A YORK secondary school has been named as the best in the country for its students’ advanced vocational qualifications.

Archbishop Holgate’s School and Sixth Form in Hull Road came out top in a league table published by the Department of Education, relating to last summer’s exam results at 400 state and independent schools across the country.

The average point score achieved by students was 1051.6, well ahead of the school in second place, which achieved 1010.9.

Head teacher Andrew Daly said the results were testament to the hard work and dedication of students who, with the support of both staff and parents, had excelled.

He said: “When I joined the school, the sixth form had an exciting curriculum providing a mixture of academic rigour through A-Level qualifications combined with the applied learning that subject specific vocational qualifications can offer.

“Our students and staff highly value both types of qualification and expect the very best of students. It is this high level of expertise, passion and experience that have resulted in these outcomes.”

The school’s sixth form was only opened in 2008, but has established its reputation both locally and nationally, he said.

Deputy head Helen Dowds said: “To be ranked first nationally is fantastic.”

Another deputy head, Jonathan Britton, said the sixth form was established to enable students to combine vocational qualifications such as engineering with A-Level maths and physics.

“Our students benefit from the pure academic combined with an opportunity to apply learning to specific concepts,” he said.

“Engineering is a good example of this combination of theory and practice. Students from the school have now progressed on to university and careers. It makes you immensely proud to see students moving on to university and realising their goals.”

Mr Daly said the school would be opening a new building in September to meet growing demand for places, and it was looking forward to applications from the locality, the East Riding of Yorkshire and market towns such as Pocklington.

• The Faculty of Queen Ethelburga’s at Thorpe Underwood achieved 27th place in the country for advanced vocational results. Queen Ethelburga’s College also came 43rd for A-level results and other advanced academic qualifications, while Bootham School in York achieved 99th place.