A STATE school whose former pupils include an Olympic gold medalist, an Archbishop of Canterbury, a Foreign Secretary and a former Top Gear presenter has again been named the best performing school in the North.

Despite claiming the regional top spot, Ripon Grammar School, which counts diver Jack Laugher, churchman Matthew Hutton, William Hague and Richard Hammond among its alumni, was ranked below 53 other schools nationally for its latest exam results.

The Sunday Times School Guide 2018 ranking marks a steady improvement, as last year it was ranked 73rd nationally, and in 2015 87th.

While pupils at selective Ripon Grammar scored 79.1 per cent of their A-levels at A* to B grades, 63.9 per cent of its GCSE results were graded A* or A.

Durham Johnston Comprehensive School was named the second best performing state secondary for the North and North-East - it ranked 140th nationally.

The Durham school had a 76.1 per cent score for its A-levels and 32.4 per cent in GCSEs.

Alastair McCall, editor of Parent Power, said: “A place in Durham Johnston’s sixth form is highly prized and with good reason. The school has an outstanding record at A-level with students progressing on to some of the best universities in the land – 12 in the past year alone to Oxford and Cambridge.

“But the school offers so much more. Strong sporting and musical traditions are complemented by a commitment to social justice that permeates the very fabric of the school. Students leave equipped to be citizens of the modern world, as well as with a clutch of excellent grades.”

Other state secondary schools in the top ten for the NorthEast included St Leonard’s RC School, in Durham, which was ranked fifth and Carmel College, in Darlington which came seventh.

In the independent secondary schools in the North table it was Queen Ethelburga’s College, near Green Hammerton, in North Yorkshire, which topped the regional independent rankings and jumped 21 places in this year’s national league table thanks to improved GCSE results.

At Queen Ethelburga’s, 96.9 per cent of A-Levels achieved By Katie MacFarlane Staff Reporter katie.macfarlane@nne.co.uk SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2017 The Northern Echo 5 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @northernecho REGIONAL NEWS A*, A or B grades this year and 80 per cent of GCSEs were A*s or As, the latter up from 68.5 per cent last year. It ranked 31st nationally.

The Royal Grammar School, in Newcastle, came second and retained its national rank of 62nd this year, maintaining A-level results with 87.7 per cent of grades ranked as A* to B. At GCSE, the school saw a rise in performance with 83.8 per cent A*/A grades compared to 81.9 per cent in 2016.

Mr McCall said: “RGS is the academic independent school of choice across the North-East.

“It combines outstanding results with great facilities on its campus close to Newcastle city centre.

“Sport is exceptionally strong and there is a tradition in music and the arts, which ensures this is no exam factory, but rather a school that turns out both well-rounded and well-educated young men and women.”

Guy Fawkes’ school, St Peter’s, in York came third with a national ranking of 121 and The Mount, in York, where Dame Judi Dench was a pupil also made the list in fourth place with a national ranking of 150.

Others in the top ten included Yarm School which came fourth, Durham High School for Girls, in fifth place and Durham School in seventh place.

As well as assessment of all academic results on a school-byschool basis, the table enables parents to compare the performance of a given school with other schools in the same town, local authority or nationally.