GCSE pass rate rises across Comet country

THE latest GCSE exam results tables have been released for secondary schools in Comet country with nearly all showing improvement from the previous year.

Out of the 18 schools in The Comet’s patch the top three state institutions with the most pupils achieving five GCSEs and above, including English and Maths in 2010, were Hitchin Girls’ School, with 82 per cent, The Knights Templar School, Baldock, 74 per cent and Hitchin Boys’ School with 71 per cent.

The top three schools showed a mean improvement of seven per cent from 2009.

In Stevenage John Henry Newman Catholic School scored the highest with 70 per cent of pupils gaining five GCSEs followed by The Nobel School with 57 per cent, Barclay School and The Heatchcote School both achieved 53 per cent.

The biggest improvement was from The Thomas Alleyne School which scored 32 per cent in 2009 and 49 last year, an improvement of 17 per cent.

“Last year was a blip and this year we worked very hard. We did extra work with the children and parents, the teachers also worked fantastically hard.

“We were really upset with 2009’s result and I take full responsibility for the blip the year before. This year’s results shows what we can do,” said the school’s headteacher, Jonathon Block.

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Richard Westergreen-Thorne, director of Stevenage 14-19 Partnership, which brings together the town’s schools and colleges to improve standards, says the results for children aged 16 across Stevenage has increased by 10 per cent, around five per cent more than the national average.

In Letchworth GC Fearnhill School had 45 per cent of pupils achieving five GCSEs, the same result they achieved last year and the only school in Comet country that did not show an improvement from 2009.

The other state school in the town, The Highfield School, had 66 per cent of its pupils passing with five GCSEs, an increase of 15 per cent from 2009.

Samuel Whitbread Community College, in Clifton, improved its pass rate by 6 per cent to 57 per cent in 2010.

The full list of results is available from the Department of Education’s website.