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GSAL is school of the year, says the Sunday Times

Friday 1 December 2023

We are delighted to share some very exciting news: GSAL has been named the Sunday Times’ North Independent School of the Year 2024!

The award was announced today, Friday 1 December, as part of the Parent Power guide – widely considered the most authoritative account of the UK’s top schools – which will be published in this weekend’s Sunday Times.

The accolade marks the third time GSAL has been recognised by the Sunday Times in the last four years; having been chosen as North Independent Secondary School of the Year in 2020 and awarded the North Independent Secondary School of the Decade award in 2021.

The Sunday Times noted GSAL was one of the biggest risers in the UK, up by 53 places on last year to rank 106 overall in the national independent school rankings. It also praised the school’s generous bursary programme: GSAL spends more than £1 million providing at least 100 means-tested bursaries a year, with almost half of bursary students not paying any fees. In the article, Sue Woodroofe, GSAL Principal, admitted she had “burst into tears of joy” on hearing of the award, and added: “We are a very grounded school. Our motto – ‘Be inspired’ – sums us up very well.”

Mrs Woodroofe also released a special video to parents, staff and pupils to announce the news, saying “We are absolutely thrilled. Well done to our pupils and our staff – it’s their hard work and dedication that’s enabled this school to be what it is – and not just now, but over so many centuries.”

She also acknowledged the political, economic and international pressures impacting the lives of some GSAL families, and thanked parents, alumni and the wider GSAL community for their continued support.

Finally, she urged everyone to buy a copy of the Sunday Times and join the school in celebrating this weekend!

The award comes in a year when 70% of GCSEs at GSAL were awarded top 7/8/9 grades, and over 50% of A-levels were awarded A* or A. Plans for a state-of-the-art Performing Arts Centre are also fully underway, with completion in 2024-25.



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