There is a yearly magazine on this topic (free of charge) published by nappyvalleynet: https://issuu.com/nappyvalleynet/docs/s ... 7/64474823
Yes, the are has a lot of schools but also a lot of children.
Re. the independent schools, you should bear in mind that it's mostly a question of where you get offered a place. so not really a buyers' market
Broadly speaking you have:
- Hornsby House - you have to register max 2 months after birth to get a place (there is no assessment)
- Broomwood Hall - they used to have an assessment (at 3.5yo), not sure if they still do
- Eaton House the manor - single sex, you register as soon as you can and you stand a good chance of being offered a place (no assessment)
- Thomas's Clapham - you register up to 1y after birth, and the child will also do an assessment
- Newton Prep - you register up to 1 y before starting in reception, and the child will also do an assessment
- Parkgate - not sure of the details
- Finton House - not sure of the details
Re. diversity... the state schools are quite diverse;
The independent schools... I'd say Newton Prep is the most diverse by a mile, then Eaton House (but it's single sex, so you will be giving up the gender diversity) and Hornsby House. The rest are mainly white middle class.
Re. tutoring ... I think it happens at all schools for the 11+ exams. Not sure if any are worse than the others.. from what I heard Eaton House is the most academically pushy (but I don't have children there, so it's just other people's opinions).
In terms of state schools, I have heard Beatrix Potter and Henry Cavendish are also very desirable.