Ripon Grammar School

Ripon Grammar School is a co-educational, selective grammar school in Ripon, North Yorkshire, England. It is one of the best-performing schools in the North of England; in 2011, 91% of pupils gained the equivalent of 5 or more GCSEs at grade C or above, including English and Maths; the figure has been over 84% consistently since at least 2006.[1] The school was graded "Outstanding" in its 2012 Ofsted report and is listed in the top 50 schools in the United Kingdom.[2][3]

Ripon Grammar School
Clotherholme Road

, ,

Coordinates54.139°N 1.5395°W / 54.139; -1.5395
TypeGrammar school
Day and boarding school
MottoGiorne ymb lare y diowatdomas
(Old English: Eager to learn and seek after righteousness)
Local authorityNorth Yorkshire
Department for Education URN121694 Tables
Chairman of GovernorsDr. Elizabeth Jarvis
HeadmasterJonathan Webb
Age11 to 18
Houses     DeGrey
Colour(s)Navy, Blue & Yellow
Former pupilsOld Riponians


It is a selective school, one of the very few in the North of England (Penrith, Cumbria has the most northern grammar school).


The school was founded in Saxon times, but it was re-founded in 1555 during the reign of Queen Mary. Originally a boys' school, the school merged with Ripon Girls' School to become coeducational in 1962. Although most pupils are day pupils from the surrounding area and Ripon itself, there are boys' and girls' boarding houses.


The school motto is the Old English phrase Giorne ymb lare ymb diowatdomas ("Eager to learn and seek after righteousness").[4][5]

Parents' ballot

Ripon was the first and only school catchment area in England in which parents voted to keep a selective school in March 2000 by 1,493 to 747.[6][7][8] Even the head of the neighbouring secondary modern school, Ripon College, Paul Lowery was in favour of keeping the selection system as it was, which contributed to the proposal's defeat.[9] The campaign against the school was co-ordinated by Debbie Atkins, who like other local parents chose to send her children to school in Harrogate.[10][11]

To force a ballot, petitions had to be successfully raised. These were allowed from December 1998, and Ripon was the only one out of 39 resulting in a ballot. The cost of administration of these petitions and the one ballot was £437,000. The huge cost of administration came from education officials having to write individually to registered parents at feeder primary schools. In the year of the ballot – 1999/2000 – £216,283 was spent on the petition procedure's administration. The vote was allowed by the School Standards and Framework Act 1998.


  • pre 1348 Richard Chamberlain,
  • pre 1371 – post 1380 Master Thomas,
  • pre 1545 – post 1477 Henry Singleton,
  • 1545 – 1553 Edmund Brown,
  • 1571 John Nettleton,
  • 1608 Christopher Lyndall,
  • 1622 John Ashmore,
  • 1623–1650 Richard Palmes,
  • 1650–1661 Roger Holmes,
  • 1661–1676 Charles Oxley,
  • 1676–1681 George Loup,
  • 1681–1685 Ralph Cottingham,
  • 1685–1704 Thomas Thomson,
  • 1704–1721 Thomas Lloyd,
  • 1721–1730 John Barber,
  • 1731–1737 Thomas Stevens,
  • 1737 William Scott,
  • 1738 James Topham,
  • 1738–1771 George Hyde,
  • 1772–1798 Solomon Robinson,
  • 1798–1809 Isaac Cook,
  • 1809–1811 William Ewbank,
  • 1812–1851 William Plues,
  • 1851–1872 J F MacMichael,
  • 1872–1879 F A Hooper,
  • 1879–1890 A B Haslam,
  • 1890–1895 W Yorke Fausset,
  • 1895–1919 C C S Bland,
  • 1935–1957 W J Strachan,
  • 1957–1974 Robert Atkinson,
  • 1974–1991 Brian Stanley,
  • 1992–2004 Alan Jones,
  • 2004–2017 Martin Pearman,
  • 2017–Present Jonathan Webb


Former teachers

Old Riponians

Former pupils are known as Old Riponians. Notable old Riponians include:


  1. "Ripon Grammar School". BBC News. 15 January 2009.
  2., Ofsted Communications Team. (5 November 2010). "Find an inspection report". Archived from the original on 17 March 2014. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  4., Edward Robertson -. "Welcome to Ripon Grammar School's website". Archived from the original on 14 October 2017. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  5. Ripon Grammar School Archived 30 June 2007 at the Wayback Machine Ofsted report
  6. "Grammar schools reject changes". BBC. 14 July 2004. Archived from the original on 21 July 2004. Retrieved 13 January 2007.
  7. Smithers, Rebecca (4 March 2000). "Grammar school vote splits community". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 12 March 2017. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  8. "The great grammar divide". The Guardian. 7 December 1999. Archived from the original on 12 March 2017. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  9. Wainwright, Martin (3 May 2005). "Partners in climb". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 12 March 2016. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  10. "Home". Archived from the original on 23 September 2012. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  11. "Education: The end of the grammar school?". 22 October 1998. Archived from the original on 29 June 2017. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  12. Ripon Grammar School 1555–2005, Celebrating 450 years by Elizabeth Sparey
  13. Stephen Castle and Ravi Somaiya "Guardian Names Katharine Viner as New Editor" Archived 5 July 2017 at the Wayback Machine New York Times, 20 March 2015
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