St Aidan's Church of England High School

Coordinates: 53°59′05″N 1°31′22″W / 53.984800°N 1.522800°W / 53.984800; -1.522800
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St Aidan's Church of England High School
Oatlands Drive

, ,

Coordinates53°59′05″N 1°31′22″W / 53.984800°N 1.522800°W / 53.984800; -1.522800
Religious affiliation(s)Church of England
Established18 June 1966
Department for Education URN137139 Tables
Chair of GovernorsJoanne Wicks
Head TeacherSian Dover[1]
Age11 to 18
Colour(s)Blue & Yellow   

St Aidan's Church of England High School is a mixed Church of England secondary school and sixth form with academy status, located in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England. It currently houses over 2500 students of both lower school and sixth form age.[2]

The school was labelled as "outstanding"[3] by an Ofsted report in October 2006. It is ranked 475th in the country[4] for its GCSE results in 2006 by The Times. In 2022, after an inspection in September 2021, Ofsted reported St Aidan's to be "inadequate",[5] marking a fall from the highest to the lowest Ofsted Grades. The rating was due to the "inadequate" Senior Leadership and Safeguarding at the school and the report states pupils were being "put at risk". However, after another Ofsted inspection carried out in May 2022, the school's rating was raised to "good".[2]


The former Bishop of Ripon, the Right Reverend John Moorman, laid its foundation stone on 18 June 1966. It opened in September 1966 to provide Church of England education for Harrogate's fast-growing population.[6] Since then, it has grown in pupil numbers.[citation needed]

Building work[edit]

The school building has grown. The most notable addition to the site is perhaps the Constance Green Hall. It was built adjacent to the ancient Bede House (formerly Wheatlands Academy), a building converted for the school's use and opened in 1997. More recently, a fully refurbished Learning resources centre, with approximately 15,000 resources[clarification needed] and 42 computer workstations[7] opened in May 2006 with a "Beatles Night", featuring the tribute group the Plastic Beatles, Ned and His Angry Stoats, Mexican fire-eaters and a Cilla Black tribute act.

Other building work included completely refurbishing the Sixth Form Café area and the old chapel and replacing the bottom tennis courts near the music block with classrooms and a new chapel. The barn was replaced by new tennis courts. There were plans for Eton Fives courts and a Koi pond, but these were never realised.[8] In September 2007, the lecture theatre was replaced by a Dance studio for pupils studying Dance.

In 2022, a large portion of the grass field was replaced by a new Astroturf pitch.


The school was made one of the first Beacon Schools in 1998. It was also awarded Specialist College Science Status.[9] It won the International Schools Award from the British Council in 2006. The school also received specialist Languages College Status, and followed this up with a series of Languages Days for both students of both primary and secondary level.


There are many ensembles run by staff and students with the senior ensembles competing in national competitions.[citation needed]

Founded in 1992 by former Director of Music at the school, Cathy Roberts, St Aidan's Chamber Choir is made up of members of the St Aidan's and St John Fisher Associated Sixth Form.[10] It has appeared in the BBC Songs of Praise School Choirs Competition several times, winning in 2006.[11] Recently the Choir celebrated its 30th anniversary with a concert in Ripon Cathedral.[10]

The school is home to a Symphony Orchestra, Symphonic Wind Band and Swing Band among others. In 2009 the Symphonic Wind Band gained a Silver Award in the National Concert Band Championships held in Cardiff.[citation needed]


Jonathan Webb was a pupil at this school between 2001–2008 and an integral part of the football team's success in the North Yorkshire School Football circuit and at National level. He now plays for Loughborough University FC after a brief professional career at Leeds United and Newcastle Blue Star.

Caroline Lambert, a pupil between 2003 and 2010 is a regular member of England Great Britain fell running teams and World u23 mountain running trophy winner.

Lucy Buxton (2004–2011) is an England junior basketball player.

George Mills (2010–present) is the current English Schools' 800m champion and England representative at the junior commonwealth games.

Sixth form[edit]

The school forms part of an associated sixth form with St John Fisher Catholic High School.

Notable faculty[edit]

Dennis Richards, headteacher 1988–2011,[12] was awarded an OBE in 2007 for services to education.[13] He also won the Ted Wragg Award for Lifetime Achievement at the 2007 Teaching Awards.[14]

On 31 December 2011 it was announced that the former deputy head of St Aidan's, Steve Hatcher, had been awarded an MBE for services to education in the Queen's New Year's Honours list.[15]

In January 2018, a third member of staff, Timothy Staden Pocock, was awarded an MBE for services to education, charity and local football.[16]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b "Inspection of St Aidan’s Church of England High School" [1]
  3. ^ "2006 Ofsted Report" (PDF).
  4. ^ "The Times & The Sunday Times".
  5. ^ "Ofsted".
  6. ^ "the history of st. Aidan's school".
  7. ^ "St. Aidan's Learning Resources Centre".
  8. ^ "St. Aidan's "Causeway" Newsletter May 2007" (PDF).
  9. ^ "Prospectus" (PDF).
  10. ^ a b Chappell, Lucy (28 January 2022). "Harrogate school calling on former choir members and the community to celebrate its 30 year anniversary". Harrogate Advertiser. Retrieved 5 January 2023.
  11. ^ "BBC - Press Office - Songs of Praise Announces the Winning School Choirs for 2006". Retrieved 5 January 2023.
  12. ^ "Successful head marks final days in charge". Harrogate Advertiser. 16 December 2011. Retrieved 15 January 2012.
  13. ^ "Microsoft Word - Queens List.rtf" (PDF). BBC News.
  14. ^ "Teaching Awards".
  15. ^ "Honours for Ripon men who have excelled in their fields". Ripon Gazette. 7 January 2012. Retrieved 8 January 2012.
  16. ^ "MBE for dedicated Harrogate teacher 'for doing what he loves'". Harrogate Advertiser. Retrieved 21 August 2021.
  17. ^ Chalmers, Graham (9 August 2019). "Much-missed Harrogate schoolboy Frank - top comedians tribute concert". Harrogate Advertiser. Retrieved 2 July 2022.
  18. ^ "A Level Presentation of Certificates 2019". St Aidan's Church of England High School. 19 December 2019. Archived from the original on 22 January 2020. Retrieved 12 February 2020.
  19. ^ "Bio". jakedudman. Retrieved 2 July 2022.
  20. ^ Plummer, John (1 July 2022). "Obituary: Malcolm Neesam 1946-2022". The Stray Ferret. Retrieved 25 September 2022.

External links[edit]