RIPON Grammar School has been named top performing state school in the North by The Sunday Times for the ninth year running.

Headmaster Jonathan Webb welcomed the accolade from the newspaper’s Parent Power guide, which identifies the 1,700 highest-achieving schools in the UK.

“This is a tribute to all our dedicated, hardworking students and staff who have endured one of the most demanding periods in education. I am proud of how, despite the restrictions and uncertainty imposed on us all due to the pandemic, they have risen to every challenge.

“After a truly difficult 18 months this will give our students and everyone who works at the school a real boost.”

Ripon Grammar School will continue to strive for excellence every day, he said: “We offer an exceptional all-round, holistic education, with music, drama and sport also thriving.”

He added: “Staff have created recently a pioneering new student development programme as now, more than ever, we need to ensure students gain the valuable skills, qualifications and experience outside the classroom which will prepare them well for life beyond school.”

The unique Plus One programme, which also helps RGS students stand out from the crowd in university and careers applications, will be showcased at the school’s Sixth Form Open Evening on January 17.

Alastair McCall, editor of Parent Power, said the need for clarity about school examination performance had never been greater, following two years of centre- and teacher-assessed grades, during which the numbers of top grades increased dramatically.

This 29th edition of Parent Power, widely acknowledged as the most authoritative survey of the country’s highest-achieving schools, analyses the last three years of moderated public examination outcomes.

“At a time when some schools are making it hard to substantiate claims of academic prowess based on outcomes from 2021 and 2020, we believe these rankings – and all the additional information on offer in Parent Power – provide parents with a more reliable guide to academic achievement in schools today,” he said.

*Ripon Grammar School is offering 60 new sixth form places to students from other schools in 2022 and welcomes up to 25 lower sixth formers into boarding every year, an increasingly popular option for students from all over the UK and beyond, as tuition comes free and students pay for accommodation only, making it an attractive alternative to the independent sector.