RGS tops North East tables with A level results

Royal Grammar School (RGS) is toasting its success as the Jesmond institution’s position at the top of north east education was confirmed in separate league tables published by the Sunday Times and Financial Times.

Royal Grammar School head teacher Bernard Trafford

It was named the top school in the north of England by the Sunday Times last weekend for gaining A* grade passes at A level – fighting off some stiff competition from a range of large and high-performing sixth form colleges across the area, as well as larger independent schools, to reach the top of the pile.

The new table was calculated only on the A* grade – only introduced in September 2008 – in what are generally considered to be ‘harder subjects’. The school also achieved a highly respectable 16th place nationally, with 32.7% of all RGS candidates at A level awarded the A* grade.

Headmaster Dr Bernard Trafford said he was delighted with the school’s excellent performance. “I’m consistent in deploring league tables as they are so often misleading and don’t compare like with like between schools. Certainly parents should look at rather more than league table positions before choosing a school.

“Still, it would be dishonest not to admit that I’m pleased by this table, based on raw figures, which shows just how successful our top students are. The credit lies with them. They are immensely talented and work and play fantastically hard. They richly deserve all their success.”

In this weekend’s Financial Times ranking England’s top 1,000 schools, the RGS was listed at no.70 – the best placing amongst north east schools and an improvement on last’s year’s 92nd placing. Central High was ranked 205th, while Church High was at 342. The FT ranking measures schools’ performance in both A-level and the new “Pre-U” qualifications in 2010, with analysis focusing on “core” academic subjects, as defined by the University of Cambridge.