For those who don't want to send their children to board, Susan Hamlyn from the Good Schools Guide picks Britain's best day schools, back in 2012

For those who don’t want to send their children to board, Susan Hamlyn from the Good Schools Guide picks Britain’s best day schools, back in 2012

The Godolphin & Latymer School, London

Rock-solid girls’ education. Unpretentious and unpressured, but as good as it gets when it comes to producing the bright and the brave.

Guildford High School, Guildford

A class act. Pupils here aim for excellence, and you’ll find no shy, girly holding back.

Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School, Hertfordshire

A place where you’ll get the hang of apostrophes-and achieve, achieve, achieve.

Haberdashers’ Aske’s School for Girls, Hertfordshire

Anything the boys can do, they can do at least as well. A school for those with big brains-
and hearts.

King’s College School, Wimbledon

Super-cool school with global intellectual clout and the head of the moment at the helm.

King Edward VI High School for Girls, Birmingham

Shares site and new performing arts centre with boys’ school. Home of all-round excellence.

King Edward’s School, Birmingham

See above. The outstanding academic results-achieved by focused, highly motivated boys-speak for themselves.

Lady Eleanor Holles School, Middlesex

Outstanding teaching, legend-ary sports provision and one of the best heads in the country.

Latymer Upper School, London

The leading co-ed in west London, with eager pupils and energetic teaching. Bang on the Thames, so not the place for those who don’t want to develop rower’s shoulders.

Magdalen College School, Oxford

Scull on the Cherwell, which flows past, sing in Magdalen College Chapel and live and study amid dreaming spires.

Merchant Taylors’ School, Hertfordshire

Civilised school with top results and enviable recreation space. Plus it’s on the Tube, so there’s no need for the family to move out of London.

North London Collegiate School, London

Premier-league school, with an inspirational head and girls who achieve anything they set their minds to.

Norwich High School for Girls, Norwich

Go-getting, underrated gem in East Anglia, with world-beating music facilities.

Oxford High School for Girls

Oxford A jewel in The Girls’ Day School Trust crown. Exemplifies all that the organisation stands for: top teaching, sound values and leavers who make a difference.

The Perse School, Cambridge

Now co-educational. Well-run, strong in sports and Arts and the top school for miles around. Turns out individuals who rise to a challenge.

Queen Elizabeth’s Hospital School, Bristol

In a city full of independents, this is the only remaining all-boys school. Top-notch in all areas, including pastoral care. Turns out urbane all-rounders.

Royal Grammar School, Guildford

Heavyweight, academic boys’ school in an unlovely urban setting that produces hard-working, motivated young men who achieve things.

St Paul’s Girls’ School, London

The best of the best. Get in here and you’ll be inspired to aspire. Once a Paulina, always a Paulina.

University College School, London

Very strong liberal, intellectual tradition. Leavers have aspirations and a social conscience.

Withington Girls’ School, Manchester

The best in the North, and as good as anywhere in turning out articulate, high-achieving, confident girls.

The Good Schools Guide Advice Service: www.gsgexpertschoolsconsultants.co.uk

** Read more on the top independent schools in the country