DELIGHTED Hartlepool headteachers are today celebrating record-breaking GCSE results - which has seen one school more than double last year’s scores.
Dyke House Sports and Technology College, in Mapleton Road, saw the number of their pupils achieving five A* to C grades at GCSE or equivalent including English and maths rocket from 37 per cent to an incredible 75 per cent in the space of 12 months.
It was the school’s best-ever set of results and headteacher Andrew Jordon has put the dramatic rise down to a renewed focus on improving children’s literacy from the moment they walk through the doors at Dyke House.
Mr Jordon said: “We are really pleased with this fabulous set of results, because the English and maths measure really is the gold standard.
“There has been a big turnaround at the school with regards English, which is something that has held us back in previous years, but we have put a big focus on improving literacy and that has started to reap rewards with this record breaking set of results.”
Overall, town schools achieved an average of 58 per cent getting the top scores, below the national average of 60.2 per cent but almost 10 per cent higher than last year.
Meanwhile, English Martyrs School and Sixth Form College, in Catcote Road, is once again the top secondary school in town for the third successive year.
Headteacher Michael Lee also saw his school achieve record-breaking results, with 83 per cent getting the top grades in 2013 compared to 68 per cent in the year before.
Mr Lee added: “To achieve 83 per cent is a great result and it is actually our best ever which is fantastic news.
“It is all down to continued hard work from the excellent staff who always help to raise the aspirations of the pupils, the dedication of the pupils and the support of their parents.
“We are also pleased the vast majority of students are now studying in our Sixth Form and we are looking forward to them achieving more success.”
Third best performing school was High Tunstall College of Science which saw 53 per cent of pupils getting five A* to C grades including maths and English, compared to 40 per cent last year.
But Manor College of Technology saw their results drop from 49 per cent in 2012 to 43 per cent, while St Hild’s C of E Voluntary Aided School also saw results drop from 54 per cent to 45 per cent.
Labour councillor Chris Simmons, chairman of Hartlepool Borough Council’s children’s services committee, said: “Overall, there has been a strong upward trend in GCSE performance in Hartlepool over the last six years and 2013 saw our young people gain some of the best ever GCSE results in the town’s history.
“Over 80 per cent achieved five or more A* to C grades – an increase of more than a fifth since 2006 – and over 58 per cent achieved five or more A* to C passes including English and maths – up more than 9 per cent on the year before.
“However, there does remain a wide variation in the performance of our secondary schools and the council and the schools are working together very hard to address that. “We all remain committed to doing everything we can to achieve the best possible results for all our young people.”
East Durham schools are also celebrating impressive results.
Top performing was The Academy of Shotton Hall, which saw 79 per cent of students achieve the top marks, up from 62 per cent last year.
Caroline O’Neill, Durham County Council’s head of education, children and adult services, said: “The percentage of pupils at the end of their GCSE courses who obtained five or more GCSEs at grade C or above including English and Maths has gone up to 63.1 per cent.
“This is the 11th year running we have seen an increase in improvement, which is a testament to the high quality of teaching, the dedication of all those involved and the hard work of pupils.”