High school’s music department is tops

Ripley St Thomas Academy  is named Best Music Department
Ripley St Thomas Academy is named Best Music Department
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Staff and pupils at a Lancashire school hit the high note after raising the roof in a national awards.

Ripley St Thomas Academy in has been officially declared the Best School Music Department of the Year in the 2017 Music Teacher Awards for Excellence.

The Lancaster school’s triumph follows a host of innovations and successes, including being the first state school in more than a century to host the MMA Conference on Music Education.

The award was presented at a black tie dinner and ceremony at the Sheraton Grand London Park Lane Hotel in Mayfair.

More than 280 industry guests including teachers, hub leaders, musicians and VIPs, representing the best and brightest in performing arts education enjoyed a champagne reception, live music, a three course meal, ceremony and performances, and saw Don Gillthorpe and Ann Burtonwood receive the accolade for Ripley St 
Thomas.

Don Gillthorpe, director of music and performing arts at the school said: “This is a tremendous achievement for the whole music department,pupils and staff alike.

“I am delighted that the progress which we have made over the last four and a half years has been recognised in this way and look forward to continuing to develop music at Ripley ever further.”

Chairman of governors Professor John Crewdson added: “I am delighted that our music department has achieved this national 
recognition.

“It is very well deserved”.

As part of the academy’s teaching school status, Ripley runs a successful school-centred initial teacher training programme, where music graduates can train to teach music.

Many visiting musicians work with Ripley pupils and the academy also hosts sessions for other schools.