Ripon Grammar School
|Motto||Giorne ymb lare y diowatdomas
(Old English:Eager to learn and seek after righteousness)
|Type||Community grammar school
Day and boarding school
|Headmaster||Mr Martin Pearman|
|Chairman of Governors||Mr R Marsden|
|Local authority||North Yorkshire|
|DfE URN||121694 Tables|
|Colours||Navy, Blue & Yellow
|Former pupils||Old Riponians|
Ripon Grammar School is a co-educational, selective, state secondary grammar school and specialist engineering college located in Ripon, North Yorkshire, England. It is one of the best-performing state schools in the North of England - in 2011, 100% of pupils gained the equivalent of 5 or more GCSEs at Grade C or above, including English and Maths; this figure has been over 95% consistently since at least 2006. The school was graded "Outstanding" in its 2012 Ofsted report and is listed in the top 50 schools in the United Kingdom.
It is a selective school, of the very few in that area of northern England (Penrith has the most northern grammar school). It is situated in the north-west of Ripon on Clotherholme Road.
The school was originally founded in Saxon times, it was re-founded in 1555 during the reign of Queen Mary. Originally a boys' school, the school merged with Ripon Girls' School to become coeducational in 1962. Although most pupils are day-pupils from the surrounding area and Ripon itself, there are boys' and girls' boarding houses.
Ripon was the first and only school catchment area in England in which parents voted to keep a selective school in March 2000 by 1,493 to 747. Although Lord Hattersley spoke at a local rally in favour of anti-grammar school campaigners, his former (grammar) school in Sheffield has since been burnt down by arson and placed in special measures since becoming a comprehensive. Even the head of the neighbouring secondary modern school, Ripon College, Paul Lowery was in favour of keeping the selection system as it was, which contributed to the proposal's defeat. The campaign against the school was co-ordinated by Debbie Atkins, who like other local parents chose to send her children to school in Harrogate.
To force a ballot, petitions had to be successfully raised. These were allowed from December 1998, and Ripon was the only one out of 39 resulting in a ballot. The cost of administration of these petitions and the one ballot was £437,000. The huge cost of administration came from education officials having to write individually to registered parents at feeder primary schools. In the year of the ballot - 1999/2000 - £216,283 was spent on the petition procedure's administration. The vote was allowed by the School Standards and Framework Act 1998. Unsuccessful attempts at ballots were made in Trafford and Sutton, both being areas with outstanding academic success. North Yorkshire LEA, largely comprehensive, has the best academic results in Yorkshire and the Humber (Kirklees has slightly better A-level results, but has only a few sixth forms).
During 2005, Ripon Grammar celebrated the 450th anniversary of its re-founding in 1555. During this year, extensive fund-raising occurred, which has been spent on many projects aimed at improving the school's facilities. One of the most ambitious of these was the building of a sports hall and another was the refurbishment of 6 science labs.
In January 2006 the school was awarded specialist engineering status, which will help fund the improvement of facilities in the science and technology departments.
Construction of a new maths and engineering block was completed in summer 2007, housing the maths department with five teaching rooms and an engineering room, used for teaching Design and Technology and AS Engineering. This project was in line with the school's newly achieved specialist engineering status.
In 2008/9 construction began on a new sports hall, as well as a Sixth Form block. The sports hall became possible after 12 months of fundraising, which achieved a total of £1 million made up entirely of donations from parents and members of the local community. Facilities include a gym, indoor cricket nets and a climbing wall. The Sixth Form block is a joint £1 million project between Ripon Grammar School and Ripon College, as well as other local schools. It provides e-learning facilities, laboratories and drama studio space for Sixth Form use, as well as extra common room space.
The new music block was completed by September 2012, providing enlarged and improved teaching spaces and rehearsal facilities for the school's successful ensembles.
Ripon Grammar School became the first school in North Yorkshire affected by the 2009 swine flu outbreak after a first year pupil was confirmed with the virus. The school was closed following advice from the Health Protection Agency for a period of seven days, beginning on 10 June. All staff, first years and other close contacts were offered Tamiflu treatment. Public examinations continued as scheduled. No further cases were confirmed in students.
- 1891-5: Rev. William Yorke Fausset
The current Headmaster is Martin Pearman.
- Thomas Ashworth, Headteacher of Ermysted's Grammar School in Skipton from 1998-2008 (Head of Maths from 1983-8)
Former pupils are known as Old Riponians. Notable old Riponians include:
- William Hague, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
- Katharine Viner, deputy editor of The Guardian
- Richard Hammond, television presenter - Top Gear/Total Wipeout/Richard Hammond's Blast Lab
- David Curry, former Member of Parliament for Skipton & Ripon (head boy in 1962)
- Bruce Oldfield, fashion designer
- Matthew Hutton (Archbishop of Canterbury)
- Prof David George Kendall, statistician, Professor of Mathematical Statistics from 1962-85 at the University of Cambridge
- Peter Squires, British Lion & England Rugby Union International/Yorkshire County Cricketer
- Prof Peter Toyne, CBE, 1st Vice-Chancellor from 1992-2000 of Liverpool John Moores University, and Rector from 1986-92 of Liverpool Polytechnic
- Paul Hullah, writer
- Peter Marshall CMG, Ambassador to Algeria from 1995-6
- The Venerable Maurice Edwards OBE, Chaplain-in-Chief of the RAF from 1940-4
- Francis Pigou, Dean of Bristol from 1891 to 1916
- Beilby Porteus, Georgian Bishop of Chester and London
- Rt Rev William Stubbs the Victorian Bishop of Oxford from 1889–1901, and Regius Professor of Modern History (Oxford) from 1866–84
- "Ripon Grammar School". BBC News. 2009-01-15.
- Ripon Grammar School
- Ripon Grammar School OFSTED report
- "Grammar schools reject changes". BBC. 2004-07-14. Retrieved 2007-01-13.
- Ripon vote
- The great grammar divide
- 2000 Ballot
- Debbie Atkins
- School Library Association.
- "Swine flu case closes city school". BBC. 2009-06-10. Retrieved 2009-06-12.
- Bertie, David M., Scottish Episcopal Clergy, 1689-2000, p. 254: "FAUSSET, William Yorke, M.A. b. 1859... Became headmaster of Ripon Grammar School, Yorks. in 1890"