Every loving parent out there wants their children to have the best of education from the ground up. This article will help you find some of the best private primary and high schools in Edinburgh.
But, just before going any further, we want to remind you that these schools have varying requirements for enrollment of domestic and international students who indicate interest in getting into any of them.
To know whether your child is qualified for enrollment in any of these schools that will be listed here in this article, you are welcome to read further.
At some point in parenthood, it becomes crucial to make the best choice of an environment where your child(ren) will have a proper academic upbringing that affects every part of their lives, beginning from their primary education upwards.
Given that you are paying enormous attention to this already shows your intention about giving your children access to an adequate education.
With the birth of new approaches to help students get the drift of the nitty-gritty of what their time in school entails, they stand a better chance of being at their best academically. And, in many ways can be on par or better than their peers when they find the right enabling environment for them to express this.
We always advise parents to make no mistake when it comes to honing the potentials in youngsters. You will find that in every child lies the need to be outstanding in what they do, and sometimes the best place where they can discover and develop themselves is at the most basic level of education.
Edinburgh is one city we can assure you to find fun and make the most memorable moments especially if you want both an education and adventurous activities.
That said, in this article, we will review the top ten private schools in Edinburgh for you to choose. And, we are optimistic that these institutions will serve the needs of the child beginning from the Foundation phase of education up to high school.
Best Private Schools in Edinburgh
1. The Edinburgh Academy
|AGE||2 – 18|
|FEES||£2,927 – £15,342 per annum|
|PHONE||0131 624 4987|
|ADDRESS||42 Henderson Row, Edinburgh, EH3 5BL|
Being one of the oldest schools in Scotland and also one that continually produces notable alumni. The Edinburgh Academy clinches the top position of the ten leading private schools in Edinburgh based on its academic and sporting prowess over the past years.
The school has made a plethora of records in history and is still doing the same, administering the best methods to teaching and learning that can bring out the very best in every child.
The Academy has graduated alumni like James Maxwell, John Cameron, and Richard Burdon, to mention a few.
Since its establishment in 1824, nothing much has changed about the original tenets of the institution. And the students have continually made unbeatable results in the school.
Nine of the students who graduated from the Academy have received the highest award of honor in Scotland, the Victoria Cross.
The Edinburgh Academy is currently ranked second place in Scotland and 36th place in the United Kingdom by the Suton Trust for producing leaders in the nation.
Some of its facilities include a gymnasium, a music school, and many sporting pieces of equipment for sports such as rugby, hockey, and soccer.
Little wonder it has been winners of the Scottish Cup and the Masterton trophy and has also produced world-class athletes who have performed for the country.
The school was an all-boys school but has recently gone co-educational, and enrollment is open to students aged 2 to 18 years from nursery to high school.
The Edinburgh Academy comprises three schools: Junior School caters to children aged 2 to 5 years old. The Junior School admits children aged 6 to 10. Ultimately, the Senior School serves learners aged 10 to 18 years old.
Best Private Boarding Schools in Edinburgh
2. St George’s School
|AGE||3 – 18|
|FEES||£9,324 – £15,288 (Boarding: £31,656) per annum|
|PHONE||+44 131 311 8000|
|ADDRESS||Garscube Terrace, Murrayfield, Edinburgh, EH12 6BG|
St George’s School is a private day and boarding institution for girls dedicated to foster well-meaning ladies in society.
It was established in 1888 by the pioneers of women’s education. The school takes away the distraction from boys, enabling young girls to focus and get the best of girls’ education.
The school has been consistently rated, over the past years, as one of the best in Scotland. And the reason can safely be attributed to its excellent performance at the Scottish and English exam qualification, including the SQA, and A level exams. The results speak very much for themselves.
St George’s boarding school provides that home away from home experience as the students take advantage of the sports facilities and other fun-filled activities.
There is no discrimination to admitting girls who indicate interest in getting enrolled into the school on the grounds of disability or learning difficulties.
The academic curriculum at the school comprises GCSEs at 16, followed by Highers and Advanced Highers in the Sixth Form (S5 and S6).
St George’s School enrolls students from 3 to 18 years of age from primary to high school.
As of this time, the school has a student body of approximately 720 pupils, including 50 boarders.
3. Merchiston Castle School
|AGE||7 – 18|
|FEES||£5,110 – £8,680 (Boarding: £7,360 – £11,960) per term|
|PHONE||+44(0) 131 312 2200|
|ADDRESS||294 Colinton Road, Edinburgh, EH13 0PU|
Children need to experience something classy; when it comes to receiving a high school education that will treat them as an individual in the midst of many.
Merchiston Castle School prides itself on the manner of excellent independent learners it has made to discover their talents and make the bold move to be a wonder to their world.
Established in 1828 for boys, the school has a caring community that knows how to get along with its students and make them find true satisfaction in what they do.
As a day and boarding boys institution, the school has put in the best strategies to make learners enjoy their day and boarding education equally.
It is sometimes irresistible to miss the weekends at Merchiston Castle School; because of the excitement of having time out for fun in the arts and sports activities over the weekend. These include rugby, soccer, rock climbing, table tennis, lawn tennis, gymnastics, virtual arts, music, athletics, high jump, and many more.
The pass-out rate of students with A’s is usually above 50%.
Merchiston Castle is divided into three schools: Merchiston Juniors (ages 7–13), Middle Years (ages 13–16), and a Sixth Form.
Boys from 7 to 18 years are welcome to be enrolled and have the most memorable experiences at the school.
Every year, at least 93% of its students get enrolled in the university of their choice. And 63% get admitted into any UK Russell Group of universities, including Cambridge, Oxford, Cardiff University, and many others.
For parents searching for the best private schools in Edinburgh to enroll their youngsters, Merchiston Castle is one of the schools to consider.
4. George Watson’s College
|AGE||3 – 18|
|FEES||£8,736 – £13,551 per annum|
|PHONE||0131 446 6000|
|ADDRESS||Colinton Road, Edinburgh EH10 5EG|
George Watson’s College is a private co-educational institution catering to pupils aged 3 to 18 years old from primary up to high school.
Founded in 1741 as an independent day school, the College is rated one of the best-performing private schools in Edinburgh and is also the 29th best in the UK for producing some of the most renowned individuals.
The College community prepares the students to have loving hearts towards each other irrespective of personality differences.
In the last ten years, the College has single-handedly raised about £400,000 for several charities.
Does your child want to row the boats at the championships, outrun other kids on the track, or perhaps wants to be part of many of the hockey competitions? Whatever comes first, there is just enough place for everyone.
The College boasts of some of the best sporting facilities. No wonder it has consistently been making waves in the Scottish sporting competitions.
That said, it might also interest you to know that George Watson’s College is one of the largest independent schools in Scotland with a current student population of approximately 2,358 pupils aged 3 to 18 years old.
5. George Heriot’s School
|AGE||3 – 18|
|FEES||£9,315 – £13,970 per annum|
|PHONE||0131 229 7263|
|ADDRESS||Lauriston Place, Edinburgh, EH3 9EQ|
Every child deserves a school where their true potentials will nurture and develop. And that is what George Heriot’s School represents.
Currently, it is one of the leading private schools in Edinburgh and Scotland. And it welcomes children of all backgrounds and provides them quality education in a happy, caring, and stimulating environment.
Established in 1628, the institution offers a co-educational learning environment to pupils aged 3 to 18 years old and currently has a student body of approximately 1,600 pupils.
The school has been, over the years, rated one of the best in Scotland. Thanks to over 235 staff members working round the clock to provide excellent education to all learners.
George Heriot’s School celebrates the hard work and success of every child. And, also encourages them to show consistency in both curricular and sports activities.
The SQA results have George Heriot’s ranking one of the best private schools in Edinburgh due to its broader curriculum content and excellent teaching outcomes.
George Heriot’s School awards scholarships every year to students who perform well and achieve outstanding results. And that oftentimes involves a fee remission of 50%.
Others include the expressive art scholarship for learners with outstanding performance in arts, music, dance, or drama. There is also a scholarship for sports performance.
6. Fettes College
|AGE||7 – 18|
|FEES||£5,880 – £10,290 (Boarders: £12,400) per term|
|PHONE||+44 (0)131 332 2281|
|ADDRESS||Carrington Road, Edinburgh, Scotland EH4 1QX|
Fettes College does not only teach students; It teaches them to become independent learners. The school is currently one of the leading private schools in Edinburgh for justifiable reasons.
The College believes that only happy, healthy students can learn. Therefore, it is striving to create an environment where pupils learn with ease.
The main aim of the College is to provide all-rounded development to its students.
Although it started as an all-boys boarding school; however, that changed in 1983 when it transitioned to a day and boarding co-educational system catering to both boys and girls on the same campus.
Fettes College boasts state-of-the-art curricular facilities on its campus. And students are usually encouraged to utilize these facilities to their advantage.
Fettes College is famous for its wide range of sports, including rugby, cricket, hockey, athletics, and several others. The students also have a fun time out at the beach.
Instead of the Scottish education system, the school offers the English education system and takes the GCSEs instead of the regular Scottish exams.
In addition, the College offers the International Baccalaureate (IB) World Program to learners. And enrollment into the College is open to children aged 7 to 18 years old.
Its boarding facilities cater to two-thirds of the overall student population of 750 learners.
7. Stewart’s Melville College
|AGE||11 – 18|
|FEES||£9,123 – £13,038 (Boarding: £25,509) per annum|
|PHONE||+44 (0)131 311 1111|
|ADDRESS||Ravelston, Edinburgh, EH4 3NT|
Like a couple of other schools we have reviewed in this article, Stewart Melville College runs day and boarding education for boys between 11 to 18 years.
Stewart’s Melville College, commonly known as SMC, is a private day and boarding school in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Classes are all boys in the 1st to 5th years and co-educational in the Sixth (final) year. The College has a total student population of about 2,500 pupils.
The school motto “never unprepared” has been demonstrated both in deed and in results by its students with years of unparalleled performance.
There is such a well-planned education structure at Stewart Melville College. And its sister school (Mary Erskine School) provides an environment where the girls can enjoy an inclusive single-gender education.
Over the past years, Stewart’s Melville has been voted one of the Scottish top independent schools, judging by academic performances and facilities.
As a day and boarding institution, its hostel facilities provide the atmosphere needed to keep the students engaged in academic and sports activities like swimming, tennis, badminton, and soccer. Plus, a state-of-the-art fitness suite that keeps the students fit and healthy.
Top Private High Schools in Edinburgh
8. Clifton Hall School
|AGE||3 – 18|
|FEES||£6000 – £13,350 per annum|
|PHONE||0131 333 1359|
|ADDRESS||Newbridge, Edinburgh EH28 8LQ|
Since its establishment in 1930, Clifton Hall School has not ceased to grow as the students continue to make waves across the county in academics and various sports activities.
Clifton Hall School is a mixed private day school situated in Edinburgh, Scotland.
It serves pupils aged 3 to 18 years and currently has a roll of 428 students.
Clifton Hall is divided into three phases, starting from the Nursery, Junior School (J1-J7), and Senior School (S1-S6).
In other words, Clifton Hall educates learners from nursery to Senior 6.
Irrespective of the child’s interest, the school provides a place for students to learn their chosen skills while in high school.
In addition, the school utilizes workshops and services of advisors to develop the children on a growth mindset by helping them to build resilience and assist with their choice of career and skills profiling.
Since its inception, Clifton Hall has produced well-meaning people in society like Ewan Stewart, Graham Crowden, and Jim Clark, plus many others.
9. Edinburgh Steiner School
|AGE||3 – 18|
|FEES||£3,236 – £10,610 per annum|
|PHONE||0131 337 3410|
|ADDRESS||60 – 64 Spylaw Road, Edinburgh, EH10 5BR|
Edinburgh Steiner School is an independent co-educational institution offering quality education to pupils aged 3 to 18.
It accepts admissions for Seedlings (formerly known as Playgroup) & Kindergarten up to Upper-School all year round, allowing students to resume at any point in the academic session.
Exams results are consistently above the national average, yet it does not have a selective enrollment policy like most private schools in Edinburgh.
Edinburgh Steiner focuses on the child’s overall development; this, however, ensures that each learner can learn, think, and comprehend.
One of the many reasons the school continues to be on-demand is the notable transformation that reflects every child who eventually comes out of it.
Many students who had difficulty reading and comprehending have had it resolved as they get into the modern teaching methods offered at the school.
For parents who are interested in enrolling their children into the private boarding schools in Edinburg, please be informed that this school does not provide boarding education at this time. Therefore, you may select from other schools listed above.
Best Private Primary Schools in Edinburgh
10. Cargilfield Preparatory School
|AGE||3 – 13|
|FEES||£2,107 – £3,630 (Boarding: £5,750 – £7,050) per term|
|PHONE||0131 336 2207|
|ADDRESS||45 Gamekeeper’s Road, Edinburgh, EH4 6HU|
It is the oldest independent junior preparatory school in Scotland. It has been equipping its children with the tools necessary to prepare for their high school education.
Cargilfield Prep School opened its doors to students in 1873. Birthed out of enthusiasm to build in young children confidence in who they are. And to stand on grounds to prepare themselves for the world that awaits them.
The school has achieved this in recent years by future-centered teachings and setting high standards for them. The positive outcomes have always been massive and have made champions from this school.
As an essential part of the school extracurricular activities, the students participate in several sports activities, visual arts, dance drama, and music.
The small-size classes help students to benefit as much as possible in every lesson. Every student matters to the school. And their level of comprehension is consistently assessed by their tutors.
After an inspection of the school by the HM Inspectorate of Education (HMIE), the inferences are that the school has a welcoming community that makes students feel secure and safe.
In addition, the school has impressive management skills; therefore, pupils are well cared for. Also, students contribute to improving the quality of care and support in the school.
Enrollment is open to pupils aged 3 to 13 years old. The students, over the years, have proven successful in entrance examinations and entrance exams to their desired colleges.
Cargilfield Prep is one of a few preparatory schools in Edingburgh that provides boarding facilities to the pupils.
Edinburgh is home to some of the world’s most renowned scientists and alumni, including the inventor of Logarithm, the founder of modern electromagnetism John Napier, the father of genetics Charles Darwin, to mention a few.
Perhaps we should mention the author of Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stephenson, Sean Connery’s James Bond, and Adam Smith, the father of Economics.
Historically, Edinburgh has birthed people one can hardly ignore in any academic field.
So, if you are keen to have your child(ren) enrolled in any of the top private schools in Edinburgh, you are sure to have them build on these platforms and make themselves too excellent people in society.
We hope you found this post helpful. Feel free to express how your thoughts via the comment section.