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Top class county achieves its best ever GCSE results
IT’S official – Oxfordshire students achieved their best ever set of five A*-C GCSE grades including maths and English this year Figures released on Thursday by the Department of Education reveal that 60.3 per cent – the national average is 60.4 – of students achieved the grades. It’s the highest level achieved in the county and a 2.4 percentage point rise on last year.But headteachers have said there must still be improvement on this result.
Simon Spiers, executive headteacher at Wantage’s King Alfred’s Academy, said schools should not be complacement. This August, 73 per cent of GCSE pupils at the school achieved the benchmark.
Mr Spiers said: “We are all pleased to see the results moving in the right direction but there is much more still to do.
“It shows real improvements are going on across the county and there is some incredible work by schools in preparing for exams which is difficult in this current climate, which is a constantly changing picture.
“But there is no room to be complacent about these results. In areas of the county we must be setting aspirational targets and striving to be up there and beating the statistical neighbours that we are measured against.”
He added that by 2016 the school is hoping to have 90 per cent of its students getting five A*-C grades.
Sue Croft, the principal of Oxford Spires Academy, said although she had been disappointed by this summer’s results – which saw 49 per cent achieve the benchmark – schools would continue to improve because of high expectations.
She added: “The heads of all the secondary schools are working together and challenging each other to raise both expectations and standards.”
Wyll Willis, headteacher at Wallingford School, which was the top performing school in the county with a 76 per cent achievement rate, said : “What we have done is work with those students who are on borderline grades and really focused on getting them there.
“But we have to keep doing it across all the levels because if you focus too much on those with lower grades then it is likely to go wrong for you elsewhere. We weren’t doing well a few years ago and without this relentless work we wouldn’t have been able to get to where we are.”
Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet member for children, education and families, Melinda Tilley, said: “The commitment of teachers, parents and young people themselves has made a real difference to the performance reflected in these results.
“This is something we need to continue to build on so as to make Oxfordshire a centre of excellence and achievement.”
The proportion of GCSE students making ‘expected levels of progress’ – a key measure – in English has also increased by 5.1 per cent from 65.2 per cent last year to 70.3 per cent. In maths the figure rose by 0.1 per cent from 70.8 per cent in 2012 to 70.9 per cent this year.
s School GCSE results are available at ow.ly/pXhYN
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