A Welsh school has beaten the most elite to be crowned best independent secondary in the UK.
Fee paying Cardiff Sixth Form College, which also runs GCSEs, takes top place for the UK and Wales in the highly regarded Sunday Times List.
Parent Power, The Sunday Times Schools Guide 2020, lists the top 10 independent and state secondaries and will be published in full in the Sunday Times and online this Sunday, November 24.
“No sixth formers in the UK achieve more highly than those at Cardiff Sixth Form College,” said Alastair McCall, editor of Parent Power.
Cardiff Sixth Form Principal Gareth Collier said the accolade was a credit to staff and pupils.
The school charges fees of £17,700 a year for day pupils and £42,000 for boarders , although scholarships are available.
Welsh medium Ysgol Glantaf in Cardiff is named as best state secondary of the year in Wales, bi-lingual Ysgol Y Preseli in Pembrokeshire second and Cowbridge Comprehensive third on the list of best state secondaries.
Ysgol Glantaf achieved its ranking with 69% A*-B A-Level grades and 38.3% of students achieving A*-A grades this year.
Head teacher Alun Davies said: “This is great news for all at Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Glantaf. To be ranked amongst the top ten state schools in Wales is wonderful but to be recognised as Welsh state Secondary School of the Year is the icing on the cake.
“This is the result of the unwavering commitment and dedication of our staff and the outstanding achievements of our young people. I am so proud of them all.”
Cardiff Sixth Form Principal, Gareth Collier said: “We have been the top school in the UK over the past 10 years for academic results and the award was given for exceptional performance across a variety of criteria.
“We are fortunate to have excellent staff who work extremely hard to deliver academic excellence, top quality pastoral care and an extensive range of careers-based and extra-curricular activities which have enabled our students to consistently access top universities worldwide.”
The 27th edition of Parent Power identifies the 2,000 highest-achieving schools in the UK, rated by their recent exam results.
Rankings in the secondary school league tables are determined by the percentage of examination entries gaining A* to B grades at A-level this summer and the percentage of entries returning A* and A grades, and those graded 9, 8 and 7, under England’s GCSE system and iGCSEs.
As well as assessment of all academic results on a school-by-school basis, Parent Power enables parents to compare the performance of a given school with other schools in the same town, local authority or nationally. There are also live online links to school websites and schools’ most recent inspection reports.
The top 10 state secondary schools in Wales, according to the Sunday Times
1. Ysgol Glantaf, Cardiff
2. Ysgol Y Preseli, Crymych
3. Cowbridge Comprehensive
4. Ysgol Bro Myrddin, Carmarthen
5. Ysgol Plasmawr, Cardiff
6. Olchfa School, Swansea
7. Ysgol Calun Cymru (replaced Builth Wells High School and Llandrindod High School in 2018 and has campuses in both places.
8. St Brigid’s School, Denbigh
9. Penglais School, Aberystwyth
10 Ysgol Eirias, Colwyn Bay
The top 10 independent secondaries in Wales, according to the Sunday Times:
1. Cardiff Sixth Form College
2. Ruthin School, Ruthin
3. St Michael’s School, Llanelli
4. St John’s College, Cardiff
5. Westbourne School, Penarth
6. Howell’s School, Llandaff
7. The Cathedral School, Llandaff
8. Rougemont School, Newport
9. Monmouth School for Girls
10. Monmouth School for Boys
Cardiff Sixth Form makes its debut in the guide this year and is not only named school of the year for the region but also ranking top of the table thanks to 99.2% A-level A*-B grades and 83.9% GCSE A*-A grades this summer.
Alastair McCall, editor of Parent Power, said: “The absence of Cardiff Sixth Form College from the annual Sunday Times rankings has always been something of an anomaly. Long-term outstanding achievement at A-level is backed up this year by strength at GCSE following the introduction of one-year courses at this level, which allow us to include the college in our A-level/GCSE rankings for the first time.
“No sixth formers in the UK achieve more highly than those at Cardiff Sixth Form College, a tribute to both the dedication of the teaching staff and the commitment and the raw talent of the students themselves. The college is head and shoulders above all of its rivals and its appeal to students from across the globe is easy to understand.”