Year 6 students' delight over Harrogate secondary school offers

Harrogate schoolchildren have this week received their offers to study as year 7's.
Harrogate schoolchildren have this week received their offers to study as year 7's.

Schoolchildren across Harrogate are said to be 'over the moon' after 95 per cent across the county received offers from their three preference secondary schools.

Hopeful year 6 pupils across the country were expressing delight and disappointment yesterday (March 1) as secondary schools released offers to the next year of prospective students.

For years, Harrogate schools have been oversubscribed by more than two students per available place, with Harrogate Grammar School receiving 781 applications for just 260 places this year.

But 11-year-old, Archie Hutchinson, defied the odds and secured his top choice.

His mum, Ginny, said: "He wanted Grammar and he got Grammar! He was over the moon, he had been discussing it at school the day before so it was obviously on his mind, and he really liked the school which is great."

Archie's second choice had been to go to Rossett High School and then expressed a third preference for St John Fisher's, as the next two nearest schools to his home.

Mrs Hutchinson said: "I suppose because of where we are situated I was confident we would get either his first or second choice.

"That being said there is never a 100 per cent guarantee so there is an element of stress whilst waiting for the result."

But not all schoolchildren were so lucky to secure their first preference.

11-year-old, Ted Yeadon, had also chosen Harrogate Grammar School as his top choice, but has been placed on a waiting list for the school and given an offer by his third preference, King James's High School in Knaresborough.

But despite Ted expressing some initial disappointment that he might not be able to join his friends going to Grammar, his dad, Simon, said it wasn't the 'be all and end all'.

Mr Yeadon said: "Out of the three schools we put down I was quite happy for him to go to any one of them. I thought we might be slightly out of patch for Grammar but he's still on a waiting list for the school.

"The night before Ted had said he would be disappointed if he didn't get into Grammar because some of his friends were hoping to go there too.

"But he was fine about it. I have been speaking to him about the schools for weeks. Ted is a big character, he's a likeable lad, he's bright enough and that's the correct formula for getting on at any school, he will be fine.

"There's too much onus put on going somewhere because your mates are going there but they might not even end up in the same classes or sets so I'm trying to get him away from this cossetted idea that you have got to go with a group of people.

"I have told him going to the Grammar School will not be the be all and end all of everything."

Harrogate has five comprehensive secondary schools all of which are rated as 'good' or 'outstanding by OFSTED.

This year, 489 prospective students applied to study in 240 places offered by St John Fisher and at St Aidan's, over 400 applications were received for 285 places.

But while the schools in Harrogate have been hugely oversubscribed for another year running, the County Council highlighted that some had taken on more students that their published number of places.

A spokesperson for North Yorkshire County Council said: "Areas such as Harrogate have pressure on school places. It has therefore been very important that three out of the five secondary schools in Harrogate elected to admit above their published admission number.

"This is good news for parents and children as it means that more children are offered a place at the school ranked as their highest preference."