A SCHOOL for girls near York has come out on top after a Government approved inspection.

Queen Margaret’s at Escrick, south of York,was graded as excellent by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) in all categories assessed - the highest of four gradings possible for private schools, those being: excellent; good; sound and unsatisfactory

Having observed lessons during their time at Queen Margaret’s(QM) inspectors agreed that “pupils develop outstanding study skills during their time at the school”. They commented on how QM girls display very positive attitudes towards learning and are highly motivated to succeed. Importantly, the report highlights that “in lessons pupils answer questions confidently, without any fear of getting answers wrong, because the small class sizes and the excellent relationships within the class encourage the sharing of ideas.”

The ISI Inspectors spent time with QM girls who told them that “the school does not expect them to fit a particular mould, but that they have the freedom to ‘find their own niche’ and flourish as individuals”.

Acting head, Lars Fox, said: “Our recent inspection formally recognises the superb quality of education we provide here at Queen Margaret’s, as well as the substantial benefits of boarding to the academic and personal development of the girls.

"The staff here work diligently to provide a holistic education and it is wonderful to hear from both the inspectors and from the girls themselves that this is being achieved.”

The report also points out that at GCSE and A-level, QM’s performance has been above the national average and similarly, QM’s results in international GCSEs have been higher than worldwide norms.

The inspectors’ findings from outside of the classroom identify that students at the school show a well-developed appreciation for the non-material aspects of life; they saw first-hand how girls participate wholeheartedly in chapel and assemblies and how much they enjoy their tranquil rural surroundings just a stone’s throw from York.

The benefits of boarding to girls at QM are highlighted a number of times in the report with inspectors finding that “boarding makes a very positive contribution to pupils’ overall academic success”.

The report also acknowledges the strong sense of community which is fostered at QM, it reinforces how seriously the older girls take their responsibility of acting as role models to the younger ones - the supportive roles they adopt often develop into lifelong friendships.

Queen Margaret’s takes girls aged 11-18. The Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) is the body approved by the Department for Education for inspecting private schools.