Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 5°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.

Archant

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

shares

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.

shares

0 comments

Man ran up £24k debt on company credit card

A financial manager from west Suffolk who used his company credit card to join internet dating sites and buy flowers and jewellery, has been jailed for 15 months.

Dot Booley, 67, is skydiving for Halesworth Community Nursing Care Fund (HCNCF)

A thrill-seeking grandmother is to take a 13,000ft leap of faith for the charity that supported her husband through his final days.

The first phase of work to build a dementia memory walk in the corridors of West Suffolk Hospital has begun as a fundraising campaign to pay for the work more than doubled its £25,000 target to reach an impressive £60,000.

Long Melford Open Spaces volunteers at work planting trees in the country park.

A village park which the county council gifted to the local community three years ago has so far cost ratepayers £42,000 to maintain, it has been claimed.

Suffolk's former Chief Constable, Simon Ash launching the Bin a Blade amnesty in December 2010.

Police chiefs last night insisted Suffolk is a safe place to live despite new figures revealing officers have seized more than 500 weapons being carried in public in the last four years.

Olivia Nicholson, an agriculture student at Harper Adams University, in Shropshire, has spent recent months being mentored by a progressive pig farmer near Woodbridge as part of the McDonald’s Progressive Young Farmer Training Programme, launched in 2012. Photo by Daniel Lynch (lynchpix.co.uk).

A student with no previous experience in farming has made an impression working with livestock in the Suffolk countryside.

There is an environmental message behind the bike ride

In the fortnight that the Full Monty has been driving women mad at the Ipswich Regent and the Puppetry of the “O er Missus” has brought tears to the eyes of male theatre-goers in town, it’s emerged that another event for the broad-minded is on the drawing board.

Outgoing county council leader Mark Bee.

Members of Suffolk County Council’s Conservative group have until 5pm tonight to submit nomination papers for the jobs of leader and deputy leader of the authority.

Stock image of fire crews attending an incident.

Firefighters were called to a fire in an undercover market in Clacton last night.

Drink-driver Gintaras Sendzikas after his court hearing

An April Fools’ day drink-driver is facing a possible jail term after being arrested for drink-driving twice in 24 hours.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages