A HIGH-achieving North Yorkshire school has been named as one of the most popular in the country.

Ripon Grammar is one of the 35 most desired state schools in the nation as a whole and one of the most popular in the North, according to the Good Schools Guide.

The news comes as a team of students from the school took a gold award in a national engineering scheme for their performance on a real project.

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Sixth-formers David Stone, Zach Mudge, James Walker and Zak O'Brien worked with Mickley firm Quasar Automation to design an auto cake-icer and decorator.

The Engineering Development Trust, which runs the scheme, presented them with a gold crest for their outstanding contribution – and Quasar boss Bob Hinchliffe said their concept would now form the basis of a new product.

The Good Schools Guide, which publishes detailed reviews of 1,200 schools every year, has highlighted strong academic schools which receive the highest number of hits on the guide’s website.

It describes Ripon as: “A school that gives the impression of being happy with itself and its aims, sitting comfortably in its community – clearly wanted by the people of Ripon.”

It adds that the school is Yorkshire’s only state boarding school and “much cheaper than independent alternatives.”

Headmaster Martin Pearman said the school strove to serve the local community with a high quality education, in order to increase the life chances of ordinary boys and girls.

He added: “I am delighted to receive due recognition from such a respected guide which understands parental perception of schools. It is also testament to the excellent work undertaken by staff and students at RGS.”

Rated outstanding by Ofsted, Ripon is also the top school in the country for progress between GCSE and A-level and in the top 20 per cent of schools nationally for progress up to GCSE. It was the top performing state school in Yorkshire at A-level last year.

Fulford in York was the region’s only other school to make the GSG’s list.