Essex schools celebrate GCSE and A-level performance results

GCSE results explained. Photo: THINKSTOCK

GCSE results explained. Photo: THINKSTOCK

© Corbis. All Rights Reserved.

Secondary schools in Essex had cause to celebrate after statistics published last week confirmed the county performed above the national average under the Government’s new GCSE measures.

Data released by the Department for Education (DfE) on Thursday (January 19), alongside the secondary school performance tables, shows the Attainment 8 score for Essex (an average grade across a set of eight subjects) is 50.4 – above the national average of 50.1.

As a result, Essex is ranked 61st of all 151 local authorities. It ranked 74th for Attainment 8 last year.

The Government’s new measures aim to focus more on pupil progress rather than just exam results and the county’s Progress 8 score (average of all students’ progress across eight subjects between Key Stage Two and Key Stage Four) was in line with the national average.

In Essex, 64.3 per cent of pupils achieved a grade C or higher in both English and maths – above the national average of 63.3 per cent.

As well as the publication of revised Key Stage Four (GCSE) results, the DfE also released revised A-level results.

In state-funded schools in Essex, 16.6 per cent of students achieved three or more grades at A, A, B or better at A-level, which included two or more in facilitating subjects (subjects most commonly required at A-level) – above the national average of 15.6 per cent.

Due to the changes in the measures, direct comparisons with previous years are not possible.

Saffron Walden County High was among the top schools in Essex for its results, with a Progress 8 score of 0.32 and 84 per cent of students achieving a grade C or higher in both English and maths.

Headteacher Caroline Derbyshire said: “We are delighted that the outstanding performance of our students has been reflected in the recently published performance tables.

“On every measure, Saffron Walden County High School is one of the highest performing schools in Essex. It ranks highest among non-selective schools in Essex for attainment, and is among the best for Progress 8.”

Helena Romanes in Great Dunmow received a negative Progress 8 score of -0.30 but 67 per cent of all students were awarded at least a C grade in both English and maths – above the county average of 64.3 per cent.

Forest Hall School in Stansted posted an impressive Progress 8 score of 0.45 and 67 per cent of students achieved a C grade or more in maths and English.

Joyce Frankland Academy in Newport scored a negative Progress 8 result of -0.35 but 66 per cent of students gained at least a C grade in both maths and English – which was above the county average.

Ray Gooding, county councillor for education, said: “Secondary schools in Essex are performing exceptionally well.

“I am very pleased the hard work of teachers and pupils is also reflected in the revised GCSE results and secondary school performance tables. The introduction of new GCSE measures always presents an additional challenge and I am proud of what has been achieved.”

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