HIGH achieving former students are helping to inspire a new generation of pupils in Otley.

Prince Henry’s Grammar School came up with the idea for Prince Henry’s People after sitting down and asking students about who they found truly inspirational.

Armed with that information the school set about documenting the achievements of alumni who had gone on to great things as a way of showing what was possible.

Champion road cyclist Lizzie Deignan and actor Mark Stanley, who shot to fame with his role as Grenn in Game of Thrones, are among those featured in Prince Henry’s People.

Headteacher Janet Sheriff said: “Prince Henry’s is lucky to have so many ex-students who have excelled in their field - and from across such a wide range of different career routes.

“Along with everyone at Prince Henry’s I am extremely proud to see the amazing achievements of our ex-students. It’s wonderful to be able to use our ‘Prince Henry’s People’ to inspire and motivate our current students so that they too achieve their goals and make a positive contribution to their society as successful global citizens.”

Also featured is Qais Ashfaq, an Olympian and Commonwealth Silver medallist boxer, who recently won the WBA Continental Champion’s belt.

Qais, who attended Prince Henry’s from 2004 to 2009, visited the school in early 2020 to talk to the Sixth Form A Level PE and BTEC Sport students.

Qais also spent some time talking to Year 12 ESEP student and amateur boxer Jonas Lord, who hopes to follow in his footsteps. Jonas said: “It was very inspiring to meet a former student who has made it so far in the sport and it was a great opportunity to have all my questions answered.”

Chloe Tear, meanwhile, left Prince Henry’s in 2016 to study Psychology and Child Development at Leeds Trinity University. Chloe has cerebral palsy and started a blog, Life as a Cerebral Palsy Student, during a Year 10 IT lesson at Prince Henry’s which became the platform for her awareness-raising efforts.

Chris Bevan, who attended the school from 2004 to 2009, is a Prosecutor for Leeds City Council who joinedthe school in Year 9, said: “I was raised in care and as far as I could see I had no future, certainly not one as a barrister!

“This school changed that. In fact, joining this school was the start of something very special and personal to me.

“At Prince Henry’s I was transformed from a scared child without seemingly much hope into a confident young man with a belief that an entire future is out there, beyond those doors.

“I went on to university and eventually studied law. I then won the most prestigious scholarship from a barrister’s organisation, one of the Inns of Court, which fully funded me to train as a barrister.”

Also on the list are Dan Bullock, a Marine Commando; Anne Longfield OBE, the Children’s Commissioner for England; and Matt Walker, who is the Global Senior Arla Brand Director.