School Name

Brighton College


UK Senior Schools


Senior school

Pupil type








Pupil age range


Brighton College


Curiosity, confidence, kindness 

Day fees 


Boarding fees 







94 per cent of GCSE results are 7–9.

82 per cent of A-Level results are A* or A.

Spear’s Review

Regularly top of the academic league tables, Brighton College is a fantastically well-equipped school far away from the pressures of London.

With an inclusive and progressive philosophy of learning, it aims to produce ambitious children who are ‘at ease with themselves’, with a lifelong love of learning. The head, Richard Cairns, has nearly two decades in office and has seen the school thrive along with its pupils. A new science and sport centre, with 18 laboratories, cements its position as one of the best schools in the south of England.

School Profile

Brighton College

Brighton College

Brighton College is one of the world’s leading independent schools for girls and boys. The College regularly achieves the best A-Level and GCSE results of any co-educational school in the UK, whilst ensuring children enjoy a wealth of extracurricular opportunities. 

Renowned for its focus on kindness, the College also excels in art, music, dance, drama and sport. Recently named UK ‘School of the Decade’ by the Sunday Times, and twice winner of ‘England’s Independent School of the Year’, Brighton College has also been called ‘Britain’s most forward-thinking school’ and ‘Top in Britain for STEM’ by The Week

Brighton College provides a bridge between a historic past and a pioneering future. It sits, too, at the heart of one of Britain’s most vibrant and creative cities.    

Founded in 1845, the College fuses stirring Victorian architecture by Sir George Gilbert Scott with a host of bold and contemporary buildings. Many of these have received awards from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), including the Music School with its world-class Recital Hall, and the Yeoh Building, where pupils study economics, politics, mathematics and history. 

Most recently, Brighton College opened a stunning new School of Science and Sport designed by renowned European architect OMA to create a novel interplay between two disciplines often kept apart. The stunning green technology building includes 18 superbly equipped science labs, while sports facilities include a rooftop running track with views over the sea and the South Downs.  

Top co-educational school 

Brighton College is a beacon of academic success. In the most recent exam results, Sixth Formers achieved 100 per cent A*-B in their A-Levels, while the most common grade at GCSE was the top grade of 9, with 94 per cent of exam grades being 9-7/A*-A. The school ranked top of the Telegraph’s league table of 2,000 co-educational schools in England.  

While celebrating success across the board in both academic disciplines and sports – a steady stream of Old Brightonians have gone on to play professionally and for their countries – Brighton College strives to create an inclusive culture where all pupils can feel happy and confident to be themselves. Its ethos is one of kindness, personal development and awareness of the wider world. 

The College overseas 

The College also has six international schools: in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Bangkok, Dubai, Singapore and Vietnam. Each shares Brighton College’s aims and ethos, combining academic excellence with a wealth of co-curricular opportunities. This is underpinned by a deep commitment to the needs and enthusiasms of all pupils. All the schools believe in the importance of the individual, encouraging every pupil to develop their talents in an inclusive and intellectually curious community where every achievement, however small, is noticed. 

Head teacher

Richard Cairns has transformed Brighton College in the almost two decades he has been head master. Cairns has the ambition of extending world-class education to all children, regardless of family finances or background. He has introduced a groundbreaking social mobility programme at Brighton College, comprising state partnerships, and refugee and community support. He joined Brighton College from Magdalen College School, Oxford, and previously held roles at Stewart’s Melville College in Edinburgh and The Oratory School in Reading.


According to the school:

Following registration, children are invited to sit assessments, either at the college or via the ISEB Common Pre-Test at their current prep school. Successful candidates are invited to spend a day at the college for the second part of the assessment process. Children are offered a place on the basis of a successful assessment.

University and college places

12 per cent to Oxford and Cambridge, 8 per cent to Ivy League Universities.


Heathrow Airport; 1 hour 15 minutes


Click for more information about the research process and expert insight behind the Spear’s Schools Index

Rank: Top Flight

Top Flight 2024, UK Senior Schools

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