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State secondary school is country's best'

PUBLISHED: 16:54 19 November 2008 | UPDATED: 09:57 12 August 2010

CLASS ACT: St Olave’s Grammar pupils.

CLASS ACT: St Olave's Grammar pupils.

PUPILS and staff are thrilled that their school has been named state secondary of the year. St Olave s Grammar School, Orpington was given the prestigious title in the Parent Power guide published by the Sunday Times. Despite being beaten in the leagu

PUPILS and staff are thrilled that their school has been named state secondary of the year.

St Olave's Grammar School, Orpington was given the prestigious title in the Parent Power guide published by the Sunday Times.

Despite being beaten in the league tables by three other schools in the country, St Olave's won the accolade because of the sharp improvement in exam results this year which saw it climb to fourth place from 15th last year.

The Goddington Lane school last hit the headlines in 1996 when Harriet Harman, deputy leader of the Labour party, chose to send her son to the selective grammar school, which draws its pupils from across south-east London and north Kent.

Headteacher Tony Jarvis said "We take our students from all backgrounds and we are delighted that they do so well here.

"We don't just take youngsters who are naturally bright, though they are, and leave them to get on with it, we actually add value.

"We do well between 11 and 16, but the results in the sixth form are outstanding. If we were just getting 70 per cent of A and B grades at A-level we wouldn't be adding value, but we do so much better than that.

"I am incredibly proud of our students because, whatever their background, they come here and achieve brilliantly."

St James' Roman Catholic Primary School in Maybury Close, Petts Wood came second in the top state primary schools.

In last year's OfSted report, the school received all Grade 1s, meaning standards are consistently and exceptionally high.

The inspector wrote: "This is an outstanding school. It is led by an inspirational headteacher, dedicated staff and governors and gives its pupils an excellent standard of education." Meanwhile Chislehurst St Nicholas Church of England Aided Primary School, in School Road, Chislehurst came eighth in London state primary schools and Bromley High Junior School came fifth in the capital's top 10 independent prep schools.

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