The 100+ Oldest Schools in the World

List of the currently operating schools which were founded the earliest. In other words, the "oldest schools" in the world. The list includes both traditional grade schools, along with some trade schools, magnet schools and other sources of elementary and early education. Universities, finishing schools and other institutions of higher learning have been left off the list.

The majority of schools on the list date from between the Sixth Century and the Fifteenth Century AD. The dates provided are based on the best historical guess at the year this school was founded, based on primary source documentation, references to the school in third-party documentation and privately-held records. The "newest" school on the list is Queen Elizabeth's School of Wimborne Minister, England, founded in 1497.

The list includes schools from around the world, though the focus remains on English-speaking schools.
Ranked by
  • Chengdu Shishi High School

    Chengdu Shishi High School

    Located in China. Founded in 143 BC.
  • Jondi Shapour

    Jondi Shapour

    Located in Persia. Founded in 271 A.D.
  • The King's School

    The King's School

    Located in England. Founded in 604.
  • St Peter's School

    St Peter's School

    Located in England. Founded in 627.
  • Thetford Grammar School
    Thetford, United Kingdom
    • School type: Independent school
    Located in England. Founded in 631.
    Thetford Grammar School is an independent co-educational school in Thetford, Norfolk, England. The school might date back to the 7th century, which would make it one of the oldest schools in the ...more
  • Royal Grammar School Worcester
    Worcester, United Kingdom
    • School type: Independent school
    Located in England. Founded in 685.
    The Royal Grammar School Worcester is an independent coeducational school in Worcester, England. Founded before 1291, it is one of the oldest British independent schools. In September 2007, it merged ...more