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Suffolk schools lead the way

PUBLISHED: 17:37 21 November 2001 | UPDATED: 10:53 03 March 2010

SUFFOLK has soared to record-breaking success in GCSE exams, according to new official figures published today - with 54.3 per cent of youngsters scoring five or more passes at A* to C grades.

SUFFOLK has soared to record-breaking success in GCSE exams, according to new official figures published today – with 54.3 per cent of youngsters scoring five or more passes at A* to C grades.

This is the county's best-ever figure, beating the national figure of 50pc and Suffolk's previous record of 53.8pc set in 1999.

The results also show that only 3.3pc of young people in Suffolk are leaving school with no qualifications, compared to more than 5.5pc nationally.

"Once again I would like to congratulate Suffolk students on their GCSE results," said Bryony Rudkin, member of Suffolk County Council's executive committee with responsibility for children and young people.

"Our young people have put in a considerable amount of hard work to achieve these results and they are to be applauded.

"I would also like to thank the teachers, parents and schools involved for the support and encouragement they have given to students."

The Government is set to issue its controversial school league tables tomorrow, pinpointing the schools which have achieved the best and worst sets of exam results across the land.

It had set itself a target of reaching a target of 50pc of youngsters achieving five A* to C passes by 2002, but has now hit this figure a year early.

Although the league table positions of individual schools will not be released until tomorrow, many Suffolk schools had already announced their record-breaking success in the summer.

As pupils opened those eagerly-awaited envelopes, Sue Hargadon, headteacher at Farlingaye High School in Woodbridge, said her school's results were the best ever.

She commented: "The continuing improvement in our results reflect the very hard work by our students, who are fully supported by staff and parents."

And at Northgate High in Ipswich, head Neil Watts said: "This year's group have not only beaten the previous GCSE record – they have shattered it!"

Today, Martin Goold, Suffolk county secretary for the National Union of Teachers, said: "The union doesn't agree with the publication of league tables, because they are only measuring one element of a school's work, and don't take into account other factors like social background.

"But obviously it's pleasing to see that standards are rising and credit will be given to schools and teachers who are achieving these results with their pupils, against some of the odds set by the system."

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