max temp: 8°C

min temp: 7°C


Suffolk: Reprieve for education system as new tables indicate slight progress at GCSE level

15:15 23 January 2014

Suffolk comes 137th in GCSE league tables, up from 142nd last year

Suffolk comes 137th in GCSE league tables, up from 142nd last year

Suffolk’s struggling education system received a small reprieve yesterday following the publication of national league tables.

Suffolk's top performing schoolsSuffolk's top performing schools

The county was placed 137th out of 151 local authorities across the country for GCSE results in 2013. The position signalled a climb back from last year’s 21 place drop to 142nd.

Last night Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for education, skills and young people said schools in the county were making progress and were closing the gap on the national average.

The percentage of pupils in Suffolk achieving five or more GCSEs at A*-C grade now stands at 54.6%, meaning the county is 6.4% off the national average of 61%.

Last year the county was 8.5% off a national average of 59%.

Suffolk’s top performing state schools

Thomas Mills High School

5 A* to C grades - 83%

Average points score - 563.9

Debenham High School

5 A* to C grades - 79%

Average points score 426.7

Bury St Edmunds County Upper School

5 A* to C grades - 77%

Average points score 451.1

Councillor Lisa Chambers said: “This is a reflection of the hard work and dedication of young people and all those individuals in the Suffolk education system who have been relentless in pursuit of improved standards in the county.

“I do however recognise that there is still work to be done to get Suffolk further up the league tables and performing above the national average. Crucially, the pace of improvement needs to increase. It’s what our young people deserve from their education and it’s what we are all determined to achieve.

“We always knew this wasn’t going to be a quick overnight fix. The Raising the Bar programme is a long term investment from partners across the county to see educational attainment improve. I am pleased that we have made a positive start on our journey towards excellence.”

The results came a month after the release of league tables which placed Suffolk joint fourth-worst in the country for primary school education.

30% of primary school pupils failed to reach the required standard in maths and English exams in a system in which “a generation of young children is being failed”, according to Ipswich MP Ben Gummer.

Last year county council education chiefs said Suffolk’s position in GCSE league tables had been adversely affected by harsher national grading of English Literature and English Language GCSEs.

31 out of 37 schools in Suffolk used the AQA examination board, which was widely believed to have adjusted its grade boundaries the most drastically.

The headteacher of King Edward VI School in Bury St Edmunds and education blogger, Geoff Barton, said this year’s results were “encouraging”, but weren’t reflective of the Raising the Bar initiative.

“It’s worth remembering that the cohorts of students are all students who predate the Raising the Bar initiative,” he said. “So it’s far too early to make any judgement about that.”

“Education isn’t like producing cans of baked beans, there are very few quick fixes, it’s all about the quality of teaching… It’s what happens in the classrooms, the other stuff can be a distraction so we just need to keep everybody’s minds on what’s going on in schools.”

Mr Barton added that it was reassuring to know the progress couldn’t be attributed to grade inflation. “The grades have gone up even though people are looking much more carefully at grade values,” he said.



Woman conned by bogus caller (Stock photo)

A Hadleigh woman who lost £2,500 in a police scam has warned others to be alert to the crime.

Members of the nursing team at Ipswich Hospital.

Carers and visitors of people being looked after at Ipswich Hospital will next month be able to spend more time with patients as new extended visiting hours are introduced.

She was last seen in the area of Downside Close in Ipswich.

Concern is growing for a 49-year-old woman who has gone missing in Ipswich.

Part of Sue Brooks' photograph of pupils and staff at Fonnereau House School, Ipswich, in 1952. Are you in the picture?

I recently asked readers if they had memories of Fonnereau House School, Ipswich, which was in Fonnereau Road, close to High Street.

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court

A teenager must pay nearly £300 in fines and court costs after admitting being drunk and disorderly in Kesgrave.

Ipswich Park and Ride. Martlesham.

The two remaining park and ride sites in Ipswich could close in three years’ time if there is not a substantial increase in the number of motorists using them.

Doors reopen on the new look East of England Co-op Daily store in Woodbridge Thoroughfare. Staff members, left to right, Chloe Williams, James Buckles, Shirley Pierce.

Shoppers were greeted by the sight of a new-look Co-op on their high street yesterday, when a Suffolk branch of the store reopened following three weeks of refurbishment.

HGV drink-driver in court

A lorry driver carrying a trailer full of wine has admitted dangerous driving when weaving between lanes on the A14 while three times over the drink-drive limit.

Dan Poulter with Lord Robert Winston

ES 18.3.11

Suffolk County Council’s cabinet training day at Elstree film studios in Hertfordshire has come under fire from Conservative MP and former minister Dr Dan Poulter.

Childhood obesity figures revealed

One in 10 Suffolk children will become obese or overweight before leaving primary school, new figures have revealed.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages

Local business directory

Suffolk's trusted business finder

Property search

e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Digital Edition

Read the Ipswich Star e-edition today E-edition

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24