Yarm School is bucking the trend after being named in the renowned Good Schools Guide as one of only three schools in the North excelling, whilst the north-south divide in education is growing.
The Guide lists 590 schools in London and the southeast of England, but only 87 in the north, northeast and northwest combined.
The Good Schools Guide is an independent review publication which offers advice and data to help parents select the best school for their child. The Guide features both state and independent schools, as well as boarding schools and specialist facilities. It lists Yarm alongside St Peter’s, York and Durham School as the highest ranked schools in the North.
Yarm School was commended for its consistently excellent results at GCSE and A Level, as well as its extensive list of extracurricular activities. In 2016, Yarm School celebrated a record year for results with 27.6% of all A Level grades awarded were an A* grade, compared to a 6.6% average in the North East. At GCSE level, 37% of grades were awarded an A* compared to an average of 4.9% in the North East.
The guide talks of the ‘breathtaking breadth of extra-curricular activities’ and notes that “Opportunity oozes from every pore at Yarm. From the chance to achieve well academically to the life-enhancing opportunity to travel the world. The push to achieve is not explicit but it is tangible …”
The state-of-the-art facilities, including the school’s 750-seat Princess Alexandra Auditorium are described as ‘wow factors throughout’ in the report with the writer musing ‘it’s a wonder anyone ever goes home’.
David Dunn, Yarm School headmaster, said: “The north-south divide is growing within the education sector with many smaller independent schools struggling to survive. We have worked incredibly hard to be the area’s leading school, providing first-class facilities and opportunities to our students that will give them the best start.
“Teesside is a fantastic area and the North should have schools that rival our Southern counterparts. It is great news that the Good Schools Guide places Yarm amongst the best in the country. It is testament to the hard work of our staff and pupils that Yarm has received national recognition.”