Winchester heads A-level league table: Title of highest-scoring independent school is wrested away from Westminster. Fran Abrams, Education Correspondent, reports (CORRECTED)

CORRECTION (PUBLISHED 16 SEPTEMBER 1993) APPENDED TO THIS ARTICLE

(Table omitted)

WINCHESTER College has replaced Westminster school as the top performer at A-level, according to a table released by the Independent Schools Information Service, Isis.

Winchester, a Hampshire boarding school, gained an average points score of 29.5 per candidate, based on the Ucca scale giving 10 points for an A-grade down to two for an E-grade. Westminster was second with an average of 29.4 points.

St Paul's School in Barnes, south- west London, achieved the highest percentage of top grades, with almost 88 per cent of entries gaining As and Bs. North London Collegiate School in Edgware was the top girls' school, with 28.3 points and 86 per cent gaining A or B grades.

Last year, Westminster had the top average, followed by Winchester, St Paul's and King Edward's School, Birmingham.

The schools on the Isis list achieved a 93 per cent pass rate overall, higher than the national average of 81 per cent. This is usually because most independent schools are selective and parents are determined to get good results.

Winchester's triumph will be particularly welcomed by boarding schools after a year in which some were forced to close.

The school, which has the longest unbroken history in Britain, was founded in 1382.

It has always had a reputation for outstanding academic achievement, and its students, known as Wykehamists after its founder, William of Wykeham, have in the past been accused of arrogance.

Winchester has changed little in recent years. It feels no need to go co- educational, as many boys' boarding schools have, and has few assisted places - the scheme under which the Government pays part of the fees.

Among its old boys are Lord Howe, the former deputy prime minister, Viscount Whitelaw, former leader of the House of Lords, and Alasdair Milne, former Director- General of the BBC.

The school's headmaster, James Sabben-Clare, said he did not set too much store by the competition that league tables tended to foster.

'What we are trying to do is to provide the best education for intelligent children, and there is more to that than doing well in exams,' he said.

Westminster cannot lay claim to such a long history as Winchester, having been founded in 1542, by Elizabeth I. Nor can its pupils bask in such an atmosphere of calm, being expected to make their way to school by Tube and to negotiate the rush- hour traffic of central London.

Its old boys are a more mixed bunch than Winchester's. Among them are Tony Benn, the Labour MP, Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, the composer, Lord Lawson, former Chancellor of the Exchequer, and John Brown, publisher of Viz magazine.

This year is the second in which Isis has published the A-level results of 500 secondary schools in an attempt to pre-empt privately-compiled tables which had begun appearing.

Last night Vivian Anthony, secretary of the Head Masters' Conference (HMC) - which represents boys' boarding schools and many day schools - said that although he had helped to design the table, he disliked league tables. Isis, of which HMC is a member organisation, ordered the results alphabetically.

'League tables give the impression that it is possible to compare the results of one school with the results of another. People are aware that the circumstances in which each school operates are very different,' he said.

Mr Anthony said that Sutton Valence School in Kent was to be congratulated as heartily as Winchester and Westminster. Its score was 38 per cent higher than its five-year average, showing it had improved its grades more than any other school.

Michael Haywood, headmaster of Sutton Valence, had mixed feelings about the honour. 'In so far as it goes, it is nice. But league tables have brought despair and frustration to heads who know they cannot reflect added value,' he said.

The top 200 independent schools

Source: Independent Schools Information Service

CORRECTION

Haileybury School was inadvertently left out of the 'top 200' in the independent schools A-level league table carried on 28 August. It should have been placed 114th.

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballGunners confirm signing from Manchester United
Sport
footballStriker has moved on loan for the remainder of the season
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
News
The five geckos were launched into space to find out about the effects of weightlessness on the creatures’ sex lives
i100
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
News
i100
Life and Style
The longer David Sedaris had his Fitbit, the further afield his walks took him through the West Sussex countryside
lifeDavid Sedaris: What I learnt from my fitness tracker about the world
Arts and Entertainment
Word master: Self holds up a copy of his novel ‘Umbrella’
booksUnlike 'talented mediocrity' George Orwell, you must approach this writer dictionary in hand
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SQL Implementation Consultant (VB,C#, SQL, Java, Eclipse, integ

£40000 - £50000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: SQL Impl...

SQL Technical Implementation Consultant (Java, BA, Oracle, VBA)

£45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: SQL Technical ...

Head of IT (Windows, Server, VMware, SAN, Fidessa, Equities)

£85000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Head of IT (Windows, Server, VMware, SAN, ...

Lead C# Developer (.Net, nHibernate, MVC, SQL) Surrey

£55000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Lead C# Develo...

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering