Norfolk celebrates another record-breaking set of GCSE results
It was another record-breaking year for GCSE students today as at least 26 Norfolk high schools posted their best ever results.
Of those Norfolk schools reporting their results to the EDP yesterday, 34 had seen their performance improve since last year, two maintained the status quo and 17 had slipped.
It all combined to produce another set of record-breaking results and the county's biggest increase in the gold standard of five A* to C grades, including English and maths, for the past six years.
That achievement was very much boosted by a number of outstanding performances from individual schools boasting increases of up to 27pc.
Last night Alison Thomas, county council member for children's services, congratulated pupils on a fantastic set of results.
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She said: 'There will be very many young people who have achieved beyond what they thought possible and this is testament to their determination and the support of their schools, teachers and parents.'
Leading the pack were Norfolk's academies which, following their impressive showings for A-levels last week, made startling improvements once again.
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But there was also a host of other schools reporting all-time highs.
Hethersett High School achieved its best-ever results as an extra 14pc of pupils reached the benchmark of five A* to C grades, including English and maths, bringing the total to 71pc.
Reepham and Stalham high schools also made big improvements – with jumps of 12pc and 10.5pc respectively – to set new records too.
And Flegg High, at Martham, Notre Dame High, in Norwich, Swaffham Hamond's High, Lynn Grove High, in Gorleston, and Springwood High, in King's Lynn, were among many others celebrating their best-ever performances.
Jon Goodchild, headteacher at Smithdon High School in Hunstanton, where the benchmark figure rose from 40pc to 47pc, said: 'Our record-breaking results underline the improvement which has been taking place at the school. Our students have worked very hard for their achievements and deserve to have been so successful. I am very proud of them all.'
City Academy, which was previously Earlham High School in Norwich, proved its improvement in 2010 was not a one-off with an even bigger leap this year.
Its five A* to C, with English and maths, increased by 15pc to 41pc.
Principal David Brunton said students had done exceptionally well, more than doubling its final results as Earlham High in just two years.
He said the key for his, and all academies, was treating students as individuals and offering them extra support specific to their needs.
He added: 'We feel we have still got a lot we can get for our students. We are very much on goal towards being outstanding.
'We already had a target for next year but we surpassed it this year – it was 40pc. We will have to re-visit that now.'
Cromer saw the biggest drop in results with a 16pc decrease in the number of students reaching the gold standard.
Thetford Academy, which posted its first set of results following the amalgamation of Rosemary Musker High and Charles Burrell High, is now the only Norfolk school not achieving the government's minimum 35pc target.
Principal Cathy Spillane said 28pc of pupils had reached the gold standard but 'the seeds had been sown by the new leadership team for greater academic achievement in future years'.
In north Suffolk, there was a best-ever performance for Benjamin Britten High School, in Lowestoft, following a 1pc improvement, while Sir John Leman High School in Beccles equalled its record.
Graham Newman, Suffolk County Council member for schools, said: Head teachers, teachers and students should be congratulated on their commitment and enthusiasm for learning that has resulted in this tremendous achievement.'
David Harty, Cambridgeshire County Council member for learning, thanked teachers and parents for supporting pupils' ambitions.
Nationally it was also very happy picture with teenagers achieving record results across the country – although boys fell further behind girls.
Nearly one in four – or 23.2pc – of entries scored at least an A grade this year and nearly seven in 10 exams – or 69.8pc – were awarded a C or above according to figures published by the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ).
The overall A*-C pass rate rose for the 23rd year in a row, the national figures showed.