School makes the grade again

English Martyrs school headteacher Michael Lee celebrates with students
English Martyrs school headteacher Michael Lee celebrates with students

A HARTLEPOOL school is celebrating after coming top in the town for their GCSE results for a second year running.

English Martyrs School and Sixth Form College in Catcote Road achieved the highest pass rate of students earning at least five A* to C grades, including maths and English, at 68 per cent.

The results were the second highest ever recorded by the school after 2011’s record breaking year.

Pass rates for the town were down slightly compared to last year, which education chiefs put down to the change in grading boundaries for English papers by exam bosses.

Headteacher Michael Lee said: “We’re absolutely delighted with the results achieved by our students last year.

“Our students worked very hard as did their teachers and they were supported by their parents.

“I put the success down to everybody pulling together and the real sense of community and partnership between the staff, students and families.

“We want every student to do their best and have a combined vision.”

English Martyrs was followed by St Hild’s Church of England Voluntary Aided School with a 54 per cent pass rate, marking a big jump on the previous year when it was ranked lowest in the town with a 38 per cent pass rate.

Third spot in Hartlepool was occupied by Manor College of Technology with 49 per cent of students getting at least five A* to C grades including maths and English.

They were followed by High Tunstall College of Science with 40 per cent and Dyke House with 37 per cent.

The national average pass rate was 59.9 per cent.

Councillor Cath Hill, Hartlepool Borough Council’s cabinet member for children’s services, said: “In 2012 there were some fantastic individual GCSE results and I applaud students for their efforts along with schools and parents for their support.

“Overall, there was a drop in the number of students achieving five A*s to including English and maths and one of the reasons for this was the decision by some examination boards to change the grade boundaries.

“This is being contested by schools through the courts so the figures could yet change.”

Dean Jackson, the council’s assistant director of performance and achievement, added: “Previously, we had four successive year on year increases in GCSE results and I am confident that the 2012 results for some of our schools are a blip.

“All of the indicators show that the town wide GCSE results for 2013 will be on a par or above the national average once again which is encouraging.”

He added the council was working closely with all of the town’s secondary schools to raise attainment levels and said a number of measures are in place to make sure every student reaches their full potential.