FIVE years after parents voted to keep a selective school system, headteachers say Ripon's two secondary schools have gone from strength to strength.

The headteachers of Ripon Grammar School and Ripon College have issued a joint statement listing the achievements of the two establishments since the ballot in 2000.

Parents were given the choice of scrapping the 11-plus, but voted to keep it by a majority of two to one.

Ripon College is now a technology college and the grammar school is bidding for specialist status in engineering.

Martin Pearman, of Ripon Grammar, said: "The promises made five years ago have been kept. Both schools have made significant progress and with continued close collaboration, the future for education in Ripon is very exciting."