Dating north london
Notable alumnae: Fay Weldon, Lynsey de Paul, Julia Neuberger and Helena Bonham Carter.
Perfect for: Well-spoken Hampstead girls who enjoy the company of their own sex and want a sound education in relaxed surroundings.
It is a feisty, occasionally chaotic kind of place and the presence of 100-odd boys in the sixth form only raises the emotional temperature.
There is always a scramble for places, and you can see why. Number of pupils: 970, all day and all girls, until the sixth form.
Girls are encouraged to use their brains at all times - this is Hampstead.
Extra-curricular: Sport is compulsory right through the school, although the facilities are relatively modest.
As parents who want a private education for their children struggle to cope with soaring fees, Max Davidson continues our series on classic local 'derbies' where state schools are giving the independents a run for their money.
This week: north London One of the first girls' day schools in London, and now run by the Girls' Day School Trust, South Hampstead High School has had its ups and downs, but continues to offer daughters of the Hampstead intelligentsia a polished education at reasonable cost.
More a quiet coaxer than a wielder of the big stick, she is liked and respected.More than 90 per cent of pupils get good grades, both at GCSE and A-level. Uniform: An unappealing blue-and-yellow combo, almost lurid on a sunny day, which somehow doesn't feel like Hampstead at all. What they think of Camden School for Girls: They have a healthy respect for their rivals.Head: Mrs Jenny Stephen, in post since 2005, is a sleekly impressive figure, with three headships behind her and the enthusiasm to match her experience. A number of them move to the other school in the sixth form.There is a real commitment to comprehensive, mixed-ability education.The premises are cramped and, in places, aesthetically challenged; but the compact site emphasises the energies lurking within.
The masonry had come loose as high winds battered the tower block just before midday on Thursday and the street was sealed off by London Fire Brigade.