Five secondary and grammar schools in Buckinghamshire have been ranked among the top in the region for their 'academic excellence' and 'exceptional' range of extracurriculars.

Several schools in Buckinghamshire have been included in The Sunday Times's Parent Power Guide 2023, widely acknowledged as the most comprehensive and authoritative survey of the UK's top educational institutions. 

In the newspaper's ranking of the best secondary and grammar schools in South East England, Dr Challoner's Grammar School in Amersham came sixth, with a national ranking of 35, and Beaconsfield High School came seventh, with a national ranking of 37.

Dr Challoner's High School in Little Chalfont was ranked eighth best in the region, coming in at 38th nationally, Chesham Grammar School was ninth, with a national place of 41, and Sir William Borlase's Grammar School in Marlow was ranked tenth best, with a national spot of 44.

Following the most recent Ofsted inspection of Dr Challoner’s, back in 2019, deeming it ‘Outstanding’, a report said pupils “flourish” at the school through a “first-class, bespoke curriculum and exceptional range of enrichment opportunities”. The grammar school also encourages its students to be academically ambitious, with 24 admittances to Oxbridge this year.

Bucks Free Press:

Beaconsfield High School was also rated ‘Outstanding’ in a 2019 inspection, with the report stating: “Students throw themselves into their learning and the remarkable range of extracurricular opportunities.

“Leaders and governors rightly give a high priority to pupils’ mental health. Trained counsellors provide sensitive emotional support to pupils and sixth-formers who need it.”

Bucks Free Press:

Among the co-curricular clubs on offer at Beaconsfield High School are a Dungeons and Dragons group as well as the Great Becky High Bake-Off, art, creative writing, engineering and architecture.

Dr Challoner’s High School, deemed ‘Outstanding’ in a 2012 Ofsted report, was praised by an inspector for cultivating “excellent attitudes” among its students through “stimulating lessons, characterised by pace, challenge and high expectations”.

Bucks Free Press:

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Pupils were judged to be “articulate and confident, with rich and interesting vocabularies”, and the school’s curriculum was said to offer “considerable scope for the promotion of the students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development”.

Chesham Grammar School was also rated ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted in 2014, with a report citing the inclusivity of the school’s educational services and positive “role model” teachers for its verdict. Recent successes among students at Chesham Grammar include triumphs in county-level and national cross-country running and charity fundraising of over £10,000.

Bucks Free Press:

Similarly to the other establishments included in the list, Chesham Grammar also offers a wide range of extra and co-curricular activities including debating, politics, science and history clubs and an expansive programme of trips including to Washington DC and Iceland.

Meanwhile, Sir William Borlase’s Grammar, rated ‘Outstanding’ in a 2012 school inspection, was described in an Ofsted report as showcasing an “inspirational learning culture” that encourages pupils to “take responsibility for their own learning” as well as engaging with the “outstanding teaching”.

Bucks Free Press:

The report also stated: “Achievement is outstanding. The proportion of students who achieve A* and A grades is very high and students made rapid and sustained progress in the lessons observed and in most subjects over time.”

Helen Davies, Editor of Parent Power, said: “The educational landscape continues to be challenging across both the state and independent sectors, and this is the first true assessment of post-pandemic exam results.

“Being a teenager is hard enough, and the past few years since Covid have made life even harder. It is heartening to highlight the achievements of so many students and schools across the UK.”