Ermysted's Grammar School

Ermysted's Grammar School is an 11-18 boys' voluntary aided grammar school in Skipton, North Yorkshire, England.[2]

Ermysteds Grammar School

School crest

Ermysted's Grammar School, selective boys' Grammar School
Gargrave Road

, ,
BD23 1PL

Coordinates53°57′48″N 2°01′22″W / 53.9634°N 2.0227°W / 53.9634; -2.0227
Type11–18 boys Voluntary aided grammar school
MottoFrench: Suivez La Raison
(Follow the truth)
Established1492; 532 years ago (1492)
FoundersPeter Toller, William Ermysted
Local authorityNorth Yorkshire Council
Department for Education URN121716 Tables
HeadmasterMichael Evans
Age range11-18
  •   Toller
  •   Ermysted
  •   Hartley
  •   Petyt
  • Chronicles of Ermysted's
  • The Reason
AlumniOld Ermystedians
School capacity896[1]

It was founded by Peter Toller[3] in the 15th century and is the seventh oldest state school in Britain.[4] The first official record of the school was seen in Peter Toller's will in 1492;[5] the school records its establishment as the same year, though its history could possibly be dated to 1468. The school operates a house system. The four houses — Toller, Ermysted, Petyt, and Hartley — are named after key figures in the school's history; when the school operated a boarding house, its boarders were members of School House.[6]

There are 840 currently enrolled students. The Sixth Form is formed from boys graduating Key Stage 4, as well as 20 additional boys.[7] The current headmaster is Michael Evans;[8] his predecessor, Graham Hamilton, retired at the end of the 2015-2016 school year.





In 1492, Peter Toller's will confirmed he had already founded a school in his chantry of St Nicholas in the parish church; the school takes this as its founding date. In 1548, Edward VI's government took over all chantry lands. William Ermysted re-founded the school with new lands and moved it to the bottom of Shortbank Road. In 1707 and 1719, the wills of Old Boys William and Sylvester Petyt made bequests to the school, and enabled the foundation of the Petyt Library and Petyt Trust.[9][10] The Leeds and Liverpool Canal reached Skipton in 1773, partly built on EGS land.

Nineteenth-century building


In 1875, the Gargrave Road building was begun to accommodate 50 day boys and 50 boarders; and, from 1876 to 1907, Mr E. T. Hartley served as headmaster of the new school. In 1882, the Pool and the Old Gym (now I.C.T., music and R.S. rooms) begun, and in 1895 the Science block was built (now A.P.L. and staff quiet room).

Twentieth century


The school has two memorials to the two World Wars. The First World War memorial library was set up by the Old Boys' Society (now the Governors' Board Room) in 1924, and in 1959 the Memorial Hall was opened to those lost in the Second World War. The school opened the 'new buildings' in 1933 (now classrooms) and closed its doors to boarding pupils in 1989. The school celebrated the Quincentenary of the school's founding in 1992,[11] which included a visit by H.R.H. The Princess Royal, a pageant, and a new commemorative sports hall.



Academic attainment


In 2008, it was reported that the school achieved the best Yorkshire state-school A-level exam results,[12][13] and in 2007 the school came 76th in the top 100 UK schools in terms of Oxbridge admissions.[14]

Current buildings

School signage approaching the school building

The school is now situated between Gargrave Road and Grassington Road, although the sixteenth-century school house can still be seen on Shortbank Road.[15] The majority of buildings date from the 19th and early 20th centuries, although many newer buildings now exist. The latter include the sports hall, opened in 1992 to commemorate the school's 500th anniversary; the £7 million Refectory development north of the main site; the English Block, which houses the school's CDT and English departments, in addition to one of four ICT facilities; and a sixth-form centre, built in 2016.

Ofsted inspections


In the 2000 Ofsted inspection, the school's results were "very high" against the national average, especially upon entry, where Year 7s (age 11/12) work to a level "expected of pupils aged 14". An "outstanding" Sixth Form with a wide range of subjects was noted. The school was considered "very successful" at allowing pupils to reach high academic standards, and the quality of teaching is "good".[16]

In the 2005 Ofsted inspection, the Sixth Form was described as "outstanding" and achieved Grade 1 Outstanding in every category of assessment.[17]

In the 22 October 2008 Ofsted inspection, the school received an "outstanding" verdict overall. Seven out of eight areas were given an outstanding verdict.[18]

In the September 2022 Ofsted inspection, the school was rated "good" overall. Four of the five areas were given an outstanding verdict, with quality of education the only area achieving "good". According to the report, teachers should ensure Key Stage 3 students are secure in their knowledge before moving on to new content. Sixth Form provision is rated "outstanding" with lessons having a professional atmosphere, allowing for high-quality debate and discussion. The partnership with Skipton Girls' High School to expand the number of A-Level options is described as "valuable", while GCSE outcomes across all subject areas are "very positive" for pupils.[19]

School publication


The Chronicles of Ermysted's is the official annual school magazine, containing details of school events, student visits, results, and school activities, although in recent years its publication has been somewhat hit-and-miss. The school also publishes a termly newspaper edited by students called The Reason. Named after the school's motto it is fully funded through adverts from local businesses and sales. Furthermore, the paper is written and edited by students.[20] The Reason is one of the most successful school student newspapers in the country, having won 10 and been highly commended for 17 awards at the national Shine School Media Awards 2019-2023. This includes winning three 'Best Newspaper' awards in 2019, 2022, and 2023, and winning 'Best Podcast' in 2020.[21]


Rugby Kit
Football Kit

The school competes in rugby union, cross country running, orienteering, cricket, and football tournaments. Occurring annually in the summer term is Sports Day, during which students compete at athletics.[22]

Notable former pupils



  1. ^ a b "Ermysted's Grammar School - GOV.UK". Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  2. ^ Council, North Yorkshire County (21 October 2019). "Ermysted's Grammar School Admissions Consultation". North Yorkshire County Council. Retrieved 30 December 2019.
  3. ^ "Ermysted's Grammar School - Tes Jobs". Retrieved 30 December 2019.
  4. ^ "Ermysted's Grammar School 11 Plus (11+) Exam Information". Exam Papers Plus. 5 August 2017. Retrieved 30 December 2019.
  5. ^ "Ermysted's Grammar School 11 Plus Archives". Exam Papers Plus. Retrieved 30 December 2019.
  6. ^ "Ermysted's Grammar School". Retrieved 30 December 2019.
  7. ^ "Admission into Sixth Form". Ermysted's Grammar School. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  8. ^ "An introduction by the Head Teacher, Mr Graham Hamilton". Ermysted's Grammar School. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
  9. ^ "A Brief History of EGS". Ermysted's Grammar School. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
  10. ^ "General Information about Ermysted's". Ermysted's Grammar School. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
  11. ^ "Teachers archive". Ermysted's Old Boys' Society. Retrieved 30 December 2019.
  12. ^ "Pupils have A-level success down to a fine art". The Yorkshire Post. 10 January 2008. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  13. ^ "Exam Results 2014". Ermysted's Grammar School. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  14. ^ "Table2: Top 100 schools by Oxbridge admissions hit rate" (PDF). The Guardian. 20 September 2007. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  15. ^ "Geograph:: The old grammar school and chapel, Short... (C) Stephen Craven". Retrieved 30 December 2019.
  16. ^ Woodward, Mark (7 December 2000). Inspection report: Ermysted's Grammar School (PDF) (Report). Ofsted. Retrieved 14 March 2015.
  17. ^ Wall, Stephen (18 October 2005). Ermysted's Grammar School: Inspection report (PDF) (Report). Ofsted. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  18. ^ James, Ruth (22 October 2008). Ermysted's Grammar School: Inspection report (PDF) (Report). Ofsted. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 July 2012. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  19. ^ Inspection of Ermysted's Grammar School (Report). Ofsted. 28–29 September 2022. Retrieved 1 December 2022.
  20. ^ "Ermysted's pupils publish new school newspaper". Ermysted's Grammar School. 10 January 2019. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
  21. ^ "Ermysted's newshounds dominate school media awards". Craven Herald. 7 July 2022. Retrieved 28 February 2024.
  22. ^ "Sports Day". Ermysted's Grammar School. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  23. ^ "An Interview With Jonathan Linsley". Summer Winos. 8 June 2017. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  24. ^ "BBC political correspondent Chris Mason talks about growing up in the Dales in new radio documentary". Craven Herald. 26 February 2019. Retrieved 5 October 2019.
  25. ^ Tate, Lesley (26 November 2014). "Blake Morrison joins opposition to proposed cuts at Skipton Library". Craven Herald & Pioneer. Retrieved 13 March 2015.