TWO York state secondary schools have been named among the best in the North of England, with one of them scooping a prestigious award for the second year running.

Fulford School has once again won The Sunday Times North of England State Secondary School of the Year accolade, and has also been ranked at number four on the list of top 10 state secondary schools in the North, the same as last year. The three schools above them are all grammar schools.

Archbishop Holgate’s School in York has been rated at number five on the same list, three places higher than in 2019, when it was eighth.

The top performing schools in the North are revealed in Parent Power, The Sunday Times Schools Guide 2020, published in The Sunday Times and online this Sunday ( The schools are ranked by their recent examination results.

Meanwhile, Parent Power has revealed that Queen Ethelburga’s College, in Thorpe Underwood, has held onto the number one position in the list of the North’s best independent secondary schools, with York’s St Peter’s School ranked second like last year.

The Faculty of Queen Ethelburga’s has been ranked fourth. It was ranked joint ninth in 2019.

Queen Margaret’s School, in Escrick, which was sixth on the list last year, is eighth this year, while Ampleforth College, in Ryedale, is rated at number 10.

Following Fulford School’s success, headteacher Steve Lewis said: “We are delighted that Fulford School has been named The Sunday Times North of England State Secondary School of the Year. This is the second year in a row that Fulford has been recognised for the excellent outcomes of its pupils at both GCSE and A-level.

“This is a reflection on all the hard work and commitment of both pupils and staff within the school and the support and encouragement of parents and carers.

“Academic excellence is central to what we do as a school. Our pupils have outstanding outcomes and make exceptional progress. However, we believe education goes beyond exam results and, supported by our core values, we are committed to doing all we can to enable our pupils to have experiences that are character building, challenging, nurturing and life affirming.

“We are extremely proud of our pupils and the fantastic things they do each and every day. We will continue to build our school community to enable all pupils to be successful, productive and proactive members of their school and our wider society.”

At Fulford School, nearly 80 per cent of exams achieved A-level A*-B, an increase from last year’s 74.1 per cent. The school has also jumped 50 places in the national ranking and GCSE results improved with 40.7 per cent receiving A*/A/9/8/7 grades compared to 29.6 per cent in 2018.

Steven Jandrell, principal at Queen Ethelburga’s, commented: “We are delighted with our students’ results this year and that both of our schools are ranked in the top five schools in the North of England. We’re particularly pleased with our performance at A-level, as these results ensure that our students have the opportunity to go on to many of the top universities in the UK.

"Of course, examination results are only part of the story. The vast range of enrichment and extra-curricular opportunities available to our students is also crucial to their growing independence and initiative, in our culturally rich environment. The skills students develop in areas such as leadership, teamwork and decision making are equally important in taking them forward to successful careers and fulfilling lives.”