The Grammar School at Leeds (GSAL) has been named the Sunday Times’ North Independent School of the Year 2024.

The award was announced as part of the publication’s Parent Power guide, widely considered the most authoritative account of the UK’s top schools. The accolade marks the third time GSAL has been recognised by the Sunday Times in the last four years: GSAL was awarded the North Independent Secondary School of the Year in 2020 and the North Independent Secondary School of the Decade in 2021.

The Sunday Times noted that GSAL was one of the biggest risers nationally, up by 53 places on last year to rank 106 overall in the UK independent school rankings. It also praised the school’s generous bursary programme: GSAL spends more than £1 million providing at least 100 means-tested bursaries a year, with almost half of bursary students not paying any fees.

Sue Woodroofe, GSAL Principal and Chair of The Heads’ Conference (HMC), said, “We are a very grounded school. Our motto - ‘Be inspired’ - sums us up very well.”

In a video message announcing the news to parents and students, Woodroofe said: “We are thrilled to be able to share this news. It’s a true testament to the hard work of our students, staff and the wider GSAL community. It’s also recognition of the progressive steps we’ve taken in many areas: in our teaching and learning; in the investment we’ve made in our facilities; our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion; the depth and breadth of our co-curricular programme; our ambitious sustainability initiatives and so much more.”