Parents are spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing a secondary school for their child in Huddersfield, Kirklees and Calderdale.

Our area enjoys a reputation for good quality secondary schools as well as innovation in education.

Kirklees and Calderdale educationalists have been quick to embrace and take forward new ideas and techniques– the pioneering Creative and Media School Studio at Nether Hall in Rawthorpe is one such example.

Several local head teachers and principals have attained the elevated status of National Leaders of Education (NLE).

Together with their staff at designated National Support Schools, they use their skills to support schools in challenging circumstances and raise standards across the district.

Many lecture around the UK on systems tried and tested here. The area’s three selective schools take the top three places in the Examiner rankings.

All were graded as Outstanding by Ofsted, with North Halifax Grammar leading the way.

Brighouse High School topped the list of comprehensives and head teacher Liz Cresswell outlined the reasons behind their success: "We are driven to raise standards and we try to do it within a positive atmosphere.

"We are equally passionate about children making good grades as we are about producing well-rounded young adults."

She praised the benefit of a wide range of extra-curricular activities and the importance of teamwork between both students and staff.

Her views were echoed by Honley High acting headteacher Heather Rogers.

"It is about striving for excellence in everything we do and having high aspirations for all our pupils," she said.

"We look at individuals and their starting points to make sure they make the best progress they can."

Honley has seen a year-on-year rise in headline GCSE figures over the last five years to its present level of 78 per cent and has a strong tradition in sport and the arts.

NLE Lorraine Barker, principal of the outstanding Mirfield Free Grammar and Sixth Form, has been drafted in to help Colne Valley Specialist Arts College move towards excellence.

She said: "Our ethos and culture here is to enable our staff and students to achieve their full potential.

"We strive for excellence in everything we do and our success is built on working together and never setting any limits on aspirations."

Headline statistics only tell part  of the story.

Our  rankings are  based on 2011/12 and cover just the  first few months of life for the new  North Huddersfield Trust School. 

In 2012/13 the school has seen a  further 37% improvement in exam results.

Executive headteacher  and NLE  Dr Andy Williams says the school  is well on track to be outstanding  by 2016.

“It is always helpful for parents to see data on school performance, but it needs to be interpreted very carefully for schools like North Huddersfield,” he said.

“We are a rapidly improving  school and  we are celebrating a  massive leap forward.”

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