Skipton Girls' High School

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Skipton Girls' High School
Established 1886
Type Grammar school;
Head of Academy

Jenn Plews

(from 2013)
Location Gargrave Road
North Yorkshire
BD23 1QL
Coordinates: 53°57′49″N 2°01′39″W / 53.963576°N 2.02747°W / 53.963576; -2.02747
Local authority North Yorkshire
DfE URN 136664 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Students 802
Gender Female
Ages 11–18
Houses Former: Broadbent, Larner and Wise Current: Bronte, Johnson, Curie and Franklin
Colours Bronte - Red, Johnson - Green, Curie - Yellow, Franklin - Blue
Website School website

Skipton Girls' High School, founded in 1886 by the Petyt Trust, is an all-girls selective grammar school situated in Skipton, North Yorkshire, England. The school has academy status. Around 800 girls aged 11 to 18 are educated at the school, of which 190 are in the sixth form. The current Executive Headteacher is Janet Renou, with Jenn Plews replacing Michele Costello as Head of Academy in September 2013. [1]


The school was awarded specialist status as an Engineering College in September 2003, becoming the first all-girls school to achieve this status.[2] It also has Investors in People accreditation. On 1 April 2011, the school became an academy.


As an academy the Governors are responsible for admissions. Girls who wish to join the school sit a selection test. There is no selection test for entrance into sixth form as students are admitted on the basis of their GCSE grades. Pupils joining the sixth form are expected to have achieved at least a grade B at GCSE in the subjects they want to study at A-level.

Ofsted inspections[edit]

Before the school's conversion to academy status in 2012, it underwent two major Ofsted inspections, these in 2005 and 2008. The 2005 inspection, before Ofsted provided performance grades, described Skipton Girls' as overall a "good" school, emphasizing a "very good quality education." It stressed the good quality of teaching and "fully motivated students." Examination results were high and subject provision was seen as of high quality. The governors and head teacher provided effective leadership and direction. However, the inspectors pointed out shortcomings in monitoring by senior leaders, a less than effective assessment of younger pupils, and the unsatisfactory provision of religious education not meeting "statutory requirements." In the following 2008 inspection the school was rated Grade 1 (outstanding) for overall effectiveness, in all separate areas of assessment, and throughout all pupil years.[3]

Old Girls' Guild[edit]

The Old Girls' Guild was started on 24 November 1917. The Guild still meets twice each year, for the Spring Reunion and Autumn Luncheon. The idea of the guild developed during Miss Larner's years as Headmistress during which staff and former pupils would meet. Miss Broadbent continued this, organising social events. The Guild's first magazine was published in 1918 and with the exception of 1920 one has been published every year. Bound copies of the magazine are held at Skipton Reference Library.


Every girl from Year 7 to Year 13 is in one of the four houses, each of which has a house colour. Each house is named after a woman or women of note from history: Bronte (red) is named after the Brontë sisters, Curie (yellow) after Marie Curie, Franklin (blue) after Rosalind Franklin and Johnson (green) after Amy Johnson. The house mottos are "Sisters of the Past, Present and Future", "Cure Ignorance; Radiate Knowledge", "Success is in Everyone's Genes" and "Soaring in the Skies of Success" respectively. Inter-house competitions take place to earn house points, and at the end of the year, they are counted up to reveal a winner. Competitions range from baking cakes and carving pumpkins to carol singing and talent shows.

These houses were devised under Janet Renou's headship, after she had abolished the previous house system with a view to promoting a feminist focus in the students.[citation needed] In the interim, the school went two years without a house system. Previous to this change, the houses were Broadbent, Larner and Wise, named after former headmistresses of the school.

The original four houses were Clifford (yellow), de Romille (red), Norton (blue) and Pembroke (green). These were names that linked the school to the Craven area - Clifford, de Romille and Pembroke all being related to Skipton Castle.

Sixth form[edit]

Sixth form results typically put the school in the top 50 state schools in the country for A-Level results. In 2009 the pass rate was over 99%, with 62% of entries reaching either A or B grade.[citation needed] The school gained the highest grade (1) in 26 out of 29 possible areas, including 'Achievement' and 'Quality of Teaching and Learning' in the Sixth Form.[when?] A significant number[quantify] of students go on to Oxford and Cambridge each year.[citation needed] Sixth form curriculum includes engineering, mathematics, science and technology.

Sixth form pupils follow the school's "business" dress code of black suit, optional coloured top, and dark-coloured shoes. They use facilities exclusively in West Bank House – across the road from the main school – including study areas, ICT suites and a bistro. Parties are arranged by pupils over the year to raise money for 13 Summer balls.

The school teaches twenty-two A- and AS-Level courses – including some shared with Ermysted's Grammar School sixth form – and the AQA Baccalaureate. The Baccalaureate requires a pupil to gain at least 3 A-Levels in any combination of subjects and an AS-Level in General Studies, while undertaking an extended project and 100 hours of activity over the two years of the course. This covers three areas: Community Service, Personal Development and Work-Based Learning.

Notable former pupils[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "New headteacher backs bid for specialist status". Telegraph & Argus. 14 February 2002. Retrieved 23 January 2008. 
  2. ^ "Skipton Girls' High School – Specialist Engineering College". Specialist Schools and Academies Trust. Retrieved 26 March 2008. 
  3. ^ "Skipton Girls' High School", Ofsted inspection reports 2005/2008. Retrieved 6 February 2014

External links[edit]