Southampton’s secondary schools are enjoying a good start to the new year after the Department for Education published the verified GCSE results from 2011 – confirming that it was a record year for schools in the city.
This is more good news for Southampton’s schools, following on from impressive improvements at Key Stage 2 which saw a massive rise in pupils achieving the expected level (Level 4) in both English and maths. The figure for pupils achieving the government’s benchmark of five A* to C GCSE grades including English and maths has risen by 4.2 percentage points from 47.5 per cent in 2010 to 51.7 per cent in 2011.
This year’s increase represents the largest year-on-year increase that Southampton schools have achieved at GCSE since the benchmark indicator was introduced in 2005 and sees the city move three places up the national league tables.
These results build on the improvements seen in 2010. Southampton schools have recorded an impressive rise of 8.6 percentage points in the number of pupils achieving 5+ A*-C including GCSE English and maths between 2009 (43.1 per cent) and 2011 (51.7 per cent).
Councillor Jeremy Moulton, Southampton City Council’s cabinet member for Children’s Services and Learning, said: “The verified GCSE results are hugely encouraging. Schools and colleges in Southampton completed a clean sweep of the best ever results at GCSE, Key Stage 2, and A Level in 2011. This will reassure parents that education in the city is improving across the board and will provide the city’s children and young people with the opportunities they need and deserve.
“I offer my congratulations and to 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 the city’s fantastic headteachers for their leadership and dedication, as well as all the committed and talented teaching and support staff for everything they do.
“We will continue to work alongside the city’s schools to keep up the momentum and build on this success. We are fortunate to have some of the best headteachers in the country working within the city and this can only be good for the education of Southampton’s children and young people.
"It is the council’s ambition to equip all our young people with the skills, knowledge and confidence to realise their aspirations and fulfil their potential. We’re not complacent and there is still work to do, but these results move us closer to achieving our goals."
Clive Webster, Executive Director for Children’s Services and Learning, commented: “These figures show that Southampton schools really are making great strides forward and I send my congratulations to headteachers, their staff and of course to the young people who have made this happen.
“We are all absolutely determined that Southampton should be a learning city, achieving excellence in education in all areas and that the city is increasingly seen as a place where parents want their children to be educated. We have set ourselves challenging targets for 2012 and these results give us every confidence of reaching them.”
Alison Alexander, deputy director for Children’s Services and Learning, said: “I urge all parents in the city to continue to support their children as much as possible in order to help them achieve their full potential. Take every opportunity and make the most of everything your school has to offer.
“There are only 15 weeks to go until the Key Stage 2 tests begin (week beginning 14 May) and 16 weeks until the start of this year’s GSCE and A Levels. Let’s do everything we can to help our young people to continue making excellent progress and ensure this year’s results are even better.”
A few key headlines:
• 47 per cent of pupils at Oasis Academy Mayfield achieved 5 or more A*- C including English and maths in 2011. This was an 18 percentage point increase on the 2010 achievement of 29 per cent. The proportion of pupils getting high passes in any subjects almost doubled to 78 per cent (from 38 per cent last year).
• Cantell Maths and Computing College improved by 11 percentage point for 5+ A*-C including English and maths (from 41 per cent in 2010 to 52 per cent in 2011).
• 35 per cent of pupils at Woodlands Community College achieved 5+ A*-C including English and maths in 2011, an improvement over last year’s 30 per cent.
• 44 per cent of pupils at Oasis Academy Lord’s Hill achieved 5+ A*-C including English and maths in 2011. This is a 4 percentage point increase on the 2010 achievement of 40 per cent.
• 61 per cent of pupils at The Sholing Technology College achieved 5+ A*-C including English and maths GCSE in 2011. This is a 2 percentage point increase on the 2010 achievement of 59 per cent, representing steady improvement over five years.
• 68 per cent of Bitterne Park pupils achieved 5+ A*-C including English and maths in 2011. This is a 3 percentage point increase on the 2010 achievement of 65 per cent and builds on the 10 percentage point improvement achieved between 2009 and 2010.
To find out more about education in Southampton, visit our learning pages.