FOR the second year in a row Bradford's schools seem to have bucked the trend with improving A-level results, with thousands of students getting their top choice to university.

Many of the district's schools reported record results, and most pupils getting on the courses they wanted.

Nationally, the number of students passing their exams dropped for the first time in more than 30 years, but according to Bradford Council, early figures show that the district's schools saw a rise in results, along with many individual success stories.

The Council says that many schools have performed "beyond expectations".

One school, Laisterdyke Business and Enterprise College, which has been mired in recent controversy managed to overcome recent problems and record its best results.

In April the school's governing body was fired after a report criticising how the school was governed, attracting a large amount of national publicity. Despite this nearly all of the students had gained at least two A -levels, and many were celebrating gaining A*, A and B grade qualifications.

Principal Jen McIntosh said “Our business and ICT students always do very well and it’s great to see the record number of students gaining distinctions and merits in those subjects in business performing in the top five per cent of students nationally.

"These are young people who have not only achieved well academically but have been an absolute credit to their families and our community during their time here.”

At Bradford College, students, many of whom were returning to education after an unsuccessful first time round, were delighted with some of the college's best results yet. Sixty eight A* or As were awarded to pupils, and 98 per cent of students from the centre for academic studies gaining a pass.

Tony Laycock, acting assistant principal, said: "This has been better than other years. About 70 per cent of our students have been somewhere else before and many have not done well when they did exams in the past. They have come to us and it's great they have got grades they want."

At Bradford Grammar School 20 pupils got good enough grades to go to study medicine, veterinary or dentistry at university. Jacqueline Li achieved 5A* in maths, physics, chemistry, further maths and additional further maths.

After the national results were published, the Institute for Engineering and Technology raised concerns that too few girls were studying maths and physics at A-level, which could lead to a overly male dominated engineering industry.

However, results at Belle Vue Girls' School seem to buck that trend. After a great year for the subjects last year, the class of 2014 achieved particularly highly in A-level and AS-level maths and science, with more than 50 per cent of those studying those subjects achieving the top grades of A* to B. The school’s overall pass rate for A-level was 98 per cent, with most subjects at 100 per cent.


Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

At Ilkley Grammar School retiring head teacher Gillian James welcomed another year of success for her final set of A-level students. The school again recorded record results, with a 99.6 per cent pass rate, 13.85 per cent A* and 39 per cent A*/A grades.

A total of 86 per cent of students hit the A* to C mark, and there were outstanding performances from a whole range of students.

South Craven School in Cross Hills went against the national trend, with boys outperforming the girls. Matthew Cant, of Steeton, gained four A* in biology, chemistry, physics and maths, as well as an A in general studies. He is going to India for six months to do missionary work in Kolkata, and will then study medicine at Birmingham University.


Councillor Ralph Berry, executive for children's services at Bradford Council, said last night: "It is too early to tell yet, but it looks like our results have gone up.

"If this proves to be the case, it could mean Bradford has bucked a less positive trend nationally - which is some achievement. I've heard that they have had their best ever results at Dixons Allerton Academy and Laisterdyke. That's not to say everything is suddenly transformed. but it is all about closing that gap.

"I'm pretty pleased - we need to see what happens with the GCSEs next week and we have a huge amount of work to do, but it does look like we're closing the gap and I'm delighted with some of these results."