Ripon school makes the grade

Headteacher Martin Pearman celebrates exam success with pupils in August 2011.
Headteacher Martin Pearman celebrates exam success with pupils in August 2011.

Ripon Grammar School has become first in the county to be called “outstanding” after a school inspection under demanding rules.

The school was inspected for two days in February, and were delighted to hear that inspectors were so pleased with what they saw that they awarded the school an “outstanding” grade overall for its education.

Headteacher Martin Pearman said:

“I am delighted for everyone at the school - this is a tremendous achievement, a real team effort.

“This is the first time that Ripon Grammar School has been recognised as an outstanding school by Ofsted. My thanks go to governors, staff, parents and students who worked together to achieve this excellent outcome. My particular thanks go to the parents who returned questionnaires – the response was an outstanding one where there was overwhelming satisfaction for the work the school does.”

School inspection authority Ofsted introduced a new framework for inspections at the beginning of 2012, and Ripon Grammar is the first school in North Yorkshire to be graded “outstanding” under it.

The school got top marks in three out of four categories, giving it an the top grade for overall effectiveness.

Inspectors gave the boarding houses, which were inspected at the same time, a “good” grade.

The new inspection rules put more emphasis on the standard of teaching and learning in schools, Mr Pearman said, making the results a particular triumph for teachers.

“Half of the lessons observed during the inspection were outstanding; lessons have pace and high levels of challenge,” he said.

“The staff were excellent during the inspection and clearly impressed the inspection team,” he added.