GCSE league tables: How did your school perform as Suffolk overtakes Norfolk in national rankings?

Students at Northgate High School in Dereham picking up their GCSE results. Picture: Ian Burt Students at Northgate High School in Dereham picking up their GCSE results. Picture: Ian Burt

Thursday, January 23, 2014
2:30 PM

GCSE results in Norfolk have fallen for the first time in nine years, according to league tables published today, despite improved performances both nationally and in neighbouring counties.

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Norfolk plunged 20 places in the national league tables, from 118th in 2012 to 138th in 2013, and saw the percentage of pupils achieving the government’s “gold standard” of at least five A*-C grades, including English and maths, in GCSEs or their equivalents, drop from 55.6% to 54.4%.

2013 league tables for GCSEs and A-levels in the EDP region
Our coverage of GCSE results day in 2013
Photo galleries of students receiving their GCSE results last August

However, the disappointing overall figures masked strong results at a number of schools, including some which recorded double-digit increases in pupils hitting the key target.

The percentage of Suffolk pupils achieving the same standard climbed from 50.5% to 54.6%, moving the county one place above Norfolk in the rankings.

Cambridgeshire also saw an improvement in its pupils’ results, with 61% of pupils reaching the key target – taking the county above the national average of 60.6% and into 73rd place in the county.

Mick Castle, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for education, said he was “concerned that the gap nationally at GCSE has increased this year”, but said the council’s strategy would improve results.

He said: “That strategy has received expert external review, which found there was unwavering determination to see through changes in intervention and support in the county. It also acknowledged our ambition for Norfolk’s schools.

“We are already seeing successes in some schools that have embraced the intensive support on offer and we know that the headteachers’ associations in the county are working much more robustly to challenge and support each other to bring about the improvements in education that are needed.”

Although today’s results show a dip in performance in Norfolk GCSE results, Ofsted’s annual report, published last month, said the county’s secondary schools had seen the strongest improvement in the region, albeit “from a very low base”.

George Denby, chairman of the recently restructured Norfolk Secondary Education Leaders (NSEL), said: “Progress is being made and school-to-school support is proving effective, with many of the county’s secondary schools benefiting from the expertise of both their peers in and outside of Norfolk.

“This renewed focus should begin to be borne out in exam results in future years and Norfolk’s secondary leaders are determined to ensure that every student achieves their potential and that we close the gap nationally, because we want the county’s young people to be the absolute best that they can be.”

Although more schools in Norfolk saw their results fall than rise, the data also showed strong performances at many.

A total of 93% of pupils at the independent Norwich High School for Girls reached the “gold standard”, and Wymondham College recorded a figure of 86%.

Last summer’s good results at Fakenham High School, which led to its headteacher criticising an Ofsted report which previously branded it “inadequate”, were confirmed.

The school, which has since become an academy, saw the percentage of pupils reaching the government target jump 14 percentage points from 44% to 58%.

Among other large Norfolk schools, Hethersett High, Northgate High in Dereham, and Swaffham Hamond’s High, now The Nicholas Hamond Academy, saw big increases.

However, today’s figures also showed that eight state-funded schools in the region did not meet the government’s floor standard of at least 40% of pupils gaining the all-important five A*-Cs, including English and maths.

They included Norfolk’s first two academy schools, The Open Academy and City Academy Norwich.

When the government issued City Academy with a pre-warning notice in November the school said it already had a comprehensive action plan in place.

What do you think about the league tables? Email newsdesk@archant.co.uk

12 comments

  • Not sure what one can make of these figures-St Felix and the Norwich School took a hard hit too- if not for that one might have said schools like Cliff Park High are dealing with rising numbers of immigrants with English as a second language and that Ormiston Victory results remain suspiciously high. What fills me with despair is that the chairman of the NSEL is a head who has presided over a consistently underperforming school for over a decade and has, I understand, a bias in his qualifications which lean towards the business rather than the academic side of education. Bit like putting the cashier in charge of the football team. But then that's how schools are run these days.

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    Daisy Roots

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • Oh dear, after five years of being an Academy, The Open Academy got 34% A*-C (6% below the government's target of 40% for schools which are underperforming) with an Ofsted judgment last July of "requires improvement" and a massive turnover of staff, it seems everything is working well

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    GreyMan

    Friday, January 24, 2014

  • Things are looking up! Thetford Academy has improved its score [by one point to 39%] and five Norfolk schools now have lower percentages. Pick a response: "Keep up the good work". "Could do better". "Must try harder".

    Report this comment

    JCW

    Friday, January 24, 2014

  • What difference does that make?

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    One Horse Town

    Friday, January 24, 2014

  • So it's pretty clear that Gove's pet policy of academisation doesn't work. Handing over our schools to his mates as playthings is a crime. To Cavell and others being forced down this route, resist! Use these stats as evidence.

    Report this comment

    Johnboy

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • U mean Lynn Grove ACADEMY!!!!!

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    Sportswagon

    Friday, January 24, 2014

  • Lynn Grove needs to be worried. Used to be a top performer under the previous head's strong leadership. Recently ofsteded so that judgement will focus minds.

    Report this comment

    One Horse Town

    Friday, January 24, 2014

  • Response please Mrs Truss, Ms Smith, Mr Wright......where r u all now that the lies about academies are being seen to be just that. I remember Mrs Truss on TV singing their virtues when of course she didn't really have a clue as this data proves....so where now?? Oh blame the LA, the last Government, the weather?.....anybody but your own failed expensive policy!!

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    Sportswagon

    Saturday, January 25, 2014

  • Only that academies are constantly pushed as the only solution yet as you rightly say Lynn G used to be highly successful lA maintained high sch but now as an academy for 3 yrs it has slumped!

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    Sportswagon

    Friday, January 24, 2014

  • So Hethersett, Fakenham and Hamonds significan4ly improved their results before becoming acadamies yet two long standing acadamies are going backwards. Hm this is being repeated across the country and should give pause for thought to Mr Castle before he simply lets everything pass him by as usual.

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    guella

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • Because Gove is championing the academies they do well at first as they get additional funding for the first couple years, then after they sink back to same level. We have had a huge number of academies in Norfolk and we are still sinking down the league tables, so appears academies are not the answer - consistency in Gov policies and increased funding for schools is perhaps a better solution, not using our kids’ education as a political football for cheap point scoring.

    Report this comment

    curlysaysgo

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • What an absolute joke this expensive, useless academy programme is proving to be.....can't help but repeat...I told u so. It is simply disgraceful that children's futures are being played with by Gove, Nash and Agnew in this disgusting way. Why is the public putting up with it???

    Report this comment

    Sportswagon

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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