Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 5°C

min temp: 1°C

Search

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.

0 comments

The Brewery Tap in Cliff Lane is the only food outlet in Ipswich to receive zero stars out of five following a visit by food hygiene inspectors.

A car has crashed into the side of a building in the centre of Ipswich this afternoon.

A crash has partially blocked the Copdock interchange.

A new project which aims to highlight the importance of reading is proving a page turner in the latest chapter of one Ipswich school’s story, as youngsters and staff alike are encouraged to ‘drop everything and read’.

Motorists in Suffolk and Essex who use Morrisons petrol stations may find the pumps run dry next month if a dispute over a driver’s pay leads to industrial action.

An 80-year-old man with a previously unblemished record has admitted racially aggravated common assault after an argument following an accident.

The funeral of Status Quo guitarist Rick Parfitt who played regular in Ipswich will take place this afternoon following his death on Christmas Eve.

An Ipswich GP practice has been rated “inadequate” by health inspectors after they found patients were at risk of harm due to failures to act on safety assessments.

Staff at St Benedict’s Catholic School in Bury St Edmunds hailed its first Progress 8 ranking as it topped the Suffolk rankings.

It’s time for a change of manager at Portman Road.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

MyDate24 MyPhotos24