The Harrogate district’s largest school announced last night it had retained its outstanding verdict in its first full assessment for 15 years.
Ofsted has yet to publish the report but the school said in a statement that government inspectors had judged the school to be outstanding overall and in all five areas assessed: quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development, leadership and management and sixth form provision.
Inspectors described the school as “an extremely rewarding place to learn” with “an exceptional curriculum”. They added:
“Effective teaching and assessment enable pupils to learn well. This depth of knowledge is sustained from key stage 3 to the sixth form.
“Through sports, outdoor pursuits and performance opportunities, pupils develop their skills and self-confidence. Pupils are articulate and polite. They are keen to engage in discussion and debate. Teachers make sure that pupils’ views are heard.”
Ofsted described the sixth form curriculum as “exceptional”, offering students “an extensive range of subjects”. It added:
“The headteacher has built a very strong team of leaders at all levels. Leaders demonstrate clear moral purpose in their actions.
“Leaders maintain a constant focus on the safety and well-being of pupils. Pupils feel safe because of the supportive environment built by staff.”
- Ripon Grammar boarding school rated ‘good’ by Ofsted
- St Aidan’s school in Harrogate rated’ inadequate’ by Ofsted
- Ofsted indicates Boroughbridge High School’s ‘good’ grade under threat
Headteacher ‘very proud’
Headteacher Neil Renton praised students, parents, staff, governors and colleagues at Red Kite Learning Trust, which the school is a member of, for the outcome. He added:
“It makes us very proud to see the exceptional commitment that we experience every day from our community, being recognised in this way.”
Six inspectors visited Harrogate Grammar over two days last month.
Ofsted’s assessment regime has become tougher since inspections resumed after covid in September 2021. Only 50% per cent of schools have maintained their outstanding judgement since then.
In January, Harrogate’s St Aidan’s Church of England High School, which was previously rated ‘outstanding’, was assessed as ‘inadequate’.
Christopher Russell, Ofsted’s national director of education, said:
“There’s no doubt that under the current education inspection framework, outstanding is a challenging and exacting judgement to achieve.”
Paul Cotton, chair of governors at Harrogate Grammar, said,
“The Ofsted report captures so clearly what takes place each and every day at the school. Harrogate Grammar School is indeed an extremely rewarding place to learn.”
Richard Sheriff, chief executive of Red Kite Learning Trust, said:
“Students benefit from an exceptional curriculum at Harrogate Grammar School.”