GCSE results improve but district slips down education league tables (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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GCSE results improve but district slips down education league tables
GCSE results in Bradford improved last year, but although the gap between results and the national average has decreased, the district still slipped down the national rankings, according to new league tables.
More pupils in the district gained five or more A* to C grades, including English and maths, in last summer’s exams than in 2012, bucking the national trend.
And the results achieved by some schools rank them as being among the best in the country.
But it was not enough to stop Bradford from falling five places in the national league table – it is now placed 140 out of 150 local education authorities.
Last summer 53 per cent of pupils met the Government target, up from 52.4 last year and 47.5 in 2011.
Calderdale came 27th in the national rankings, up from 50th in 2012, North Yorkshire 29th, down from 15th, Kirklees 53rd, down from 37th and Leeds 115th, up from last year’s 123rd.
The gap between Bradford and the national average is now 6.2 per cent, down from 7 per cent last year and 11.4 per cent in 2011.
At A-level, the final validated results show that Bradford’s average points per pupil decreased by 11.1 points to 647.2. There was also a reduction nationally by 8.7 points to 724.3 in 2013.
Kirklees was second in the country, with an average score of (932.6), Calderdale came in at 27th (820), while North Yorkshire was 31st (811) and Leeds 51st (784.1).
Topping the Bradford tables for GCSEs are Bradford Girls’ Grammar and Bradford Grammar School. At the girls’ grammar, 100 per cent of pupils achieved the benchmark target, meaning the school was ranked number one in the district, and number 74th in the UK. At Bradford Grammar, that figure was 99 per cent, earning it a national ranking of 152nd.
The best performing school in the area is Heckmondwike Grammar School where 100 per cent of its pupils achieved five A*-Cs, with individual scores, giving it the fifth best results in the country.
Other high-scoring schools are Skipton Girls’ High School (85th) with 99 per cent and Ermysted’s Grammar School in Skipton (142nd), also with 99 per cent.
Three schools in Bradford were deemed “under performing” by Government standards – with fewer than 40 per cent of pupils meeting target.
Belle Vue Boys’ School was ranked among the worst performing schools in the country at GCSE level, with the 69th lowest number of pupils achieving this standard. The number fell from 41 per cent in 2012 to 34 per cent, with the school falling in the district rankings from 34th to 36th of 39 eligible schools.
Eternal Light Secondary School saw 35 per cent of pupils achieve the standard, down from 67 per cent last year. And at The Fountain, that number was 27 per cent, down from 45 per cent last year.
Neither independent school features on the list of worst performers because they both had fewer than 30 pupils sitting the exams.
Pudsey Grangefield School dropped by 15 per cent. Last year, 61 per cent of its pupils gained five A* to C grades, and the school was ranked 18 in Leeds. This year it was ranked 36th, with 46 per cent.
Aireville School in Skipton also fell into this category with 34 per cent and a ranking of 51st out of North Yorkshire’s 52 secondary schools.
The Department for Education has also released a list of the state schools that have improved most in the past three years, and there were two local schools highlighted. Beckfoot School in Bingley saw a slight rise in results compared to last year – up from 71 per cent to 72, but since 2010 their results have improved by 12 per cent.
Buttershaw Business and Enterprise College saw one of the biggest one-year leaps in results. Last year it was ranked 36th out of 38 eligible schools in the district, with 37 per cent of pupils getting five or more grades C or higher. This year the school rose to 22nd, with 47 per cent gaining five A* - C grades.
Dixon’s City Academy is now the third-best school in the district for GCSE results, rising six places from last year. The latest results show 75 per cent of pupils gained five top grades, up from 61 per cent in 2012.
One of the most dramatic improvements was Olive Secondary, an Islamic fee-paying school, which saw the number of pupils gain five or more A*-Cs rocket from 23 per cent to 68 per cent in a one year.
Councillor Ralph Berry, executive member for children’s services, said: “I am pleased that the gap between the district and the national performance has, once again, narrowed, but I am aware that there is work to be done to further improve Bradford’s overall GCSE results.
"There have been some notable school successes, and these schools deserve to be congratulated. This is evidence of the positive work being carried out by the Council and the Bradford Partnership of secondary schools.
“We will continue to work with them to bring about further improvements.”
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