Yorkshire’s best-performing independent and state schools are revealed

241117  Pupils from Queen Ethelburghas School,  near York,  with the headmaster Steve Jandrell as it was awarded the top independent school in the North. Picture Gary Longbottom.
241117 Pupils from Queen Ethelburghas School, near York, with the headmaster Steve Jandrell as it was awarded the top independent school in the North. Picture Gary Longbottom.

Yorkshire’s best-performing independent and state schools have been revealed ahead of tomorrow’s publication of the annual Parent Power schools guide in The Sunday Times.

The top state secondary school in the county is Ripon Grammar School, one the six selective grammars that dominate the top places in the region’s state secondary table.

Headmaster Jonathan Webb and pupils at Ripon Grammar School, which was the regions top state school. Picture: Gary Longbottom.

Headmaster Jonathan Webb and pupils at Ripon Grammar School, which was the regions top state school. Picture: Gary Longbottom.

The school, which was established in 1555, takes 54th place nationally, up from 73rd in last year’s league table, and it has now topped the regional rankings for the fifth year in a row.

Ripon Grammar has seen all-round improvement this year with 79.1 per cent of exams at A-level attaining A* to B grades compared to 76.2 per cent in 2016, and 63.9 per cent achieving A* or A grades at GCSE, up 3.3 percentage points on last year.

Jonathan Webb, headmaster at Ripon Grammar School, said: “We are immensely proud of our sixth-form students. To be ranked number one maintained school in the North for the fifth year in a row, and 54th in the country, is a real testament to their hard work and determination. I am delighted also by the progress made by our students at GCSE, particularly since our Progress 8 measure also places us in the top 100 schools nationally.

“Value-added, the measure by which students make academic progress, is exceptionally strong and is engendered at Ripon Grammar by a strong student work ethic and an experienced and dedicated teaching staff.”

Silverdale School in Sheffield, ranked second among comprehensive schools in Yorkshire, has won The Sunday Times North State Secondary School of the Year award. According to the guide, it has produced “consistently excellent results over a number of years”, this year sustaining strong results at both GCSE and A-level despite “the toughening up of both examinations and syllabuses over the past 12 months”.

Executive headteacher of Chorus Trust, Roisin Paul, who was the headteacher of Silverdale School last year, said: “Everyone at Silverdale and Chorus Education Trust is over the moon at this fantastic news.”

Meanwhile, for independent schools, Queen Ethelburga’s College, in York, is the top independent school in Yorkshire, having climbed 21 places in this year’s rankings to 31st place nationally thanks to improved GCSE results. At Queen Ethelburga’s, 96.9 per cent of A-levels achieved A*, A or B grades this year and 80 per cent of GCSEs were A*s or As, up from 68.5 per cent last year.

Steven Jandrell, principal of Queen Ethelburga’s, said: “We are naturally delighted that the achievements of our students are being recognised in this way.

“It is a fitting tribute to the level of focus and conscientiousness that they show during the year and the outstanding support that they get from all of the staff. The excellent relationships between pupils and staff are often commented on by visitors to the school and this is clearly paying dividends.”

Second in the table, Bradford Grammar School has been named The Sunday Times North Independent Secondary School of the Year. The school saw 73.7 of GCSE entries receiving A* or A grades, compared to 71.1 per cent in 2016. Around 83.8 per cent of exams at A-level achieved grades A* to B, up 3.4 per cent on last year.

Alastair McCall, editor of Parent Power, said: “Bradford Grammar is in a good place, combining strong academic performance with a caring culture that encourages all students to excel in their chosen field.”

The 25th edition of Parent Power identifies the 2,000 highest-achieving schools in the UK, ranked by their recent examination results.

City’s high success rate

York is home to five of the top ten independent secondary schools in the North in the annual Sunday Times Parent Power schools guide. Queen Ethelburga’s tops the list, followed by St Peter’s School in third, The Mount School in sixth, Queen Margaret’s School in ninth and Bootham School in tenth place. Skipton and Halifax are home to two schools each in the top ten state secondary schools in North.