A WHARFE valley primary school has been ranked the top small school in the north of England in a celebration of the Independent Schools sector.

Ghyll Royd School and Pre-School in Burley-in-Wharfedale were finalists in the Independent Schools of the Year Awards 2019. Headteacher David Martin and communications manager Rebecca Wilson attended the finals at the Royal Thames Yacht Club, in London on October 7.

Ghyll Royd School and Pre-School were one of three institutions up for the Small Independent School award and one of five Yorkshire schools in the finals. The award recognises schools with 150 or fewer pupils which allow children to grow and develop through access to meaningful and innovative programmes.

The independent judging panel said they were “overwhelmed by the inspiring stories”. Dr Helen Wright, chair of the Panel said: “It is evident that the sector is thriving and across all areas, including academic excellence and pupil wellbeing.”

Local independent sector leaders Andrew Fleck, Principal at Sedbergh School and Sue Woodroofe, Headteacher at Grammar School at Leeds, were also members of the judging panel.

Ghyll Royd School narrowly missed out to St Ives Prep School in Surrey but Mr Martin commended the school’s efforts in the national competition.

“I couldn’t be prouder of the strides we have made over the last few years,” he said. “To be recognised as the one of the top three small schools in the country, alongside these fantastic institutions is something we should all celebrate. This achievement would not have been possible without the dedication of our staff, the love of learning from our children and the support from our wonderful families. Thank you for the hundreds of messages of well wishes.”

Chairman of Governors, Phil Stephenson, shared his pride saying: “The quality of the work and effort put in to making Ghyll Royd such a brilliant place to be is now quantified by the many accolades held by the school. No other school in the area offers a varied, quality curriculum with such a warm family feel. Mr Martin and all the staff have worked tremendously hard to provide the very best education for children aged 2-11. The governing board and I welcome all to our Open Day on Saturday 9th November to share the secret of our success!”

For more information about the open day visit www.ghyllroydschool.co.uk