The Best Schools in the Yorkshire Area

For many families, an abundance of top-quality schools and schooling facilities is one of the main factors when choosing where to live. Luckily, the Yorkshire area has some of the best primary and secondary schools in the country. From selective grammar schools founded many hundreds of years ago to state comprehensives that have been rocketing up the local and national league tables in the past few years, here are just a few of Yorkshire’s finest educational establishments.

Ripon Grammar

Founded in 1555, this selective grammar and boarding school in Ripon, North Yorkshire is one of the top-performing schools in the whole North of England. It is also often listed in the top 50 secondary schools UK wide, with an 85%-plus GCSE pass rate amongst students since 2006. Prestigious alumni of Ripon Grammar include former Home Secretary William Hague and Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond.

Queen Ethelburga’s College

This non-selective boarding school on the edge of the city of York is distinctive as one of the only schools to ever achieve a 100% pass rate in an A-Level year, with 98% of those being A* to B. However, it also holds the dubious title of being the most expensive non-selective school in England as well, so there’s that. Ethelburga’s is consistently ranked in the top 100 schools in the UK, serving just under 2000 students. Roughly two-thirds of these are boarders.

Silverdale School

The only state school in this article, this academy-listed comprehensive in south Sheffield was named the Sunday Times Best State School in the North in 2018. Consistently achieving Outstanding School status in OFSTED inspections, Silverdale gets the best GCSE and A-Level results of any school in the city most years. In fact, in 2008 over 80% of GCSE pupils achieved A to C grades in Maths & English – almost double the local authority average of 40% for that year.

Opened in 1959, the school became an academy in January 2013 and is one of the most successful schools of its kind in the country. Famous past Silverdale alumni include England Cricketer Michael Vaughan.

Westbourne School

Founded in 1885 this co-educational school on the edge of Sheffield has previously been rated the number one school in the city as well as seventh nationwide – according to The Times’ Good School Guide. A historic private school, just 20 minutes drive from the scenic charms of the Peak District, Westbourne educates pupils from the age of three to 16. It has achieved outstanding in various areas during OFSTED inspections in the past decade.

Accommodating only 350 pupils across all ages, class sizes here are below the UK average. However, this means competition for spaces can be tight – so parents of perspective students are encouraged to get the ball rolling early for applications.