Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Schools Reveal Patchy Results; Performance Tables Released

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Schools Reveal Patchy Results; Performance Tables Released

Article excerpt

Byline: Nicola Juncar

LEAGUE tables published yesterday reveal a mixed performance from secondary schools in different parts of the North East.

The tables show how pupils fared in last summer's GCSEs and A-levels, with a number of schools in County Durham named amongst the best in the country for their rate of improvement.

Some in Newcastle, however, ranked amongst the worst.

Newcastle is placed at 137 out of 150 local authorities for GCSE scores and Excelsior Academy, in the city's west end, was the eighth worst in the country for its results.

But John Collings, acting executive director of children's services at Newcastle City Council, insisted progress was being made.

"What the league tables don't show is the hard work going on in our schools and the improvements," he said. It is a fact that our schools are performing better than ever before and you can't compare Newcastle fairly with other parts of the region, as they are culturally and historically different."

Half of Durham County Council''s 36 secondary schools are in the top 10% of schools nationally for their value added scores, which measure the progress that pupils make from starting secondary school at the age of 11 to the time they sit their GCSEs aged 16.

David Ford, head of achievement services at Durham County Council, said: "This is extremely positive news.

"These improvements in GCSE performance reflect the continuing focus that schools and the council have had over the last seven years on improving these important results."

North Tyneside Council is ranked at 45 out of 150 for GCSEs, making it the best performing authority in the region, and Gateshead is 53rd, a jump from 76th place just two years ago.

Sunderland has the region's top A-level results, being ranked 19th in the country, followed by Newcastle and Northumberland.

The region's top performing school for A-levels was Dame Allan's Girls School in Newcastle, with St Robert of Newminster School in Washington the best state school. At GCSE, the best performing school in the region was Newcastle Central High School for Girls, while the top state school was Emmanuel College in Gateshead. …

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