Schools step up on exam results

GOVERNMENT league tables show pupils at secondary schools in Comet country are getting better exam results at GCSE level. The annual results, compiled by the Department for Children, Schools and Families, show the proportion of students getting at least f

GOVERNMENT league tables show pupils at secondary schools in Comet country are getting better exam results at GCSE level.

The annual results, compiled by the Department for Children, Schools and Families, show the proportion of students getting at least five GCSEs at grades A* to C, including English and maths, is largely increasing.

At Samuel Whitbread Community College in Clifton the number has risen from 31 per cent in 2004 to 51 per cent last year, making it top of the table for Mid Beds.

The college also hit 51st spot in the top 100 secondary schools in England showing the biggest sustained improvement in GCSE results over the last four years.

Top of the table in North Herts, and maintaining its score from 2006, 93 per cent - double the national average of 46.7 per cent - of students at St Francis College in Letchworth GC achieved at least five GCSEs at grades A* to C, including English and maths. Neighbouring St Christopher School rocketed from 59 per cent in 2006 to 70 per cent in 2007, while with 54 per cent, Fearnhill School in Letchworth GC has improved by 10 per cent, compared with 2006.

But 43 per cent of pupils at The Highfield School in Letchworth GC achieved at least five GCSEs at grades A* to C, including English and maths - 10 per cent down on the previous year.

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Hitchin Girls' School dropped nine per cent from 2006 and recorded 74 per cent of pupils achieving at least five good GCSEs while 42 per cent of students at The Priory School in Hitchin made the grade, marking a vast improvement from 28 per cent in 2006.

At John Henry Newman in Stevenage, 71 per cent of students made the grade - a one per cent increase on its results for 2006.

Stratton Upper School and Community College achieved 47 per cent - up eight per cent - and 31 per cent of pupils at Sandy Upper and Community Sports College made the grade, showing a four per cent drop from 2006 and putting the college at the bottom of the league table for secondary schools in Comet country.

Sandy Upper headteacher, David Stevinson, said: "We believe the school is capable of achieving far better results and we are looking and working for a significant and sustained improvement in this area."

Against a national average of 46.7 per cent, 55.9 per cent of pupils in Hertfordshire and 47.1 per cent of pupils in Bedfordshire achieved at least five GCSEs at grades A* to C, including English and maths.

In terms of value added - a comparison of pupils' exam performances with other pupils nationally who had a similar attainment - Sandy Upper were at the bottom of the table for Bedfordshire, scoring 960.4, compared to a national average of 1,000.

Sandy Upper, Barnwell (961.2) and Heathcote (963.5) all came within the bottom five per cent of schools in England in terms of value added.

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