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SECONDARY schools are celebrating after all of them in south and west Dorset saw an increase in the number of pupils getting good GCSEs, in league tables published today.
Schools get ranked across Dorset according to the proportion of students getting five A* to C grades at GCSE or equivalent including English and maths.
Thomas Hardye School in Dorchester is celebrating a three per cent rise in students achieving five good passes including English and maths, with 68 per cent achieving the standard.
The school is ranked sixth in Dorset now, compared to eighth last year.
Mike Foley, headteacher, said he was delighted with the progress the school has made over the past 12 months.
He said: “These results show that we are keen to move on to even higher levels of achievement.”
He said that for the second year running the school’s value added result showed pupils were making progress ‘significantly beyond normal expectations.’ “However, we should not forget that exam results are only part of the picture in a successful school. The quality of care and the opportunities for enrichment are equally important.”
All Saints School, in Weymouth, improved five places in the county rankings from 19th to 14th and the number of students attaining five GCSEs including English and maths went from 53 per cent to 59 per cent.
Deputy headteacher at All Saints School, in Wyke Regis, Kevin Broadway said they were extremely proud of all their students and staff.
He said: “It’s testament to the hard work and dedication both of the students and the staff and also the partnership between the school and the parents.
“Everyone is working together to build a strong foundation for greater success in the future.”
He said that the results were “even better than they looked” because nationally there had been a raising of the bar with threshold marks for grades.
“I’m absolutely delighted and really proud of our students and staff and the partnership with parents.”
He added that the results for schools in Dorset were good news for the county.
“Dorset schools are really leading the way I think,” Mr Broadway said.
Budmouth College moved down one place, to be ranked 15th- but saw an increase in students getting five A* to C grades including English and Maths, from 56 per cent to 58 per cent.
Portland’s IPACA school saw the biggest jump compared to last year. The 2012 results saw 40 per cent of students achieving five A* to C grades and Royal Manor Arts College was ranked 24th in Dorset.
The Isle of Portland Aldridge Community Academy took over in September 2012 and the 2013 results saw 57 per cent of students getting five A* to C grades including English and Maths and it jumped up the ranking to 17th place.
Robert Russell, head of campus said: “We are very pleased that our first ever GCSE results were the best results ever seen on Portland and incredibly proud of the staff and students who worked hard to achieve them.
“However, we are not complacent and know we still have a way to go before we achieve our target of world class education for all on Portland.”
He added: “We are predicting even better results for our present Year 11 this summer, a year group who had previously not been expected to reach the same level as last year’s GCSE students.
“It shows our innovations are having an impact on students learning.”
Wey Valley School, in Weymouth, saw an increase from 42 per cent to 44 per cent of students getting five A* to C grades including English and maths, but they dropped one place in the Dorset rankings from 22nd to 23rd.
The Woodroffe School in Lyme Regis achieved a ranking of fourth in Dorset.
A total of 70 per cent of Woodroffe students achieve five A* to C grades including English and maths.
Beaminster School is also celebrating after itwas ranked fifth in Dorset and 69 per cent of students gained five A* to C grades including English and maths.
This is a 14 per cent increase on the previous year where 55 per cent of students achieve five A* to C grades including English and maths, and the school was ranked 16th.
Sir John Colfox School, in Bridport jumped five places in the Dorset rankings, from 18th last year to 13th this year.
The school saw a six per cent increase in the number of students achieve five A* to C grades including English and maths, from 53 per cent to 59 per cent.
EDUCATION campaigner and former Ofsted inspector Margaret Morrissey, pictured who leads the Parents Outloud group, has been calling for league tables to be scrapped since they were introduced.
She said: “I am glad that schools across Weymouth, Portland, Dorchester and West Dorset have improved in the league tables, but the best thing would be that league tables are abolished altogether.
“As I said in the 1990s when league tables were first introduced, children are not footballers and should not be ranked in a league. League tables don’t show where each child starts from or the effort put in from schools and youngsters.
“It is sad if parents listen to league tables to determine a successful school, rather than visit the school itself and speak to staff and other parents there.”
LEAGUE tables are published every year so parents are able to compare schools with others in the area.
The mark of success at GCSE is pupils attaining five or more passes at grades A* to C, including English and maths.
The English Baccalaureate was introduced in 2010 and shows the proportion of pupils achieving A* to C in English, maths, two science subjects, a modern or ancient language and history or geography.