School named among UK’s top performers for non-academic subjects

St Bedes headteacher Paul Mc Kenna
St Bedes headteacher Paul Mc Kenna

STAFF and students are feeling on top form after their college was named in the top 200 best performers for non-academic subjects.

St Bede’s Catholic Comprehensive School and Byron Sixth Form College, in Peterlee, has narrowly missed out on a place in the top 100 national state schools for Key Stage 5, which is sixth form, vocational qualifications.

The school came 104th in the country’s best 200 performers, with a mark of 810.9 average points score per full-time equivalent vocational student.

It was one of only four in County Durham to make the list, and just 11 in the region in the top 200.

The scores are based on average points scores per full-time vocational student, including those who are taking courses such as BTECs and NVQs.

It comes almost a year after the school, along with others in East Durham, came under attack from Education Secretary Michael Gove who said the area lacked ambition, adding “when you go into those schools you can smell the sense of defeatism”.

Paul McKenna, headteacher at the school and sixth form college, in Westway, today spoke of his delight at the achievement.

He said: “We are delighted to see that in all three post-16 progress measures – A-Level, academic and vocational, the students at Byron Sixth Form College have made significantly better progress than the national average.

“We are especially pleased that the success of Byron has continued for yet another year, and to be placed not short of the top 100 sixth forms for vocational qualifications is an outstanding achievement.

“Credit must go to the hard-working staff and students whose efforts I think again have been rewarded.”

He added that the success also came at a time when Byron Sixth Form College had been completely rebuilt as part of a £17m revamp.