AN OTLEY school has been congratulated by the government for being one of the country’s highest achievers.

Prince Henry’s Grammar School in Farnley Lane, has been named as one of the top 100 non-selective, state-funded schools in England.

The recognition follows the school achieving a 54 per cent pass rate in the English Baccalaureate - more than twice the national average.

The Baccalaureate recognises achievements in the core academic subjects of English, maths, the sciences, history and geography, and modern foreign languages.

Although not awarded as a formal qualification, the measure allows parents and carers to see a school’s performance in those subjects - which are the most asked for at entry to university.

Minister of State for School Reform, Nick Gibb MP, wrote to the headteacher of Prince Henry’s, Janet Sheriff, to congratulate the school.

He said: “These subjects reflect the knowledge and skills young people need to progress to further study or to rewarding employment.

“I would like to congratulate your staff, governors and pupils for all their hard work and to thank you personally for your leadership in continuing the drive towards ever-higher academic standards.”

Ms Sheriff said: “We are very proud of this achievement, which comes in the year in which we recorded our best ever GCSE results.

“Staff and students work extremely hard every year to secure outstanding results and this accolade reflects that hard work.

“We have been a top-achieving school in Leeds for several years in the Baccalaureate, and it is great to see this recognised in our standing nationally.

“Our broad and balanced curriculum, commitment as a specialist language college, and high quality teaching has enabled our students to excel.

“It is important to note, however, that a key reason for our success is the fact that we also recognise and value the importance of other aspects of education, for example the arts.

“We have recently been awarded Artsmark for our commitment to providing an arts-rich environment.

“It is this breadth of provision that ensures Prince Henry’s students are well prepared to take their place as 21st-century global citizens.”

Prince Henry’s is a specialist language college, with more than 1,400 students.

The school has a rich history dating back to its Royal Charter of 1607 when the core values of hard work, discipline, high achievement and “virtue” were first established.