A-level results: How did pupils in Camden, Barnet and Haringey fare?

It was a day of celebration at schools in Camden, Barnet, Haringey and Westminster yesterday after many reported a rise in the number of top A-level grades – defying a slight national decline.

Thousands of pupils made the anxious journey to school for the last time last Thursday to pick up their A-level results, with many depending on good grades for university places or employment.

But for most, the agonising wait for results was rewarded with success, with grades in Camden, Barnet and Haringey in line with or smashing national averages.

The majority of schools reported a rise in the number of A* and A grades this year, defying the small nationwide dip in top marks from 26 per cent last year to 25.9pc.

Among those with the most significant jumps in top grades were Westminster Academy in Royal Oak, independent South Hampstead High School (SHHS) in Hampstead, and state secondary Fortismere School in Muswell Hill.

SHHS headteacher Helen Pike said: “These results have crowned our first year in our new building.”

But elsewhere, some schools’ top grades slumped.

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At Hampstead School in Cricklewood, the rate of A* and A grades dropped from 19pc last year to 10pc. Similarly, Regent High School in Somers Town reported a drop in highest marks, from 12pc last year to 7pc this year.

Otherwise, it was a stable set of results for Camden’s schools, with 77.5 of pupils achieving A*-C grades, almost matching the national average of 77.2pc.

It is a slight dip since last year, when 79 per cent of students achieved A* to C grades.

But there was a small increase in the borough’s A-level pass rate, up from 98.3 per cent to 98.6 per cent.

Cllr Angela Mason, Camden’s cabinet member for children, said: “These results are testimony to the quality and hard work of our teachers and the support of parents.”

Camden’s largest sixth-form LaSWAP consortium celebrated its best ever set of results, reporting a pass rate of 99pc for the first time in its history.

But Sam White, one of four headteachers who lead LaSWAP, urged parents not to take results and league tables at face value.

He said: “We need to look at the context of the schools and the starting point of the students, rather than just looking at percentages.”

Echoing his message while celebrating his own pupils’ achievements, Highgate School headteacher Adam Pettit said: “Exams are not the be-all of school life, but these are nonetheless very important markers in each student’s life, and the school’s too.

“It’s great that the national debate about education now encompasses mental health, wider scholarship and employability, and the skewed priorities which sensationalist attention to league tables can create are better understood.”

In both Barnet and Haringey, 83 per cent of pupils achieved A* to C grades, surpassing the national average by nearly 5pc.

Selective Henrietta Barnett School in Hampstead Garden Suburb topped the Ham&High’s league table once again, reporting a slight increase in the number of A* to C grades.

There was also a significant rise in A* to C grades at Hornsey School for Girls in Crouch End, up from 74pc last year to 91pc.

Cllr Ann Waters, Haringey’s cabinet member for children and families, said the borough’s schools were going “from strength-to-strength”.