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Video: Significant rise in GCSE grades at Camden, Barnet and Haringey schools

Ellie Pollard and Sinead Odie open ther results at Parliament Hill School. Picture: Polly Hancock Ellie Pollard and Sinead Odie open ther results at Parliament Hill School. Picture: Polly Hancock

Friday, August 22, 2014
11:15 AM

Camden, Barnet and Haringey schools have celebrated a significant rise in “good” GCSE grades this year - in line with the first nationwide increase for three years.

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Camden and Barnet schools have celebrated a significant rise in “good” GCSE grades this year - in line with the first nationwide increase for three years.

Three same-sex schools achieved best ever results last week with nearly all reporting a jump from last year in five A* to C grades including maths and English - the government’s benchmark for performance.

The boroughs smashed average pass rates this year after schools nationwide saw grades increase for the first time in three years, despite pre-results warnings of “volatile” scores following government GCSE reforms.

Camden and Barnet state schools reported a slight increase this year in pupils achieving benchmark grades, with a jump from 60 per cent to 61 per cent in Camden and an increase of 70.1 per cent to 71.7 per cent in Barnet.

In Haringey, state school pupils achieved 63.3 per cent of five A* to C grades including maths and English - exactly the same result as last year.

However, many schools saw a sharp rise in grades from last year - including William Ellis School, in Highgate Road, which celebrated a 19 per cent jump in benchmark scores from 45 per cent to 64 per cent this year.

Headteacher Sam White said: “These much improved and excellent grades have resulted from everyone working together to secure the best for the boys, the hard work of the students themselves, high quality teaching and thorough, focused support.”

In Camden’s state schools, 71 per cent achieved A* to C grades, surpassing the national average of 68.8 per cent.

The department of education does not release national benchmark figures until January, when results are verified.

Camden Council leader, Cllr Sarah Hayward, said: “As with last week’s A-level results, Camden’s schools and students have a tremendous amount to be proud of.

“The government has moved the goalposts again, but despite this Camden’s schools, students, teachers and everyone involved have risen to the challenge.”

Same-sex schools La Sainte Union Catholic School, Dartmouth Park, independent University College School (UCS), Hampstead, and William Ellis School all celebrated best ever results this year.

Grades at all-girls La Sainte Union rose by four per cent, from 77 per cent to 81 per cent, while at all-boys UCS, Hampstead, the number of A* grades rose from 52.9 per cent last year to 60.1 per cent.

UCS headteacher Mark Beard said: “The GCSE profile is increasingly seen by both universities and employers as an indicator of work ethic and determination of character, and our boys rose to the challenge.”

La Sainte Union headteacher Maureen Williams added: “I am absolutely delighted with this year’s GCSE results, which are the schools best ever.”

However, Hampstead School, Cricklewood and top state secondary Camden School for Girls, Camden Town, both reported falls in benchmark figures this year.

Hampstead School headteacher Jacques Szemalikowski blamed the dip on this year’s GCSE changes, which saw students take all exams at the end of two years, and resits and English speaking and listening exams scrapped.

He said: “I’m especially angry over what’s happened with English. We had all our students spend time doing English speaking and listening only to find out halfway through it won’t count for anything.”

Nationwide, English grades nosedived in a record fall from more than 63 per cent last year to 61.7 per cent.

All-girls Henrietta Barnett School, Hampstead Garden Suburb, remains top of the Ham&High’s league table for another consecutive year after all 92 pupils celebrated at least five A* to C grades including English and maths.

Acting headteacher Mandy Watts said: “The girls and staff worked extremely hard this year to ensure that the many changes affecting examination courses did not have an adverse impact on the girls’ achievement.”

Provisional results from 20 of Barnet’s 23 secondary schools show that they have soared above the national average for a consecutive year, with 83.3 per cent of pupils achieving A* to C grades, compared with 68.8 per cent nationally.

Barnet education chief Cllr Reuben Thompstone said: “We are really proud of our secondary schools and their achievements and this year’s results show they have performed highly once again.

“I would like to wish all our pupils the best of luck for the future, whether they be staying in education or heading into training or employment.”

State schools in the west of Haringey refused to release their results this year.

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