A COLCHESTER school has been named the best secondary school in the region after impressing judges responsible for compiling a national newspaper's prestigious guide. 

Colchester Royal Grammar School has been won School of the Year in East Anglia as part of The Sunday Times' Schools Guide 2024.

It also ranked sixth in the national table which analyses and rates 400 schools from every corner of the country.

The Sunday Times' Schools Guide ranks the highest-achieving secondary schools across the UK and has a searchable database of more than 1,000 schools.

Gazette: Proud - Headmaster John RussellProud - Headmaster John Russell (Image: Newsquest)

Gazette: Hard work - Students celebrating exam resultsHard work - Students celebrating exam results (Image: PR)
Colchester Royal Grammar Schools' headmaster, John Russell, said he is thrilled with the special award win.

He said: “We are truly honoured to receive this national award which recognises the high quality education we offer our students.

"We are absolutely committed to providing a holistic education that is not only focused on academic excellence, but also on creating a supportive culture that enables every child to thrive and reach their potential.

"Alongside our challenging curriculum, our wide-ranging enrichment programme helps our students explore their talents, develop as leaders and inspire new ideas."

The award win comes just over two years after it received an ‘inadequate’ rating from Ofsted inspectors who, at the time of visiting, said its pupils felt “unsafe” after being subjected to sexist or racist comments.

Since then it has joined the Thinking Schools Academy Trust, which is made up of 21 schools including three grammar schools.

Speaking to the Gazette in January, school bosses hoped joining the trust would “secure the future” of Colchester Royal Grammar School following a damning Ofsted report.

Mr Russell added: “This award is testament to our inspiring students who always go above and beyond and the truly exceptional dedication of our staff who support our students each and every day.

"Together, we help to ensure our young people are given as many opportunities as possible to grasp the aspirations that they have and transform life chances.”