A guide to the most popular schools in Harrogate

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June 2017

As any parent will testify, attempting to get your child into a reputable school can sometimes prove to be extremely difficult.

Across the country, competition for school places is more fierce than ever before and parents are often faced with difficult choices. Whilst some areas of the UK are witnessing growth and investment, leading to higher demand for places, other areas are struggling and demand for places at good schools can be low.

Harrogate belongs in the former category, and in some instances an estimated three students battle it out for a single place in the region's most popular schools. However, fear not because a 2017 report found that all secondary schools across the Harrogate district have successfully met the new national standards set out by Government and the town also boasts some of the best primary education institutions in the country.

If you’re considering moving to Harrogate in the not-too-distant future then read on to find out more about a section of the best primary and secondary schools.

Primary schools

St Roberts Catholic Primary School

Serving two large parishes, St Roberts Catholic Primary School is a little larger than average as it covers the most deprived areas of the town as well as some of the more affluent areas. Pupils tend to come from as many as 19 different pre-school settings before joining the Reception Year and. there is on-site out-of-school care that is not managed by the governing body.

In terms of standards, in the school’s most recent OFSTED inspection it was described as outstanding and over 68% of students meet the expected standards in maths, reading and writing (the national average is 50%).


Beckwithshaw Community Primary

With 90% of students meeting the expected standards in numeracy and literacy, Beckwithshaw Community Primary is highly regarded by parents and inspectors alike.

This school is a little smaller than the average-sized primary school and most pupils live out of the school’s catchment area. Recent awards include: Healthy Schools Award, Eco Schools Silver Award and the Basic Skills Quality Mark.


Bilton Grange Community Primary School

Rated as ‘Good’ in the most recent OFSTED report, and with 79% of pupils achieving the expected levels in reading, writing and maths, Bilton Grange is very popular with local parents.

The school works collaboratively in a teaching alliance with a number of schools in the locality and, impressively, the deputy headteacher and lower Key Stage 2 leader are Specialist Leaders in Education (SLE) and support other schools in the teaching alliance.


Secondary schools

St Aidan’s Church Of England High School

St Aidan’s was granted Academy status in 2011 and the school has been classified as ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted in all of its three inspections to date, making it one of the highest achieving comprehensive schools in the country.

Competition for places is subsequently high and in the GCSE examinations of 2016, 86.3% of pupils achieved at least a grade C in English, 81% in Maths and at least 85% achieved 2 Cs or above in Science.


Harrogate Grammar School

The school began in 1903 when the Municipal Secondary Day School opened in Haywra Crescent with 44 pupils and since then it has grown to become an educational community of over 1,850 students with over 550 in the Sixth Form.

Rated ‘Outstanding’ by OFSTED, since 2002 the school has been extensively renovated and redecorated. A £1,000,000 building programme to provide four more classrooms and a new library was completed in July 2006 followed by a new dining area in 2009.


St John Fisher Catholic High School

St John Fisher School is an 11-19 Catholic mixed comprehensive school. It is a Voluntary Aided Catholic School and, as such, is in a dual partnership with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Leeds and North Yorkshire County Council.

Situated on a picturesque greenfield site, close to the centre of Harrogate, the school has grown to its current size of 1400 students on roll. Graded “outstanding” in its most recent OFSTED Report, the school was the top non-selective comprehensive school in the 2013 GCSE league tables in Yorkshire.


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