ILKLEY Grammar School and St Mary's Menston have been named among the UK’s highest-achieving secondary schools which are ranked by the first true set of post-pandemic examination results in the 31st edition of The Sunday Times Parent Power Guide.

The guide is widely acknowledged as the most authoritative survey of the country’s top schools.


The fully searchable national database of over 1,000 schools by name, local authority, town and postcode, was made available online from Friday, December 1 and as a print supplement with The Sunday Times on Sunday, December 3.

Helen Davies, editor of Parent Power, said: “The educational landscape continues to be challenging across both the state and independent sectors, and this is the first true assessment of post-pandemic exam results. We believe these rankings – and all the additional information on offer in Parent Power – provide parents with a more reliable guide to academic achievement in schools today.

“The guide showcases academic excellence but also celebrates schools who may not be right at the top but are rising, innovating and helping pupils flourish. Being a teenager is hard enough, and the past few years since Covid have made life even harder. It is heartening to highlight the achievements of so many students and schools across the UK.

“This year Parent Power includes details on extracurricular clubs, wellbeing initiatives and school lunch menus – chicken katsu seems to be the dish of the day.”

St Mary's Menston is listed 8th (222 nationally) and Ilkley Grammar School 9th (242 nationally) in the "Top state secondary schools (grammar and comprehensive) in the North" category.

St Mary's Menston is also listed 5th on the "Top comprehensive schools in the North" category.

Leeds Grammar and Bradford Grammar feature at 3rd and 4th in the North respectively in the "Top independent School" list.

Topping the list for grammar and comprehensive secondary school is Ripon Grammar School (65 nationally).

Schools are ranked by performance at A-level and GCSE in summer 2023. The number of A*, A and B grades gained are expressed as a percentage of the total number of A-level entries overall. This is double-weighted. The number of 9, 8, 7, A* and A grades gained at GCSE is expressed as a percentage of the total number of GCSE entries overall. We include IGCSEs sat in independent schools. This is single-weighted. School rankings are based on their combined performance in these examinations.

Parent Power ranks 400 of the best state secondary and grammar schools in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the top 100 state schools in Scotland, 50 11-16 schools and 50 sixth form colleges. Parent Power ranks the top 300 independent schools in the UK, and 35 IB schools.