCL, King’s College London, Imperial and Newcastle. Three to Oxbridge in 2022, and 15 medics. The odd degree apprenticeship eg Redrow Homes, and one recent leaver took up a scholarship at Sandhurst for officer training.

Latest results

In 2023, 61 per cent 9-7 at GCSE; 45 per cent A*/A at A level (73 per cent A*-B). In 2019 (the last pre-pandemic results), 78 per cent 9-7 at GCSE; 47 per cent A*/A (80 per cent A*-B) at A level.

Teaching and learning

Four classes per year, each with maximum of 22 pupils. Parents report a ‘mix of teaching styles,’ with some newer staff employing more interactive approaches - ‘really inspiring the girls’. Parents like the emphasis on ‘fulfilling individual potential’ and that ‘work ethic is praised and effort applauded’. Academic pace is ‘quick,’ added one, but ‘no one gets left behind’. Pupils we spoke to concurred - ‘teachers get to know you’, ‘they encourage you to achieve more’ are ‘really caring and attentive’. We must have got unlucky as we saw more ‘talk and chalk,’ which the head says ‘has its place’. English classes were the exception – wonderfully animated. A GCSE class were discussing 19th century gothic genre in preparation for penning their own stories, a dark winter’s morning enhancing the atmosphere. Meanwhile a spirited A level English class saw the teacher pacing the room gesticulating wildly, praising ‘excellent, illuminating essays’ before they were dismissed for lunch.

Parents praise no homework at weekends or during holidays and like fact they can check Firefly: ‘We know what’s been set and when it’s been done.’ Further up school, Revision Pathway ‘tells us which holidays to study and which ones to rest - useful when managing pre-exam nerves,’ reckoned a student. A number of parents spoke of a culture of tutoring - ‘not just for exams but all year - often the top sets too’ (head calls it ‘crazy,’ believing it ‘anxiety making’ for pupils and parents and reiterating that school covers everything and support those who struggle: ‘I always say don’t invest in a tutor, have a holiday - it’s a better use of money’).

iPads provided by school in year 7 and updated in year 11. Setting only in maths. All pupils take Latin and one modern language out of French, German and Spanish, with option to add a second in year 9. Food and nutrition, drama, computer science GCSEs available. History and geography are the most popular. Pupils can take two separate sciences although most sit three. At A level, 27 options -including classical Greek, computer science, DT, drama, economics, food science nutrition, music technology and PE. Maths, chemistry, biology and politics most popular. A parent said her daughter was ‘delighted’ to welcome the grammar boys into A level lessons - they ‘speak up and encourage debate’ in usually ‘quiet’ lessons.

Well-stocked and spotless library - pupils come here to do homework and ‘relax with a book on bean bags’. There’s also the Genius Bar study area - ‘more of a common room,’ reckoned a parent.

Learning support and SEN

‘Fantastic’ and ‘spot on’, say parents of the centrally located learning support department where pupils can drop in anytime to chat to staff (one full-time, two part-time) or just take time out. ‘Tailor made’ classroom support using pupil passports, with occasional group or one-to-one sessions - predominantly for dyslexia and, increasing, autism. Department proud of attainment levels - in line with mainstream girls. Head of department meets weekly with head of pastoral and regularly liaises with parents. New learning support prefect works with younger pupils and recently led a dyslexia assembly. All pupils can access range of apps to support learning across all subjects - primarily maths and English: ‘They’ve been a big help to increase confidence,’ said a parent.

The arts and extracurricular

‘Stand out’ music school is the ‘creme de la crème,’ a parent marvelled. ‘It’s why we sent our daughters here.’ Boasts a whopping 25 practice rooms, recital hall, classrooms and recording studios. Offers one-to-one music tech, discounted group beginner lessons and is the only Steinway School in the East Midlands (and one of just 10 nationwide). The mellifluous ‘Thank you for the music’ was in full swing at Lunchtime Live, one of 50 lunchtime music clubs. Two Foundation concerts per year showcase orchestra, symphonic wind band, string ensemble, assorted chamber choirs and more at either Leicester’s De Montfort Hall or onsite for the summer ‘Al Fresco’. ‘Entirely student led’ house music - head recounts cheers so loud they ‘set off the alarms in the trophy cabinet’, yet when performances underway ‘you can hear a pin drop’.

Les Mis was the latest production put on by the drama department - ‘West End standard,’ say parents, although it is their version of Living Picture Tableaux Vivants that school remains most renowned for - performed by year 13s for over 100 years at LHS. Upper and lower school productions annually – Peter Pan in rehearsals when we visited - and some pupils perform at Edinburgh Fringe. House drama a ‘highlight,’ according to pupils, with competitive performances assessed by external judge. Lots of chat about Foundation’s Young Directors’ season which offers young wannabe directorial debuts. ‘My daughter is always auditioning for something.’ Head of department feels drama is important for life outside the studio - collaboration, problem solving, confidence building etc. Year 7s deconstruct Shakespeare and layer performances; year 8s get to grips with the practical side such as lighting, stage sets, directing. LAMDA popular.

Three unusually clean and tidy art studios. Plenty of work displayed on the walls. Syllabus focuses on traditional fine art across all age groups, combined with investigation into art history. Year 7 study visual themes, year 8 expressionists’and year 9 botanic forms. Healthy GCSE cohort of around 20, with small numbers at A level. Life drawing club for sixth formers and staff.

‘Our enrichment is a strong selling point,’ asserts head. Years 10 and 11 choose from CCF, sports leaders, additional maths, HPQ or music. In sixth form, yet more options include EPQ, volunteering, Peter Jones Award, cookery, brewing, ancient Hebrew GCSE, elite music, Gold Arts Award – and that just scratches the surface. We enjoyed rehearsals for the CCF Remembrance Day parade - in pristine uniform, girls and boys perfected marching techniques before inspection line up; one LHS girl was recently appointed captain of the Navy division for the whole foundation. Three-quarters of girls do bronze DofE in Year 9 and around 20 complete Gold. Loads of lunchtime activities include carving, digital art and dance. One pupil delighted that she had found ‘her thing’ at Mind Sports club.

Trips a bone of contention - ‘not enough,’ agree pupils and parents, with standard ‘uninspiring’ (with the exception of music). Upper school ski trip back on, but pupils await post-covid return of sports tours - ‘most other schools are running them!’ Head says school is ‘questioning the morality of long haul trips’ and the ‘huge expense’ in ‘current climate’.

Food a bit of a hot potato, evoking a few parent grumbles. But we found it tasty, as did pupils. Plenty of choice - vegan, vegetarian, halal, salad bar and tempting puddings (we couldn’t resist the chocolate cake). That said, many bring packed lunch to eat in classrooms, while sixth form often nip into town. A few niggles around lack of dining space. Tuck shop offers sandwiches, fruit and snacks at break time.


Plenty on offer for the sporty child, say parents. Netball tops the bill, with every age group recently having reached regional netball finals – ‘a first for us.’ Strong representation too in hockey, cricket, athletics and cross-country, with growing interest in football and rugby. Strong competitive schedule. Total department restructure, spanning all Foundation schools, offers ‘greater breadth of discipline, inclusion and competition’ - quite the feat with over 2,000 students to coordinate. ‘Their foot went off the gas during the transition, but they are back on it now,’ a parent noted. Girls say sport becoming less competitive and more ‘inclusive.’ New sports centre, with fitness suite (open from 7am-6pm daily), dance studio and gym. Tons of onsite courts and pitches including new Astro and cricket nets, with more at Quorn site, minutes away. Coaches high quality, including from nearly Loughborough University. A few parent grumbles – that the less sporty can be ‘overlooked,’ lack of interest by year 9 mainly leaves A teams and that health for life options are just ‘ticking a box.’ Head accepts concerns are ‘historically true,’ but ‘aim is every girl that wants to play gets a game and all girls are active for health and wellbeing’. Sports day ‘a big deal’ with banners, supporters in house colours and ‘lots of cheering’.

Ethos and heritage

Loughborough Schools Foundation’s spacious town centre campus boasts something of a ‘one stop shop’ - beginning with co-ed prep Fairfield precursor to a choice between ‘the more academic’ single-sex LHS and Loughborough Grammar, or co-ed at Amherst where there is ‘less academic focus and smaller class sizes’. ‘It allows you to choose the best education and achieve continuity,’ say parents - with joint sport, music, drama and extracurricular and some mixed enrichment and teaching in sixth form.

Founded in 1850, LHS is one of the country’s oldest girls’ grammar schools, moving to current site in 1869. A mix of traditional and modern architecture (including a wonderful oak clad school hall with soaring beams and stage) surrounds a grassy quad - across which the girls saunter between lessons, chatting happily (and which, we heard, turns into a football pitch at lunch). Sits alongside the boys’ grammar – with its more prestigious, historic building and certainly more space – but, parents point out, LHS has ‘everything it needs’ and anyway, ‘everyone gets access to the grammar’s superior and more extensive facilities’.

Healthy house system includes all the usual music, drama and sporting competitions but is earmarked for rejuvenation by head to include more academic and extracurricular activities to swell the tally - which can be monitored by pupils online. Religion ‘pretty low key,’ say parents, with all beliefs embraced.

Pastoral care, inclusivity and discipline

School’s renewed commitment to pastoral care includes restructuring the prefect system, getting a counsellor in four days a week and overhauling both the careers and house systems - although the most popular pastoral addition is Oakley, the wellbeing cockapoo, brainchild of the student wellbeing committee. Parents praise the culture of ‘keeping communication open and encouraged’. Older girls help in form time, ‘not just sharpening pencils, but settling new girls and chatting’. Transition into year 7 handled ‘brilliantly,’ say parents – includes team building day, visit before term starts and pizza/movie nights to bond. Thereafter classes are ‘shuffled’ to ‘encourage new friendships’. Lots of positive affirmations between girls: ‘We push each other and look out for each other,’ said one. ‘I’m helping a lower sixth girl with politics,’ a chatty year 13 girl told us over lunch, ‘but it’s also helping me to revise so win, win.’ Another commented that she loved ‘being a role model’ to younger pupils. Still, school is no fool around friendship problems - ‘the girls want to resolve issues - it's about empowering them to seek support and resolve,’ says head. Mental health issues, self-harm and eating disorders are ‘not unheard of,’ say parents, but handled ‘discreetly and promptly’.

Well-attended Pride society leads assemblies, as does diversity and inclusion committee (there’s also a prefect role for the latter). Food committee liaises with kitchen staff to discuss menu options - ‘they do listen’. Monthly school forum sees form captains debate issues raised by peers. Head admits to the occasional vaping issue but little else in terms of misdemeanours.

Sixth formers are a happy, confident, well-adjusted bunch distinguished by black uniforms rather than lower school grey - and brimming with excitement during our visit over what to wear at the upcoming Snow Ball. ‘We can have a drink but are breathalysed on arrival.’ A number of criticisms from parents that school doesn’t open pupils up to the outside world - ‘they aren’t streetwise.’

Pupils and parents

Girls are considered, diligent, enthusiastic, chatty, supportive of their peers and astutely aware of the ‘privilege’ of attending LHS. ‘When we looked round, the guide was so charming I remember thinking that if my daughter turns out like that I’ll be delighted,’ said one parent, although another felt that the girls are ‘a little too obedient, compliant, unworldly.’ Girls say they enjoy the single sex education ‘although its fun to mix with the boys during clubs and extracurricular’. Parents a mix of professionals and business owners, with large sprinkling of medics from local large hospitals. Some complain that PA events have struggled to get going after pandemic; head reassured us that a group of mothers have banded together to ignite. ‘No one gets public transport as the bus system is outstanding,’ said a parent – currently 17 routes in every direction. Most travel under 10 miles from home. Good ethnic diversity.

Money matters

Academic scholarships in year 7 (no financial value), music scholarships in years 7, 9 and 12 (no financial value). Assisted places (up to 100 per cent subsidy) offered to up to four pupils per academic year. Regional award, Sir Thomas White Trust Scholarship, available for up to three pupils from maintained schools seeking sixth form at independents. LHS can nominate applicants if fit criteria.

The last word

Parents feel the single sex education, combined with the ‘massive’ co-curricular provision from pooling Foundation resources, offers the ‘perfect balance’. Excellent facilities (especially music) a huge draw locally. LHS and Amherst sometimes perceived as playing second fiddle to boys' grammar, but with this head’s quiet determination to empower the girls and raise their forte, the school is building up to an impressive crescendo.

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.

Who came from where

Who goes where

Special Education Needs

We are currently able to offer limited support for pupils with special educational needs but are not able to offer any specialist teaching. The progress of pupils with special educational needs is carefully monitored.

Condition Provision for in school
ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder Y
Aspergers Y
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders Y
CReSTeD registered for Dyslexia
Dyslexia Y
Dyspraxia Y
English as an additional language (EAL) Y
Genetic Y
Has an entry in the Autism Services Directory
Has SEN unit or class Y
HI - Hearing Impairment Y
Hospital School
Mental health Y
MLD - Moderate Learning Difficulty
MSI - Multi-Sensory Impairment Y
Natspec Specialist Colleges
OTH - Other Difficulty/Disability Y
Other SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty Y
PD - Physical Disability
PMLD - Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulty
SEMH - Social, Emotional and Mental Health Y
SLCN - Speech, Language and Communication Y
SLD - Severe Learning Difficulty
Special facilities for Visually Impaired
SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty Y
VI - Visual Impairment Y

Subscribe for instant access to in-depth reviews:

☑ 30,000 Independent, state and special schools in our parent-friendly interactive directory
☑ Instant access to in-depth UK school reviews
☑ Honest, opinionated and fearless independent reviews of over 1,000 schools
☑ Independent tutor company reviews

Try before you buy - The Charter School Southwark

Buy Now

GSG Blog >

The Good Schools Guide newsletter

Educational insight in your inbox. Sign up for our popular newsletters.