School Name

Wycombe Abbey School


UK Senior Schools


Senior school

Pupil type

Girls only







Pupil age range


Wycombe Abbey School


Academic excellence, empathy, integrity

Day fees


Boarding fees







90 per cent of IGCSE results are 7–9 grades.

74.6 per cent of A-Level results are A* or A grades.

Spear’s Review

In 1896 the first cohort of 40 girls was welcomed into Wycombe Abbey by pioneering founder and Cambridge graduate Frances Dove, who was determined to promote the equal education of girls in the Victorian era. Her guiding principle was education for citizenship, and the school’s aims remain the same today: the pursuit of academic excellence, individual development and service to community.

Head teacher

Jo Duncan joined Wycombe Abbey as headmistress in 2019 following more than four years as headmistress of the Royal High School in Bath. She also held roles at Princess Helena College in Hertfordshire, where she was head, and at Benenden School, where she was variously an academic tutor, a deputy housemistress and head of department. Duncan, who has an MA in English literature and biblical studies from the University of St Andrews, completed her PGCE at Cambridge and began her career at the Latymer School in North London, where she taught for four years.

‘I spent two summers teaching in Eastern Europe (Hungary then Romania) while at university in St Andrews and this convinced me that I didn’t want to become a lawyer, which is what I had been intending to do. Instead, I decided to pursue a career in teaching,’ Duncan explains.

‘I love the sense of freedom and opportunity that exists in girls’ schools, and this has shaped my vision for Wycombe Abbey, which is to be at the forefront of girls’ boarding education and to be recognised globally as a world-class school.’


Wycombe Abbey’s assessment process is designed to be as straightforward as possible, and the school looks for potential rather than prior attainment; girls are welcomed whatever their background and education. 

Entry points are at age 11, 13 and 16, with bursaries and scholarships available at each of these stages. Requirements at each stage include:

11+: CAT4 test, written exam, interview and assessed activities.

13+: CAT4 test; selected girls taken forward to exam and interview.

16+: UKISET taken and submitted January to June of year before entry; selected candidates invited to take part in exams and interview.

Registration closes on 1 June in the year prior to entry. 

Feeder schools

Godstowe, Glendower, Pembridge Hall

University and college places

25 per cent advance to Oxford or Cambridge.

10 per cent advance to Ivy League or other top-tier US schools.


Heathrow; 30 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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