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GSAL named school of the decade by The Sunday Times

Friday 27 November 2020

The Grammar School at Leeds (GSAL) has been named the Sunday Times North Independent Secondary School of the Decade.

The accolade comes as the newspaper publishes its Parent Power Schools Guide this weekend, which identifies the 2,000 highest achieving schools in the UK, ranked on their most recently published examination results. Parent Power is widely acknowledged as the most authoritative survey of the country’s best schools.

GSAL, which was the Sunday Times North Independent Secondary School of the Year in 2020, was pitched against nine other previous winners in this category for the school of the decade title.

Parent Power editor, Alastair McCall, commended GSAL for its outstanding achievements and consistent excellence since its creation in 2008 from a merger between Leeds Grammar School and Leeds Girls’ High School.

He said: “When two outstanding and long-established schools merge, the results cannot always be guaranteed, but The Grammar School at Leeds shows what can be done when everything comes together perfectly.

“The boys and girls achieve exceptionally well and around 80 per cent of A-level grades earn A*, A and B grades every year.”

Special mention was reserved for the successful creation of the new GSAL Primary School with the relocation of Rose Court pre-prep school from Headingley, to join the rest of the school at Alwoodley Gates, this year.

Alastair said: “With around 2,000 children across all ages from three to 18, the school has the critical mass to offer a range of extra-curricular activities to rival any school and children are encouraged to develop their interests inside the classroom and out. Committed and inspirational teaching is backed up by supportive pastoral care to allow the children to be the best they can be.”

Principal Sue Woodroofe said: “This is an absolutely wonderful accolade for the staff, pupils and parents over these last 10 years and before.

“The award is not founded on one moment of brilliance, or any one achievement, rather it is a culmination of years of effort and ambition. As such, it is not just a team effort, it represents a long list of teams over the years who should all feel proud of what GSAL has become.”

Reflecting on the last decade for GSAL, Mrs Woodroofe described it as a “period of significant achievement as well as a time of real reflection and review to ensure that we continue to grow and to develop, always with the aim of being the very best that we can be.”

Key achievements for the school in the last 10 years include:

    • Over 1,000 students have gone to Russell group universities
    • Over 100 students have gone to Oxbridge
    • More than £500,000 has been raised for charities
    • 150 schools in Yorkshire have taken part in educational days at GSAL as part of the school’s outreach programme.

The school has a turnover of over £28.3m, employs more than 400 staff and contributes £20m to the local economy. A significant bursary provision of £1.4m supports nearly 155 students through their education.

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