Pupils in Southampton are celebrating this week as this year’s GCSE results were published – and once again most schools in the city topped last year’s results.
This year’s results show that Southampton pupils’ achieving five or more GCSEs A*-C grades including English and maths has increased by 2.5 per cent - from 51.7 per cent in 2011 to 54.2 per cent in 2012.
Last year the figure for pupils achieving the government’s benchmark of five A* to C GCSE grades including English and maths rose by 4.2 percentage points from 47.5 per cent in 2010 to 51.7 per cent in 2011. The increase in 2011 represented the largest year-on-year increase that Southampton schools have achieved at GCSE since the benchmark indicator (five A*-C GCSEs) was introduced in 2005.
This means that Southampton schools have recorded an impressive rise of 11.1 per cent in the number of pupils achieving 5 or more A*-C grades including GCSE English and maths between 2009 (43.1 per cent) and 2012 (54.2 per cent).
These results come against the backdrop of improving standards in Southampton across all age groups. Children aged seven at schools in Southampton are now achieving above the national average in reading writing and maths. Exam results for 11-year-olds showed a four percentage point improvement – adding up to a rise of 13 percentage points over the last four years.
Meanwhile, headteachers across the country have voiced concerns today over the grading of this year’s English GCSE papers after some pupils just missed out on the grades predicted by their teachers.
Councillor Sarah Bogle, Southampton City Council’s cabinet member for Children’s Services and Learning, said: “This year’s GCSE results are very encouraging. This provides reassurance for parents that schools in the city are improving all the time and will provide the city’s children and young people with the opportunities they need and deserve.
“I congratulate all the pupils who have worked so hard to achieve these results and wish them every success in what they choose to do next.
“I’d also like to thank Southampton’s headteachers for all of the hard work, dedication and commitment that they and their teams have undertaken, which has contributed to another year of successful outcomes for the young people of the city.
“The council is proud of the improvements in the educational outcomes for children and young people which have been achieved over recent years and we look forward to continuous improvements in our mission to become a Learning City.”
Graham Wilson, headteacher at St George VA Catholic School and chair of the Southampton Secondary Heads Forum, said: “The GCSE results from the last two years are showing the impact of strong partnership working across schools.
“We have a city strategy which has given many more of our young people the self belief and determination to succeed. The teamwork and collaboration between headteachers is having a real impact and positively changing the education outcomes for all our students.”
Clive Webster, Executive Director for Children’s Services and Learning, commented: “One of our key goals has been to work with our schools to improve secondary education – and today’s results are proof this is working. Our commitment to supporting and challenging all our secondary schools will continue, and we remain committed to improving the picture so that each of our schools is achieving the very highest standards.
“Today’s results show that schools in Southampton really are continuing to make making significant progress and I send my congratulations to our headteachers, governors their staff and of course to the young people themselves and their families for their achievements.
“We are absolutely determined that all young people in the city should receive the best possible education available and that Southampton is increasingly seen as a place where parents want their children to be educated. I believe we are making good progress towards these ambitions.”
Today’s figures are based on provisional results. National and Local Authority data will be published by the Department for Education on 18 October. Fully verified results will not be available until January 2013.