A VALE of Clwyd independent school has been named the second highest achiever in Wales.

Ruthin School, the day and boarding school for pupils aged 10 to 20, was listed second place in The Sunday Times Schools Guide 2020’s Welsh independent schools category. It was named third in the category last year.

The prestigious education guide compiled by Parent Power, which is based on exam results, also placed Ruthin School 45th in the UK – 31 places higher than its position in 76th last year.

It follows a record-breaking summer of exam results for Ruthin School, in which 98 per cent of its A level students achieved A*-B grades, while 70.6 per cent of GCSE pupils received A*-As.

Toby Belfield, Ruthin School principal, said the jump in exam results followed the introduction of Saturday morning testing for students from years nine to 13.

“We are delighted with Ruthin School’s continued improvement in the league tables," Mr Belfield said. "The Sunday Times combines A Level performance and GCSE performance, and over the past few years we have sustained a strong A Level position, and improved our GCSE position.

"Since the introduction of Saturday morning testing for all students from Year 9 to Years 13 (and the removal of all formative assessment from lesson time), we are able to concentrate any academic support to the students that really need it.

"We have class sizes of 10, and our teaching staff are all academic experts in the subject that they teach. This is why our academic results continue to improve year on year."

In April an Estyn inspection judged the school to be “excellent” in standards and well-being, and attitudes to learning; and “good” in teaching and learning experiences; care, support and guidance; and leadership and management.

Mr Belfield said 32 students have applied to Oxford or Cambridge this year, while nearly all A level students have targeted a university ranked in the top 10 in the UK.

"For the future, we will continue to focus on sustaining our strong academic performance whilst improving our on-site facilities," he added. "The £5.5m dining hall, which opened in January of this year, is a great addition to the School.

"Our next project will be the construction of a £11m new academic facility to provide additional laboratories, classrooms, and library. It will replace all the temporary classrooms."

The Sunday Times Schools Guide, which identifies the 2,000 highest-achieving schools in the UK, was published on November 24. The official UK Government tables for secondary school performance will follow in the coming weeks.