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Trusted by parents for 35 years, The Good Schools Guide includes impartial and candid school reviews as well as in-depth articles on education-related issues. Uniquely, each school is selected on merit alone. No one can buy their way into The Good Schools Guide鈥檚 good books. And from famous names to local treasures, The Good Schools Guide writers visit every single school, interview the head, speak to pupils and parents, analyse academic performance and challenge the marketing hype. Below you can read the full review that was carried out by The Good Schools Guide earlier this year or you can read it on .

The Head Master

Since 2013, Simon Everson MA PGCE, educated at Solihull School and read English at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge before completing a master鈥檚 in philosophy at Nottingham. Arrived at 麻豆成人电影鈥 School (麻豆成人电影) with a cornucopia of experience: he was head for seven years at Skinners鈥 School, a top Kent grammar, and earlier taught at Nottingham High and Arnold School, plus several comprehensives and a school in Japan.

Enjoys walking 鈥 often in the Outer Hebrides 鈥 and bird watching. A 鈥榞entle leader鈥, in the words of one mum. 鈥楬e sets a nice tone for the school overall.鈥 鈥楾houghtful, interesting and genuinely cares about the boys,鈥 said another. 鈥楴ot sure what more one could ask for in a head.鈥 Both of Mr Everson鈥檚 parents worked in education, so it may be in the genes. Married to Ginny, a psychotherapist.

From his study, festooned in pupil art, Mr Everson explains that 麻豆成人电影 parents take its academic excellence almost as 鈥榓 given鈥. So, what drives them to choose 麻豆成人电影 over similarly hardcore academic schools? 鈥業t鈥檚 the school鈥檚 鈥淎nd what else?鈥 offering,鈥 he says. 鈥楢cademics is the bare minimum鈥 a school should offer, Mr Everson maintains. And what else? 鈥榃e aim to develop wit, creativity and character鈥, to name but a few of the attributes the school prizes.

Experienced, accomplished, popular with both parents and the staff room, Mr Everson is fully confident of his school鈥檚 prowess and purpose. He replied personally, and with care, to the pre-visit questionnaire we send to schools 鈥 a task usually farmed out to minions. Does not squander school funds on frippery: website is not quite antiquated, but certainly vintage. And no efforts to butter up this writer who emerged from the day without being proffered so much as a hobnob or custard cream.


Seventy-five boys enter at 11+ after sitting papers in English, maths and the 鈥榰ntutorable鈥 麻豆成人电影 general paper: 鈥楾hey might be asked to make up new languages, or there might be a bit of heraldry. It鈥檚 different each year. It helps us to find rough diamonds.鈥 Those who do well are invited to a 25-minute interview to assess communication skills, intellectual curiosity, reasoning and extracurricular commitment. 

Another slab of 100 boys join at 13+, thirty of these coming up from 麻豆成人电影 Prep (almost the whole of the prep鈥檚 top year). Boys are interviewed before sitting the same papers as 11+ candidates. NB all pupils for 11+ and 13+ entry are assessed in year 6. Main feeders are Davenies, Devonshire House, Durston House, Orley Farm, Radlett Prep, Reddiford, St Anthony鈥檚 Prep, St John鈥檚 and St Martin鈥檚.

Handful of lads join at 16+. Admission is by written examination in subjects planning to be studied in sixth form, followed by two 25-minute interviews with senior teachers.

At every stage, competition for places is fierce. 鈥楾his is a selective school, so it鈥檚 competitive,鈥 says Mr Everson frankly. 鈥楤ut we approach the admissions process in a humane way, and the head鈥檚 reference is very, very important. We鈥檙e looking for the X factor: interests, passions and what the whole child will bring to the school.鈥


A few leave after GCSEs (around ten out of a year group of 175) aiming for boarding, grammar school, a co-ed sixth form, or simply seeking a combination of subjects not offered here. But the vast, vast majority stay the course. 鈥楤oys are proud to be part of this school,鈥 said the mother of a year 11 boy. 鈥業t鈥檚 prestigious. No one wants to leave for A levels.鈥 A 鈥榗ertain standard鈥 is expected in the sixth form, but there is no culling. 鈥楾he assumption is that we will see them through to 18,鈥 says the head.

University destinations fall into clumps, unlike many schools where we see penny numbers head to a huge range of universities. In 2022, a whopping 22 leavers headed off to Nottingham, 20 to Warwick (17 in 2023) and 14 to UCL. Big chunks also to Loughborough, Bristol, LSE, King鈥檚, Durham and Bath. Ten to Oxbridge in 2023. Subjects read tilt heavily towards muscular professional degrees: economics, engineering, law and, holy of holies, medicine (nine in 2023; 10 in 2022).

Latest Results

In 2023, 86 per cent 9-7 grades at GCSE; 70 per cent A*/A at A level (89 per cent A*-B). In 2019 (the last pre-pandemic results), 88 per cent 9-7 grades at GCSE; 76 per cent A*/A at A level (91 per cent A*-B).

Teaching & Learning

鈥業t鈥檚 a very, very academic school,鈥 a mum told us. Another said, 鈥楳y son was top of his prep school but here he鈥檚 average. At 麻豆成人电影 there鈥檚 a whole other category of academic ability that takes your breath away.鈥 鈥楬as come through 100 per cent on the academic side,鈥 summarised a parent solemnly.

It all starts rather gently with mixed ability teaching in years 7 and 8. Setting in maths and French begins in year 9; sciences year 10. But even the lower sets tend to cruise to exam success: 鈥楳y son was in the lowest set for maths 鈥 set ten of ten 鈥 and he easily got a 9 at GCSE.鈥 Class sizes top out at a maximum 24 up to age 16+; many fewer in sixth form, of course.

Most boys do 10 GCSEs; a few do nine. They can choose from myriad languages 鈥 so long as they鈥檙e French, German or Spanish. We asked about the language offering being a bit narrow for a school of this size and calibre. 鈥業t鈥檚 a deliberate choice,鈥 explained the head of languages. 鈥楨uropean languages are quicker to learn and likely to be the most valuable to these boys.鈥 Some Italian, Russian and Arabic offered off timetable. Vast majority of boys take three separate sciences with superb results, as you would expect. Well over a third of boys do GCSE additional maths. Still, humanities hold their own, and parents we met spoke particularly highly of the school鈥檚 history department. The homework load is surprisingly light: so much is covered so quickly in lessons.

Minimum GCSE grade 7 is needed to continue most humanities subjects into sixth form. For maths, school says pupils need minimum grade 8; parents tell us grade 9. No-nonsense list of A level options, with psychology and politics being the two most 鈥榦ut there鈥 subjects. Most boys start with four A levels, then drop one, though some hardy souls keep the quartet in play throughout sixth form.

No surprise that maths is the most popular A level subject; economics in close second place; physics and chemistry vie for third: these are some super-numerate young men. Time for EPQs and MOOCs has been built into the sixth form schedule. An academic tutor guides their reading and wider learning 鈥榣ike an Oxford seminar鈥, says Mr Everson. A pastoral tutor looks after most everything else.

Technology no longer kept at arm鈥檚 length at this proudly traditional school. Years 7 and 8 still major on pen and paper, but Surface Go 3 tablets with stylus and keyboard are just the ticket for year 9 upwards (parents pay over six terms and then it鈥檚 theirs to keep). 鈥楬as reinvigorated teaching鈥 was a view we heard from a number of teachers. A group of staff interested in research on the neuroscience of learning have occasional breakfast meetings to share knowledge and best practice. 鈥楾eachers work so hard here,鈥 one of the younger lads told us, rather touchingly.

Career advising and UCAS support par excellence. Sixth form academic tutors make sure everything stays on course. 鈥楨xtension sessions鈥 are given by teachers who themselves attended the target university. A member of staff focuses on US applications. The school deserves extra kudos for providing detailed lists of university destinations going back a full eight years. Detailed exams results are also prominent on the school鈥檚 website 鈥 thank you, 麻豆成人电影! Oh, that more schools did this.

Learning support and SEN

Learning support is a big and busy department, visited, somewhere along the line, by around 30 per cent of 麻豆成人电影 pupils (school says 18.5 per cent of pupils require SEND provision which puts the school exactly on the average for members of the Independent Schools Council). Teachers tell us that the exam results of boys who tap into the school鈥檚 SEND support are indistinguishable from those of their peers.

All new pupils are screened for learning difficulties in November once they鈥檝e had a chance to bed down in their new surroundings. 鈥榃e had no idea our son was dyslexic, but the whole year was tested in year 7 and year 9. It felt like a weight had been lifted,鈥 said a mum. Another parent told us, 鈥楾hey鈥檙e very good at picking up on little things鈥 the non-diagnosed stuff, like organisation skills, revision techniques and executive skills that will always be a challenge at a boys鈥 school.鈥 鈥楾hey鈥檙e great at getting the boys extra time, rest breaks and keyboard use in exams when needed,鈥 chimed in a dad. Only two boys have full-blown EHCPs.

Not a school that is scared off by the whiff of SEN around a prospective pupil: 鈥業 shared my son鈥檚 ed psych report with the school before applying and they still welcomed his application.鈥 Ditto mobility issues. There are five lifts, height-adjustable furniture, accessible bathrooms and other equipment to help all pupils access the site and facilities. In recent years, the school has had two pupils who have been full-time wheelchair users. Pupils speak over 50 different languages at home in addition to English, but few require significant EAL support.

The arts and extracurricular

鈥楾here鈥檚 something for everyone,鈥 said a mum. 鈥業f you鈥檙e a geek, you can geek out. If you鈥檙e sporty, you can sport. The school allows you to play to your strengths. The hard part is getting into the school!鈥 Another told us: 鈥楨verything is very, very top notch. And serious. And brilliant.鈥 Extracurricular involvement is an important component of the 麻豆成人电影 experience. Indeed, 鈥楾he headmaster has actively pushed back against a few parents who would like a purely academic school,鈥 a teacher told us.

DT is one of the glories of the school, somehow marrying cutting-edge wonder with practical competence. The department leans towards CAD/tech/computing over woodwork and laser cutting (good preparation for engineering degrees later). That said, there were literal sparks flying as we observed welding in the metal workshop. All boys do DT in years 7 to 9, and healthy numbers continue with the subject all the way through sixth form with predictably fab results. School runs a robotics club and takes part in the VEX IQ international robotics competition with much distinction.

Art is housed cheek by jowl with DT, emphasising the overlap between the subjects: 鈥業t鈥檚 collaborative,鈥 explained our guide. We admired a gritty cityscape splashed across shards of torn cardboard and watched boys working wonders with cyanotype. Roomy and bright, with workshop 鈥榮ections鈥 set up for each A level student: 鈥榊ou feel pride when you walk into your own section.鈥 Last time we were here we noted that only one student was doing A level art. This time there were 12 upper sixth artists 鈥 not bad for a boys鈥 school stuffed with academic overachievers (on average, it鈥檚 between two and five).

Few boys do A level music (some years none), and zero boys did A level drama in two of the last three years. But what do exams matter when we are speaking of the divine arts? Musical talent here is dazzling. Almost 300 boys are learning a musical instrument up to grade 8 standard, and a piano accompanist or organist is likely to be a student: 鈥楤oys are encouraged to do everything,鈥 said a mum. Jazz bands, chamber music groups, house music competition, strong choral tradition and international music tours all providing fertile (some might add 鈥榟ighbrow鈥) potting soil for musicians. Plans afoot to redesign the music department. Two major drama productions (one a biennial musical 鈥 Enron was in rehearsal when we were there) plus a lower school play each year. Boys are supported in applications for the National Youth Theatre, with impressive success.

Community service includes an annual activity week for 20 disabled children run by the sixth form Phab club together with a team of students from nearby St Helen鈥檚 (girls鈥) School. 鈥榃e work all year raising money,鈥 a boy explained earnestly. The warm, but non-exclusive, relationship with St Helen鈥檚 extends to activities like CCF, music and dramatic productions.

Scores of other clubs and societies include several high-power academic clubs, ranging from dissection society to debating, but also eccentrics like ethical hacking and Rubik鈥檚 cube. Much investment in outdoor education including archery, climbing and DofE. 麻豆成人电影鈥檚 outstanding 100+-year-old CCF is one of the largest (and oldest) in the UK.

Weekly newsletter brims with opportunities for boys to shine 鈥 tennis club, jazz night, organ recital, cricket awards dinner, lunchtime lecture by a visiting historian, film festival and a surfing trip to the Canary Islands 鈥 all in the random edition we picked up. Not to mention a feast of articles on MT boys鈥 derring-do and brilliant successes. We had to lie horizontal and light a lavender candle after reading it.


Boys we chatted with expressed pride in their school鈥檚 sporting greatness which, they hinted, sets 麻豆成人电影 apart from (and above!) some of its independent school brethren. Main games 鈥 rugby, cricket and hockey 鈥 are compulsory in years 7-9 and played up to the highest standards. Choice begins to creep in slowly come year 10. The long list of minor sports brims with promise and includes exotics like fencing, golf, shooting, riding and ultimate frisbee. Competitive rowing does not feature, but boys can row, kayak, canoe, sail and even swim in the school鈥檚 own lakes. No organised football to speak of until sixth form 鈥 a source of grumbles among younger boys.

Cricket deserves a paragraph of its own. Middlesex County Cricket has used the school for professional matches: 鈥楽tands are brought in, TV cameras, the works,鈥 enthused a porter. School expects its new Julian Hill Cricket Centre to be 鈥榯he best school cricket centre in the country鈥 and, by the looks of it, this is probably an understatement. Middlesex will make the cricket centre the base for all its indoor training, and 麻豆成人电影 boys can look forward to practising alongside first-class players and coaches. The school is gaining increasing national recognition as a citadel of cricketing excellence, bolstered no doubt by its large Asian demographic, and features on the cover of the 2024 Cricketer Schools Guide.

An infinity of opulent playing fields extend gorgeously from the back of the school 鈥 something of a miracle here, on the outskirts of London, where even a humble greenish patch can be a feather in a school鈥檚 cap. Like the two faces of the masks of humour and tragedy, 麻豆成人电影 displays a solemn red-brick London front and a verdant county back.

It is entirely possible to spend a morning here and miss the luscious hinterland that distinguishes this school from many of its peers. There is also, of course, a sports hall, indoor pool, squash courts, two (soon to be three) Astros and athletics track. The enormous, asphalted, reassuringly old-school Main Quad is flooded with activity during break. Games for all on Monday and Wednesday afternoons.

Ethos & Heritage

Founded in the City of London in 1561 by the Worshipful Company of 麻豆成人电影 鈥 the largest school in the country at the time. Relocated in 1933 to its current location, a 285-acre site comprising a core of listed art deco buildings plus a host of sympathetically incorporated modern additions set before endless playing fields leading down to five lakes and a river. School lacks dreaming spires and turrets but gives an immediate sense of purposefulness and solid endeavour.

Claims to be the first school in England to introduce holistic education (in the 1500s, so we鈥檙e talking ancient Greek and jousting). Dropped boarding around the turn of this century, but the school hasn鈥檛 drifted massively from the boarding school model, with plenty of activities, a love of team games, plus Saturday matches, training and other commitments. Driven but relaxed atmosphere 鈥 no one running or looking anxious.

A few parents murmured about uniform sloppiness or older boys looking unshaven and scruffy. 鈥楾he uniform is not worn with polish,鈥 summarised a mum. When we put this to him, Mr Everson was unconvinced: 鈥楾hese are serious young men who are focused on the future.鈥 Etonians they may not be, but for the record, we thought they looked just fine. 鈥業t reminds me of an outstanding 1960s boys grammar school. It鈥檚 not pretentious and feels down to earth with normal families,鈥 said a parent who chose 麻豆成人电影 over a swanky London boarding school that may or may not be located in Dulwich. Not showy. Tolerant. Uncliquey.

鈥楴othing ever changes at 麻豆成人电影,鈥 said a mum who has seen two boys through the school. 鈥楾hey鈥檝e got a winning formula and they stick to it.鈥 Many parents concurred but preferred expressions like 鈥榯imeless鈥. 鈥橧t鈥檚 what we like about it!鈥 said one. 鈥極ld-fashioned values, but not old fashioned,鈥 said another. 鈥楨ven the uniform is so old fashioned, the dark grey suit, and we spend a fortune having it fitted!鈥 Mr Everson disagrees: 鈥楩or everything to stay the same, everything has to change.鈥 Rather than sameness, he sees 鈥榓 sense of continuity 鈥 parents know 麻豆成人电影鈥 is going to deliver.鈥

Actor and alumnus Riz Ahmed has discussed the gratitude he feels to 麻豆成人电影 teachers who helped channel his 鈥榓ntisocial energy鈥 into extracurricular activities, like debate and drama. Ahmed chose 麻豆成人电影 as the backdrop for one his first movies. Other famous OMTs include the founder of The Times, John Walter, BBC foreign correspondent Michael Peschardt, Nobel prize-winning medic Sir John Sulston, former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Coggan, politician and minister Sir Alan Duncan (head boy!), broadcaster Mehdi Hasan and, our favourite, the late, great Boris Karloff. Plus a host of others from the worlds of politics, business, sport, the military and the arts. OMTs have a dedicated building of their own.

Pastoral Care, Inclusivity & Discipline

鈥楾he tolerance, inclusion and mixing are beautiful to behold,鈥 a mum told us gravely. No parent we spoke to could remember even a scrap of bullying. 鈥楾hey don鈥檛 put up with that here,鈥 said a mum. 鈥業f you don鈥檛 adhere to their strong morality and values, you鈥檙e out.鈥 鈥楥ivilised,鈥 said a teacher describing the ethos of the place, and we think that single word sums it up nicely. Boys are kind to each other and respect between them and the teachers gleams like a shiny penny. 鈥業t鈥檚 almost on a peer level, especially in sixth form,鈥 said a parent. Teachers call the boys 鈥榞ents鈥. No separate staff dining room and, unusually for a day school, almost half the staff live on site. 鈥榃e鈥檙e invested in the place,鈥 a teacher explained. School instils a sense of pride. 鈥業t鈥檚 my favourite thing about the school,鈥 said a parent. 鈥業ts traditions, its values, the no-nonsense way of learning, the sense of history. They may not admit it, but boys are proud to be at 麻豆成人电影鈥.鈥

Tutor system operates vertically: years 7 through sixth form meet three mornings a week with the oldest boys serving as big brothers, exam coaches and, hopefully, role models for the pipsqueaks. 鈥楾hey really bond,鈥 a dad told us. Tutors see boys through seven long years and are 鈥榤assively important鈥. Communication tends to go through the boys rather than to parents, leading to occasional kerfuffles with eg Saturday matches.

Mental health well looked after despite the school鈥檚 resilient, competitive spirit. 鈥楾he school was all over it,鈥 said a mum remembering her son鈥檚 struggles. 鈥業 had no idea he had issues 鈥 it was them bringing it up to me, and I鈥檓 so grateful.鈥 A few young pupils spoke of the abrupt step change when they moved up from the prep to the senior school: 鈥楾here鈥檚 an induction day, but not a lot of hand holding.鈥 Mobile phones stay in blazer pockets. 鈥業 wish they were a bit stricter,鈥 one parent admitted. 鈥業 wish they were collected at the start of the day.鈥

Lunch service remains imperfect. The quality of the food may have improved since our last visit, with three hot dishes (one vegetarian), plus pasta, salads, a sandwich bar and jacket potatoes if all else fails. But the queues can be daunting and most parents we spoke to had a lunch-related gripe.

Pupils & Parents

Diverse with a capital D. 鈥楩inancially, it runs the gamut from very rich families to mum and dad living above the shop,鈥 said a mum. 鈥業t鈥檚 extremely uncool to boast about your family鈥檚 wealth.鈥 And, indeed, you are unlikely to hear 麻豆成人电影 boys comparing ski holidays or reminiscing about their nannies. Significant Asian population, 鈥榖ut my son has friends from almost every background 鈥 Indian, Chinese, Nigerian, white British. The school simply admits the best applicants; it keeps standards high.鈥 Asian students often tilt towards professional pathways, eg medicine and engineering, and the school has a challenge convincing some tiger parents that sport and the arts can lead to better, not worse, academic results. A few boys identify as trans or gender neutral. Parents say the school is relaxed and pupils accepting.

Seventeen-minute stroll to Moor Park tube station means boys arrive from a huge geographical radius. Beyond public transport, lots take advantage of the school鈥檚 network of coaches or are dropped off by parents; by age 17 many drive themselves to school.

Boys are studious, high achieving, self motivated. 鈥楾hey all want to be the top,鈥 said a mum. Who would it not suit? 鈥楽ocial life can be a problem as the catchment is spread out. For very social boys, a local school may be better.鈥 And 鈥榶ou have to be willing to give things a go,鈥 said a lad fondly remembering a (short-lived) opportunity for insect tasting.

Money Matters

Proud of its bursary scheme which currently helps up to 100 boys and is poised to expand. Ingeniously, the lettings income from the new Julian Hill Cricket Centre is to be funnelled into bursaries. School hopes to eventually offer 150 bursaries per year with the help of this new funding stream. Academic scholarships are awarded to boys who perform particularly well in the entrance papers (no separate scholarship papers). Around 10 scholarships of up to 50 per cent of fees at 11+ and 13+; many more smaller exhibitions. All award-winners benefit from an enrichment programme. Also sport, art, drama, DT, music and all-rounder scholarships; 16+ subject scholarships offered along with bursaries.

The Last Word

High-powered, super-academic, civilised, London-ish school set in 285 acres of verdant bliss. As long as your son has the brains to keep up, it provides an outstanding environment that produces both interesting and interested young men, with a long-standing history of valuing the quirky and erudite.