Stockton’S GCSE results have held firm in the face of a series of national changes to exam processes.
Yesterday’s provisional results revealed that 57 per cent of pupils achieved five A* to C grades, including English and Maths.
The pass rate is the same as that recorded by pupils last year despite exam watchdog Ofqual warning results would be “volatile” due to the changes.
Councillor Ann McCoy, Stockton Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “The major changes to the exams system have made it a particularly challenging year for our schools but today’s results are very encouraging indeed.
“I’d like to say a huge ‘well done’ to pupils, teachers, support staff and governors from all of our schools, not forgetting parents and carers and of course, our own Council staff who work so hard to support school improvement.
“Special praise must go to Northfield, which has recorded its best results for five years as well as Egglescliffe, All Saints and Conyers for consistently maintaining a high performance.”
Councillor McCoy added: “It would be remiss though, not to go into some of the changes our schools have had to endure in greater detail because it’s important that people are aware of the context in which these results have been achieved.
“We now have a situation where grades achieved in exam resits are not taken into account. So, you can have a pupil and a school putting in hard work to get an improved grade at the second time of asking, yet this is not reflected in the figures.
“This has had major implications for our schools – at Conyers for example, the five A* to C pass rate including English and Maths would have been 77 per cent and not 68.6 per cent had the admirable efforts of pupils taking resits been recognised and so this change is actually serving to conceal some great outcomes.
“We have also seen the 20 per cent of marks allocated for speaking and listening in the English language course abolished half way through the course, which has affected many pupils who were on the borderline between two grades.
“Of course, there will be winners and losers in this scenario but for smaller schools in particular, the effect of moving the goalposts half way through the year on their overall pass rate figures can be quite drastic.
“All it takes is for half a dozen pupils who were achieving a C grade to suddenly be demoted to a D grade and that school’s overall pass rate slips five or six percentage points, whereas larger schools are insulated against this to a degree.
“Overall though, this is still a very good set of results. Good GCSE results provide pupils with a strong platform from which to fulfil their dreams and I wish them all every success in their futures.”
The provisional results in full are (% five A* to C including English and Maths):
All Saints Academy – 73.8%
Bishopsgarth School – 24%
Conyers – 68.6%
Egglescliffe School – 74.2%
Grangefield School – 39.7%
Ian Ramsey Church of England School – 65.7%
Northfield School and Sports College – 60.8%
North Shore Academy – 47.5%
Our Lady and St Bede RC School – 56%
St Michael's Catholic Academy – 50%
St Patrick's Catholic College – 43.8%
Thornaby Academy – 49%
Borough average - 57%