County’s GCSE results improve but still fall short of average

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The final GCSE league tables in their current form have been published - and East Sussex failed to meet the national average despite improving its results.

From next year, schools will no longer be judged on raw GCSE data but on a broader range of results across eight subjects - a change largely welcomed by headteachers.

Figures released today (January 21) by the Department for Education showed the percentage of the county’s children earning five or more A*-C grades, including A*-C in both English and maths, had risen by more than 3 per cent.

In 2014, 53.2 per cent of students made the grade. That figure rose to 56.3 per cent in 2015, just short of the 57.1 per cent national average.

There was a similar story when it came to A-Levels.

Some 99.4 per cent of the 11,543 East Sussex 16-18-year-olds earned at least one result at A*-E - fractionally short of the national average 99.6 per cent.

The figures dropped away when it came to the students earning at least two or at least three such results.

Only 86.2 per cent of the students earned at least two, compared to 92.2 per cent nationally, while 64.5 per cent earned at least three, compared to 78.7 per cent nationally.

The county’s girls out-performed the boys in the GCSEs, though both groups fell short of the national average.

Some 61.2 per cent of girls earned five or more A*-C grades, including A*-C in both English and maths, compared to 51.7 per cent of boys.

The national average for girls was 61.8 per cent and for boys it was 52.5 per cent.

Boys and girls all beat the national average when it came to the percentage who had made the expected progress in English and maths between Key Stage 2 and the GCSEs.

In English, 66.8 per cent of the county’s boys made the grade compared to an average of 65.9 per cent; while 78.5 per cent of the girls met or exceeded the expect level of progress, compared to an average of 76.5 per cent.

A spokesman for East Sussex County Council spokesman said: “We’re pleased to see an improvement in GCSE results this year, which is testament to the hard work of students, teachers and school leaders across the county.

“It’s disappointing to see a slight downturn in A-level results, and while our role in post-16 education is limited, we will continue to set out our ambitions and expectations for standards and to work with education providers to secure improvement.

“We will also be looking at how we can encourage parents to connect with their children’s post-16 learning to support them to make the best of their opportunities and to challenge schools and colleges where they feel the best opportunities are not being made available.

“We are committed to delivering the highest possible standards of education and our Excellence for All strategy aims to ensure all children are taught in a school rated good or outstanding by Ofsted and are able to reach their full potential.

“The most recent Ofsted inspection of our school improvement programme recognised that this strategy was working and driving real improvement and delivering tangible benefits for children in East Sussex.”

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