Sunday Times Schools Guide 2022 ranks Heckmondwike Grammar in top 10

Heckmondwike Grammar School has been named one of the top 10 state secondary schools in the North in Parent Power, The Sunday Times Schools Guide 2022.

Friday, 3rd December 2021, 4:42 pm
Head teacher Peter Roberts with Year seven science students Nathan Fisseha, Evelyn Hadcastle, Sinit Wolde and Rueben Booth at Heckmondwike Grammar School

The 29th edition of the guide identifies the highest-achieving schools in the UK, ranked by their examination results from 2017-19.

Peter Roberts, head teacher at Heckmondwike Grammar, said the ranking reflected the outstanding work of students, staff and parents over a number of years and was just reward for the teamwork exhibited.

He said: "We have been ranked the number one secondary school in Kirklees and Calderdale for a few years and it is particularly gratifying to also be recognised wider afield.

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“During a very difficult year we have all pulled together to provide the best possible education to enable our students to fulfil their potential.

"2021 saw record school results at both GCSE and A-level, which is real testament to the students’ hard work and resilience.

"We had another excellent year for students progressing to university, with record numbers attending the top Russell group and Oxford and Cambridge.”

Mr Roberts recognised the contribution to this success of exclusively live remote lessons during the national lockdowns, which maintained very high standards of teaching and learning.

He added that the wearing of face masks and high uptake of the vaccine had kept infection rates much lower than national and regional comparative data, so keeping students and staff in school.

“Such accolades are very pleasing and we are delighted to be recognised, but they only come about because of the week in, week out hard work from students and staff and I salute my colleagues and students, they are an exceptional team,” he said.

Jane Dixon, chair of governors, added her congratulations to all parties involved. She said: “It has been an incredibly difficult year for everybody, but I continue to be amazed and delighted by the resilience and hard work of students and staff.

"During periods of much adversity, the school has maintained an excellent spirit and stopped at nothing to ensure the students achieve their full potential.

"This accolade is very well deserved.”

As well as assessment of all academic results on a school-by-school basis, Parent Power enables parents to compare the performance of a given school with others in the same town, local authority or nationally.

The rankings in the secondary school league tables are determined by the average percentage of examination entries in the three years, 2017-19, gaining A* to B grades at A-level (which is given a double weighting) and the average percentage of entries returning 9-7 or A* and A grades at GCSE.

Alastair McCall, editor of Parent Power, said: “The need for clarity about school examination performance has never been greater after two years of centre- and teacher-assessed grades, during which, for completely understandable reasons, the numbers of top grades increased dramatically.

“We felt it was important to go back to the last sets of moderated public examination outcomes from 2019, 2018 and 2017 to get the most accurate and current view of school academic achievement.

"By taking a three-year average, we mitigated against relatively poor performance in a one-off year.

“At a time when some schools are making hard to substantiate claims of academic prowess based on outcomes from 2021 and 2020, we believe these rankings – and all the additional information on offer in Parent Power – provide parents with a more reliable guide to academic achievement in schools today.”

For more information, visit https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/best-uk-schools-guide-parent-power-tr95xdztg