Northern Ireland’s top-performing schools revealed

A school classroom.
A school classroom.

The top-performing schools in Northern Ireland are revealed in ‘Parent Power, The Sunday Times Schools Guide 2019’, published in The Sunday Times and online this Sunday, November 25.

St Dominic’s Grammar School for Girls, Belfast is named The Sunday Times Northern Ireland Secondary School of the Year, after topping the new Parent Power rankings for Northern Ireland schools.

The pupils’ exceptional results have pushed Lumen Christi, into second place, depriving the Londonderry school of top spot for only the second time in the past decade or more. Friends’ School in Lisburn rounds out the top three.

St Dominic’s has won the title previously in 2012. Just under 87% of exams at A-levels achieved grades A*-B, the best performance in Northern Ireland, and the school saw 69.9% of GCSE results achieve the top grades.

Alastair McCall, editor of Parent Power, said: “St Dominic’s achieves outstanding results under the thoughtful, caring stewardship of its principal, Carol McCann, who was herself a pupil at the school many moons ago.

“The continuity and inspiration that she is able to provide backed up by a loyal and dedicated staff – many of whom are also former pupils – allows girls to thrive and develop their talents in multiple areas. They excel not just in the examination halls but in several walks of life while still in school, making a telling contribution to their local community and society more widely. St Dominic’s thoroughly deserves its success as our Northern Ireland Secondary School of the Year.”

The 26th edition of Parent Power identifies the 2,000 highest-achieving schools in the UK, ranked by their recent examination results. A fully searchable national database by school name, local authority, town and postcode, together with regional rankings are available to Times and Sunday Times subscribers at: thesundaytimes.co.uk/parentpower (click here)

The rankings in the secondary school league tables are determined by the percentage of examination entries gaining A* to B grades at A-level this summer (which is given double weighting) and the percentage of entries returning A*, A, 9, 8 and 7 grades at GCSE. They are published several weeks ahead of the official government tables for secondary school performance

According to Parent Power, the top 10 voluntary grammar schools in Northern Ireland are:

1. St Dominic’s Grammar School for Girls, Belfast

2. Lumen Christi College. Londonderry

3. Friends’ School, Lisburn

4. Aquinas Diocesan Grammar School, Belfast

5. Our Lady and St Patrick’s College, Knock, Belfast

6. Rathmore Grammar School, Belfast

7. Strathearn School, Belfast

8. St Louis Grammar School, Ballymena

9. Banbridge Academy, Banbridge

10. Wallace High School, Lisburn