The best schools in Leeds

When it comes to great public and private schools, Leeds, as one of the most popular cities in the UK, is not short of brilliant ones. 

However, with there being 248 primary schools and 71 secondary schools in Leeds, we figured it might be helpful to know what the best schools in Leeds are, to help you whittle down your choices. 

Best Primary Schools in Leeds

Beecroft Primary School

Receiving an Ofsted rating of outstanding in 2010, and glowing reviews by a school inspector in March 2019, Beecroft is widely considered one of the best schools in Leeds.

Much of its success can be credited to the ethos the staff have; focusing on working with the students – bringing them into the process of designing their academic experience – rather than just telling them what to do. 

The school actively encourages creativity and independent thought and has backed up this ethos by investing in a state-of-the-art, purpose built and fully equipped design technology and art room. 

A school where everyone – staff and students – take pride in the little creative, supportive community they’ve managed to establish, it’s a school where your child will really thrive. 

Corpus Christi Catholic School

A 2022 Ofsted Good School, Corpus Christ is a primary school with strong Catholic values. Children at Corpus Christi are encouraged to not only fulfil their intellectual potential, but their spiritual, emotional and moral potential too. 

Staff at Corpus Christi have done an amazing job of creating a supportive environment where everyone looks out for each other and all feel welcome. 

The school is also very socially active, having both a regularly updated Twitter feed and YouTube channel, allowing parents to see what exciting things their kids are getting up to in school!  

Meanwood Church of English Primary School

Meanwood Church of England is a primary school with CARE at its core…literally. 

Their core values are: 

Cooperate: Share and learn together.

Achieve: Try your best, always.  

Reflect: Value everyone and everything. 

Empathise: Stand in someone else’s shoes

However, more than just an acronym of their school values, Meanwood really does pride themselves on being a school a safe space for each of their children, where every child, no matter how big or small their problem is, always feels comfortable asking for help.

Very much the heart of their local community, Meanwood is a truly lovely school where everyone is and feels heard. 

Shadwell Primary School

Tailoring their curriculum around each student, the teachers at Shadwell Primary school really take the time to understand the needs of each student, adjusting as and when necessary. 

It is this tailored approach to education that lies behind their motto of ‘Excellence for All’.

A beautifully inclusive school, Shadwell understands that one size doesn’t fit all and won’t force a label on your child. 

If you want to send your child to a school where their uniqueness will be celebrated rather than seen as a challenge, Shadwell is the one for you. 

Best Secondary Schools in Leeds

Horsforth School

With 36% of their A-Level students achieving an A or A* in 2023, and 82% of their students achieving a 4+ in English and Maths that same year, it’s understandable that with this Leeds secondary school, league tables across the UK had to take notice. 

Indeed The Sunday Times, in their 2023 Schools Guide, named Hosforth School one of the top three best performing schools in all of Leeds. 

More than just an academic heavyweight, Horsforth is a secondary school and sixth form college that strongly believes in creating opportunity for all by offering a diverse curriculum, anchored by its amazing array of facilities and the shared expertise of its excellent staff. 

Prince Henry’s Grammar School

Winning the Parent Power Comprehensive School in the North award at the end of 2022, Prince Henry’s, alongside Horsforth, was also named one of the top three best performing schools in Leeds by the Sunday Times in 2023 Schools Guide.

A school with a number of excellent facilities, including an Astroturf, the school regularly organises art and photography trips for its students and gets them involved in things like apprenticeship programmes – all with the aim of getting them prepared for tomorrow, today whilst encouraging them to go beyond their comfort zone.

It is little wonder that a recent review by Her Majesty’s Inspector of Schools highlighted the fact that “Prince Henry’s is a place where you can be yourself, flourish and achieve”. 

The Grammar School at Leeds

Having the rare distinction of being both one of the best secondary schools and one of the best primary schools in Leeds, The Grammar School at Leeds is a proudly independent school that caters to children aged 3-18 – perfect for siblings with significant age gaps. 

A favourite of the Sunday Times School Guide, The Grammar School at Leeds not only won the prestigious North Independent Secondary School of the Year award in 2020, but also went on to impressively win the North Independent Secondary School of the Decade award in 2021! 

Offering a diverse curriculum, with a number of music, drama and sports facilities available to its students, The Grammar School at Leeds is a testament to the high quality of education offered by independent schools in Leeds. 

Ilkley Grammar School

Being given a rating of ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted in 2023 and being the top ranked comprehensive school in the north of England in the 2018 Sunday Times School Guide.

Offering an inclusive learning experience that allows and actively encourages each student to achieve their personal best, their GCSE and A-Level results are consistently in the top 10% of all schools nationally.

The wide array of extra-curricular activities the school offers – including pottery and ceramics, gymnastics, badminton, cricket, football, and rugby – also plays a large role in helping developing confident, well-rounded and well-adjusted students, ready and fully equipped for the challenges of tomorrow. 

Best Special Needs Schools in Leeds

Parklands Primary School

Earning an ‘Outstanding’ grade from Ofsted in 2017, Parklands Primary School is a beautiful school with a wonderful community. More than just a pleasant place to learn, Parklands Primary School also provides a number of specialised services, including speech therapy, for those who need it, as well as a whole range of innovative tools including Now Press Play – an immersive audio resources that teaches kids through sound, story and movement – to ensure that every child is able to enjoy learning. 

Taking a fun approach to education, Parklands goes beyond the classroom, offering children the chance to learn new skills that, in the long term, will help boost their confidence; this includes things like ukulele lessons and creative cooking lessons.

A lovely school that’s found a way to cater to everyone regardless of their ability, Parklands has managed to create a fun, light hearted environment that has, and will no doubt continue to help children come out of their shells at a pace that works for them.

Garforth Academy

A special needs secondary school and sixth form college, Garforth Academy is a school that places an emphasis on enriching the lives of its students through a dynamic and flexible curriculum that equips students for the life ahead. 

Complementing their curriculum with a wide array of musical, athletic and strategic extra-curricular activities, the school takes a multi-faceted approach to learning, encouraging children to fulfil their full potential by going beyond what they’ve told themselves they’re capable of. 

Earning an ‘Outstanding’ grade from Ofsted in 2013, the school produces ambitious young adults ready to take on the world! 

If you’re a parent considering a move to Leeds, why not take a look at some of our developments in Leeds?