Top secondary schools in Merseyside: Sunday Times School Guide reveals best state schools in Parent Power survey

Top state secondary schools have been revealed in Liverpool and Wirral, according to the Sunday Times
The Liverpool Blue Coat School, in Wavertree. Image: GoogleThe Liverpool Blue Coat School, in Wavertree. Image: Google
The Liverpool Blue Coat School, in Wavertree. Image: Google

The top state secondary schools in North West have been revealed in Parent Power, The Sunday Times’ Schools Guide 2022.

The 29th edition of the Parent Power list identifies the UK’s highest-achieving schools ranked by their examination results from 2017-2019. Some 1,700 schools are included nationally.

The guide allows parents to study the rankings and make informed decisions when it comes to applying for school places for their children.

As well as an assessment of all academic results on a school-by-school basis, Parent Power enables parents to compare the performance of a given school with other schools in the same town, local authority or nationally.

The Sunday Times’ full list of North West schools includes Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Cheshire and beyond.

Best schools in Merseyside

The top 20 North West schools as listed by the Sunday Times calculates the rankings through a combination of A-Level and GCSE results. Schools such as Carmel College, in St Helens, and Greenbank High School, in Sefton that don’t offer both qualifications are not in the top 20 list.

Top of the pile for state secondary schools in Merseyside is The Liverpool Blue Coat School, in Wavertree, ahead of Wirral Grammar School for Girls, in Bebington.

At the Blue Coat School 82.3% of grades were between A*-B at A-level, whilst at GCSE 78.2% were between 9-7 – formerly A*-A - to rank second in the North West and 26th nationally.

Wirral Grammar School for Girls boasted rankings of 75.2% of grades between A*-B at A-level and 59.8% between 9-7 for GCSEs to rank sixth in the North West and 72nd nationally.

Other Merseyside schools inside the top 20 in the North West are West Kirby Grammar School and Calday Grange Grammar School, also in West Kirby.

At West Kirby Grammar School 69.5% of grades were between A*-B at A-level, whilst at GCSE 58.6% were between 9-7 – formerly A*-A - to rank ninth in the North West and 99th nationally.

Calday Grange Grammar School boasted rankings of 56.7% per cent of grades between A*-B at A-level and 56.7% per cent between 9-7 for GCSEs to rank 16th in the North West and 173rd nationally.

The Belvedere Academy was the fifth best school in Merseyside but ranked outside the top 20 for the North West. 52.9% of grades were between A*-B at A-level, whilst at GCSE 41.6% were between 9-7 – formerly A*-A - to 252nd nationally.

Parent Power top state secondary schools in the North West of England

  1. Altrincham Grammar School for Girls
  2. The Blue Coat School, Liverpool
  3. Altrincham Grammar School for Boys
  4. Lancaster Girls’ Grammar School
  5. Loreto Grammar School, Altrincham
  6. Wirral Grammar School for Girls, Bebington
  7. Lancaster Royal Grammar School
  8. Sale Grammar School
  9. West Kirby Grammar School
  10. St Ambrose College, Altrincham
  11. The King David High School, Manchester
  12. Urmston Grammar School, Manchester
  13. Clitheroe Royal Grammar School
  14. Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School
  15. Cheadle Hulme High School
  16. Calday Grange Grammar School, West Kirby
  17. The Fallibroome Academy, Macclesfield
  18. Stretford Grammar School, Manchester
  19. Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Penrith
  20. Bishop Heber High School, Malpas

How the rankings are determined

The rankings in the secondary school league tables are determined by the average percentage of examination entries in the three years, 2017-19, gaining A* to B grades at A-level and the average percentage of entries returning 9-7 or A* and A grades at GCSE.

Only schools that published their results in those years or disclosed them to The Sunday Times have been included in the guide, which includes around 1,700 schools.

Examination outcomes from 2020 and 2021 have not been used in determining this year’s Sunday Times Parent Power guide rankings due to the disruption caused by the pandemic.

Alastair McCall, editor of Parent Power, said: “The need for clarity about school examination performance has never been greater after two years of teacher assessed grades, during which for completely understandable reasons, the numbers of top grades increased dramatically.

“We felt it was important to go back to the last sets of moderated public examination outcomes from 2019, 2018 and 2017 to get the most accurate and current view of school academic achievement. By taking a three-year average, we mitigated against relatively poor performance in a one-off year.”

A fully searchable national database by school name, local authority, town and postcode, together with regional rankings are available on The Times and Sunday Times website.