Another record year for GCSEs

HARTLEPOOL’S youngsters have been praised after securing the best-ever GCSE results in the town’s history.

Almost 1,300 teenagers picked up their results yesterday morning after an anxious summer of waiting, and there were smiles all round as figures revealed that the performance bettered last year’s super show and continued a year-on-year improvement from students across Hartlepool.

The figures showed that the number of town students achieving five or more A*-C passes was 78.5 per cent, compared to 74.6 per cent last year.

The number of youngsters gaining five or more A*-C passes in subjects including English and maths also rocketed, with a 56.9 per cent pass rate resulting in a seven per cent rise on the 49.6 per cent recorded last year.

The number of pupils who gained at least one GCSE pass was 98.8 per cent, a 0.2 per cent drop in last year’s rate but reflected an increase in the number of Year 11 students taking exams.

Headteachers now have to send their collated results to the Department of Education to be verified, and they will be published in the form of league tables in the autumn.

But council chiefs were quick to praise the efforts of staff and students following the release of the results yesterday.

Nicola Bailey, Hartlepool Borough Council’s acting chief executive, said: “There is plenty for Hartlepool to celebrate this year.

“The town’s 16-year-olds have every reason to feel very proud of their achievements, which reflect a lot of hard work by themselves and the staff in their schools.”

Councillor Cath Hill, the council’s cabinet member for children’s services, added: “In Hartlepool there is a very strong partnership between the council and schools and a tremendous commitment to inspiring our young people and helping them to achieve their full potential.

“These are excellent results. I send my congratulations to everyone involved and wish the young people success and happiness for the future.”

Meanwhile, excellent figures were also posted by students at schools across east Durham.

David Williams, corporate director of children and young people’s services at Durham County Council, said: “Provisional figures indicate that we have seen a significant improvement in GCSE results in County Durham in 2011.

“The percentage of pupils achieving five or more passes at grades A* – C, including English and maths, is expected to have risen from 55.3 per cent last year to around 59.6 per cent this year.

“This reflects the hard work of pupils and school staff across the county and I am delighted for the many young people who are celebrating their outstanding achievements today.

“These results show that more and more young people are leaving school at 16 with the knowledge and qualifications they need to move successfully to the next stage in their life, whether into employment, training or further education.”