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Wirral pupils shine in new secondary school exam tables
WIRRAL pupils were today celebrating record-breaking success as school league tables were published.
Figures released by the Department for Education that more youngsters than ever before were pulling in the top grades.
The number of students celebrating A*-C in any subject rose from 64.1% to 65.4%.
Councillor Tony Smith, Wirral’s cabinet member for children’s services and lifelong learning, said: “These performance tables confirm the provisional results we received last August and once again I would like to congratulate all the young people who worked hard to gain these excellent set of results and all those that supported them.
"In particular I am pleased for those youngsters from disadvantaged backgrounds who have strived to achieve their best ever results and close the gap on their, also high performing, peers.”
And it seems the borough’s girls managed to narrowly outshine their male counterparts as GCSE results showed Upton Hall School, Wirral Grammar School for Girls and West Kirby Grammar all scored the near perfect result of 99% of pupils getting five A*-C grades, including English and Maths.
Upton Hall headteacher Patricia Young said: "I am delighted for the girls who worked so hard and for their parents who offered their support.
"At a time when the news is so gloomy it is wonderful to be able to congratulate these girls on their superb performance."
Birkenhead School and Calday Grange Grammar followed closely behind at 98% and 97%, respectively, while the borough’s comprehensives also performed way above the national average with Weatherhead High School scoring 77% and St John Plessington College 76%.
But it was not all plain sailing as the University Academy Birkenhead and the Oldershaw School and Business and Enterprise College fell short of Government standards.
Both schools saw just 35% of pupils scoring five A*-C grades including Maths and English, meaning they are among 195 school in England falling below the Government’s "floor target" of 40%.
The league tables showed St John Plessington pupils to have improved the most since primary school but 11 Wirral schools were below the national average for this rating.
St John Plessington deputy headteacher Simon Rylance said he was thrilled the school had secured top position for progress for the second year running.
He said: “We are absolutely delighted with this score as we believe this indicator is a true sign of how well a school is performing and how pupils progress.
“We know our pupils inside out and they are very much aware of how they are doing from year seven right through to year 11. We have high expectations for students of all abilities and pupils work to achieve their best.”
Taking the crown for the best A-level results was Wirral Grammar School for Boys, with The Mosslands School and Birkenhead Sixth Form College also performing well.
In total, 195 schools in England, collectively teaching around 167,000 children, are falling below the Government's new floor target for secondaries, the figures show.
This means that less than 40% of their pupils are gaining at least five GCSEs at grade C or higher, including English and maths, and students are not making good enough progress in these two core subjects.
Ministers have raised the floor target since last year (2011), but if this year's measure was applied to last year's results, 251 schools would have dropped below it.
The new tables are based on data provided by the Department for Education (DfE) and show how every school and college in England performed at GCSE and A-level in 2012.
For the first time this year, the Government has also published figures on the numbers of pupils at each school or college that are scoring at least two A grades and a B at A-level in "facilitating" subjects.
These are subjects that are preferred, or required more often, by Russell Group universities, which are considered among the top institutions in the UK.
An initial analysis of the latest statistics suggests that at around 600 schools and colleges - just over one in four - no A-level student scored AAB in facilitating subjects. Selective schools dominated the tables again this year.
The top school for GCSE results was Colyton Grammar School in Devon. The co-educational school entered 117 pupils for GCSEs and equivalent exams this year, and all got at least five qualifications at grade C or higher.