GCSE Results Day 2017: After school posts record results UCS Hampstead headteacher urges government to ‘stop tinkering’

PUBLISHED: 13:02 24 August 2017

UCS Hampstead school students were awarded record results with 91 per cent getting A*-A in their GCSEs. Picture: Omar Qureshi

UCS Hampstead school students were awarded record results with 91 per cent getting A*-A in their GCSEs. Picture: Omar Qureshi


The headteacher of top independent University College School has urged the government to stop tinkering with education after the school posted record GCSE results.

UCS Hampstead student Demi Akinjide, delighted after getting 10 A*s, said: “All the teachers here have been amazing. I just want to thank them.” Picture: Omar Qureshi UCS Hampstead student Demi Akinjide, delighted after getting 10 A*s, said: “All the teachers here have been amazing. I just want to thank them.” Picture: Omar Qureshi

Mark Beard made the comment as the Hampstead school announced it had smashed its record with 91 per cent of pupils scooping top grades of A*-A and 99pc at A*-B.

Mr Beard said: “To have achieved such success across ten GCSE subjects is a remarkable testament to all the boys. They, their committed teachers and supportive parents deserve huge congratulations. It is humbling to witness what these sixteen year olds are capable of,” he added.

In total 67 boys at the school, founded in Gower Street in 1830, gained A-A* grades with 23 netting at least 10 A*s.

At the school to pick up his grades, 16-year-old Demi Akinjide who got 10 A*s, said: “I’m happy. I didn’t expect to do well in English. My handwriting is not that good. It was also a relief. I couldn’t sleep last night.”

Demi – who stays on at the school to take A-levels in maths, further maths, economics and physics – added: “All the teachers here have been amazing. I just want to thank them.”

Unlike teenagers across England this year’s cohort did not sit reformed courses in maths, English language and literature, instead taking international versions of the subjects still graded under the old system and not numbered from one to nine.

Mr Beard said: “It’s good for us because we can make direct comparisons with other years though it’s difficult to make judgements nationally.”

On the reformed GCSEs, started at the school last year in all subjects but science, Mr Beard said: “Teachers across the country have been dealing with changes at A-level and GCSE. What we all hope for is once the next couple of years have gone through, the government stop tinkering with the system and we can get on with teaching.

On grade inflation, an upward trend in average grades some believe stops bright students from excelling, Mr Beard said: “As the new system beds in, teachers and students will find out how to access the higher grades, but I don’t know what will stop grade inflation in 10 years’ time. Will they create a grade 10? Grade inflation is inevitable.”

In 2016 89pc of grades at the school in Frognal were A*-A with 98pc awarded A*-B.

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