Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 3°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Suffolk: Volatility shows up in this year’s GCSE results

06:00 22 August 2014

Local councillor Brian Riley, education cabinet member Lisa Chambers and Suffolk County Council leader Mark Bee with successful students at Hadleigh High School.

Local councillor Brian Riley, education cabinet member Lisa Chambers and Suffolk County Council leader Mark Bee with successful students at Hadleigh High School.

Archant

High schools and academies across Suffolk are digesting some of the most volatile GCSE results seen since the exam was introduced in the mid-1980s.

shares

Some schools saw considerable improvements in earlier years’ results – but at others there was a significant drop in performance.

This was reflecting national volatility – combined with a change in the way exams are sat. They are now concentrated at the end of the two-year course.

Overall across Suffolk there was a slight increase in the number of students who gained five A*-C grade GCSEs including English and Maths, the figure went up by 1%.

However individual schools showed widely varying results – and several schools, including Felixstowe Academy, are planning to challenge the marks, especially for English.

Hadleigh High School showed a massive improvement in results – the number of students gaining five or more good A*-C GCSEs including English and Maths went up from 44% last year to 69%, an increase of 25%.

However some traditionally-successful schools like Debenham High and Thomas Mills High at Framlingham saw their figures fall significantly.

Hadleigh High headteacher Caroline Gibson said: “We are absolutely delighted that all the efforts made by pupils and staff have paid off in a time where examinations are in a state of constant flux.

“These successful outcomes, along-side the effective skills for learning we value and develop, will place our pupils in a strong position for the next phase of their learning.”

Across the county 56% of Suffolk’s year 11s got the expected level of attainment. In 2013, it was 55%.

Another school with impressive results was Westbourne Academy in Ipswich – 52% of students achieved five or more A*-C grades (including English and Maths). This is up from 31% last year, an increase of 21%.

Lisa Chambers, Suffolk’s cabinet member for education, said: “Early indications are that there’s been a rise in the number of GCSE students gaining five or more good A*-C grades, including English and Maths.

“This is testament to the hard work and dedication of teachers, heads, governors, parents and, most importantly, students.

“National changes to the way exams are taken, papers are marked and results recorded, seem to be affecting Suffolk too – but this doesn’t take away from the positive picture that we’re seeing today.

“We will continue to work with, and challenge, schools to drive up educational attainment. That is the direction we set with our Raising the Bar agenda and is now what education professionals across the county are united around.”

Suffolk NUT secretary Graham White said his members would be feeling let down because the changes made it very difficult to judge the success of students.

He said: “We have seen changes brought in without consultation, and now we see that in English there have been major changes forced on teachers which have really changed the way the examinations are held.”

He feared that employers could find it difficult to judge the potential of students after this year’s exams.

Related articles

shares

2 comments

  • From an employers point of view a D in this years results would be at least equal to the C grade that we are used to. I think employers urgently need to be informed about these changes so that they aren't dismissing perfectly capable candidates with deflated grades on their CV.

    Report this comment

    IpswichResident

    Friday, August 22, 2014

  • Does Paul Geater need an English lesson? "Volatile" results? Do you mean variable? <shakes head at the poor standard of teaching at Mr Geater's school>

    Report this comment

    Alice

    Friday, August 22, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Mark Bee and his deputy Lisa Chambers at Endeavour House in Ipswich after they saw off last year's challenge to their leadership.

Conservative councillor Mark Bee is to step down as leader of Suffolk County Council after four years in the role.

Voting isn't the only form of political engagement

The ideological machine that is meant to serve us has gone wrong and is tyrannising us, but that doesn’t mean we should boycott the ballot box

Suffolk has an ageing population - but can we cope?

Dramatic increases in the average age of people in Suffolk have been highlighted in a report which reveals that in some areas nearly one in 10 are expected to be aged 85 or over in the next two decades.

Damage to overhead wires between Diss and Stowmarket - photo courtesy of Greater Anglia

Rail users face an afternoon and evening of severe delays on routes between Norwich and London, after high winds caused damage to overhead power lines between Stowmarket and Diss.

There is the potential for sweeping changes at Braintree District Council come election day – though in practice that is unlikely to happen.

Klaudia Sokolowska

Police are searching for a 14-year-old girl in Felixstowe who has gone missing for the third time in three months.

Hunting for eggs

Will you be feeding the newborn lambs at The Museum of East Anglian Life, trying your hand at archery at Ickworth House or hunting eggs at The Middy’s Steam up this weekend?

Princess Anne meets Livability Treetops Service Manager Janet Bilton during her visit to Livability Treetops in Colchester on Tuesday.

The Princess Royal flew in to Colchester today as part of her work supporting a disability charity.

Firefighters were called to the house fire

Firefighters were called to a house fire in Stowmarket this afternoon.

Fears over future of probation service in Suffolk and elsewhere in East Anglia

Criminals jailed for up to a year could be supervised over the phone and use kiosks to report to the probation service electronically once they are released back in the community.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages