CBI boss opens new school block

The new �1.5m humanities and language block at Ripon Grammar School. (S)
The new �1.5m humanities and language block at Ripon Grammar School. (S)

A school has celebrated the achievements of students past and present with the opening of a new £1.5m classroom development for the future.

John Cridland CBE, director-general of the CBI, officially opened the new humanities and languages building at Ripon Grammar School before the upper school speech day, at which he was guest speaker.

The new two-storey building, which has been funded by North Yorkshire County Council and was completed on time and on budget, has eight classrooms equipped with the latest touch screen technology, and a staff room.

Mr Cridland, who was educated at a grammar school and Cambridge University, praised the ambience of the classrooms as a learning environment.

“The CBI are on an export crusade trying to sell our goods and services around the world and re-establish our global trading routes, so to see a fantastic new languages building warms the cockles of my heart,” he said.

The new building will be followed next year with an extension to the girls’ boarding house to create 16 new places, and a new £1m dining facility, for which the school is seeking planning approval and funding.

The speech day recognised the GCSE and A -level success of students earlier in the summer and welcomed back many of those who left Ripon Grammar School for university after their exams.

Representing 190,000 businesses, Mr Cridland told the students they needed ambition, self-belief and “a heavy dose of hard work”.

“What I have seen in this fantastic school is rounded education…But even in one of the best grammar schools in the country it’s not all about success, it’s not a road to perfection. There are setbacks and failures and it’s what you do with those failures that matters.”

He added: “I say one thing to my teenage children that’s drawn from my experience and that is: chase your dreams. Whatever you want to do go for it with all your guts, hard work and ambition and don’t let anybody tell you you can’t achieve it.”

Headmaster Martin Pearman said the A-level students had been an outstanding group with 76 per cent of their grades being A*-B, making Ripon Grammar the top performing school in North Yorkshire for the second year running.