Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 7°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Suffolk improves, but falls further in GCSE rankings

06:00 26 January 2012

Colchester County High School head Gillian Marshall with students at the School on Norman Way, Colchester, clebrating their amazing GCSE table results.

Colchester County High School head Gillian Marshall with students at the School on Norman Way, Colchester, clebrating their amazing GCSE table results.


SUFFOLK’S schools continue to perform poorly at GCSE level, despite showing a 3% improvement on last year’s performance.


The Department for Education publishes its Key Stage Four league tables today and Suffolk is ranked 121st out of 152 local authorities – a drop of nine places from 112th the previous year and once again below Essex, in 72nd place, and Norfolk, which was 115th in the table.

However, the proportion of Suffolk pupils achieving five GCSE grades at A* to C including English and maths has now gone up by 6% in two years, but the county’s schools are still struggling to keep up with the national average.

Across the county 54.7% of pupils scored the required five grades, including English and maths, which was up from 51.7% the year before. The national average was 58.9%.

The best performing school in Suffolk is Ipswich School, while the top state school is St Benedict’s Catholic School in Bury St Edmunds.

The A-level achievements rate Suffolk as the 59th best performing authority, while Essex is ranked 25th and Norfolk 103rd.

Graham Newman, Suffolk’s head of education, said he was encouraged by the improvement from the previous year’s grades, but acknowledged that there was still plenty progress to be made.

Mr Newman also claimed the figures once again reinforced the view that the authority was right to pursue the school organisation review and change from three tier to a country-wide two tier system.

He said: “There are some bits of good news – we don’t have any maintained secondary schools in Suffolk below the floor target with English and maths.

“We’ve got to raise our game for Suffolk really. It’s a bit wider than just the schools.

“The schools organisation review is one of the things we are doing which will change the education in the county for the better. We want to do that and know that this time there has been 3% less achievement in the three tier schools than in two tier.”

However, Graham White, Suffolk NUT county secretary said the overall poor performance had nothing to do with the school organisation review and that the money would have been better spent in the classroom.

He said: “It’s dreadful – I think we have to look at the causes. Suffolk County Council can’t turn around and say ‘if we had a two-tier system this would not be a problem’ because frankly that’s rubbish.

“It’s the authority that is causing problems. We have to look at what we can do to improve the overall performance of schools. It needs to be much better and we need to spend money in schools.”

Essex County Council’s Stephen Castle, cabinet member for education, welcomed his county’s figures.

He said: “The updated league tables reflect the hard work and commitment of staff and students in Essex and I would like to congratulate all schools and students for their efforts.”

Colchester County High School for Girls was the third best in the country for all types of schools, ranked by the percentage of candidates gaining at least five A* to C-grades. Chelmsford County High School for Girls and Colchester Royal Grammar School also made the top 200.

Three Colchester schools were among the top 200 state schools, both selective and non-selective, by the percentage of pupils achieving the English Baccalaureate.

These were King Edward VI Grammar School in Chelmsford, Colchester Royal Grammar School and Colchester County High School for Girls.

Among the schools to show at least a 5% rise in the number of candidates getting five A* to C grades at GCSE was Stowmarket High School.

Headteacher Keith Penn said: “We were really pleased, the students did very well last summer and we were delighted with that.

“Both students at GCSE and A-level got the highest marks ever but the individual performance of students is more important than the league table.”

Two Ipswich Schools and another from Colchester found themselves ranked in the bottom 200 across the country in terms of the percentage of candidates getting at least five A* to C-grades in subjects including English and maths.

Thurleston High School and Holywells High School both saw the average GCSE points per candidate go up, but remain among the poorest-performing schools at Key Stage Four in the country.



The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne delivers his joint Autumn Statement and Spending Review. Photo: PA Wire

Chancellor George Osborne said councils could put up council tax bills by an extra 2% if the increase was reserved to cover social care costs as he delivered his Autumn Statement today..

Kieron Dyer on I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here! 2015. Photo:  ITV/PA Wire

Former Ipswich Town midfielder Kieron Dyer shocked fans tonight when he quit ITV programme I’m A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here’, before making a U-turn decision.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne delivers his joint Autumn Statement and Spending Review to MPs in the House of Commons, London. PA Wire

Families receiving tax credits and bobbies on the beat were given a reprieve as the chancellor moved to quieten his critics with an unexpected cuts U-turn.

Two people were taken to Colchester General Hospital for further treatment

An elderly man had to be freed from his vehicle by fire crews in Wix, near Manningtree, this evening after a collision on the A120.

Don't leave it til the day before, start preparing your Christmas treats now

Does the mention of Christmas bring you out in a cold sweat? All that shopping, cooking and cleaning.

Ipswich council leader David Ellesmere at the former sugar beet factory site off Sproughton Road.

A new Enterprize Zone involving 10 development sites across East Anglia, with the potential to create 18,500 jobs, was announced by Chancellor George Osborne today.

Nick Alston, Essex Police and Crime Commissioner, pictured with Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh. Picture: Su Anderson.

Police chiefs in Essex gave a cautious welcome yesterday to the Chancellor’s announcement there would be no further cuts to policing.

Police at the scene of the robbery

Two men have been arrested in connection with a robbery at a One Stop convenience store in Claydon, Suffolk, on Sunday.

Police enforced a cordon at around 3pm

Two suspected unexploded mortars and ammunition, found in a building site in Colchester, saw a 100m cordon enforced in Mersea Road afternoon.

Police joined forces with partner agencies for the operation

People were arrested and vehicles seized in a series of police checks carried around in Ipswich and Thetford this week.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder

Property search

e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Digital Edition

Read the East Anglian Daily Times e-edition today E-edition

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24