OFFICIAL GCSE results published yesterday show schools in Oxfordshire are doing better than the national average.

The Department for Education has released figures which showed 59.4 per cent of Oxfordshire pupils taking their exams at the end of Year 11 in 2014 got five A* to C grades, including English and maths.

The national average for the same benchmark is 53.4 per cent, with Oxfordshire coming number 44 out of 152 local authorities.

But despite being higher than the national average, grades have slipped.

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In 2013, 60.6 per cent of pupils reached the same level.

Teachers have blamed the drop in the fact the Government now insists that schools exclude re-sits from official results.

InAugust, many schools published their 'best' results including re-sits, but yesterday's league table did not take those into account.

International GCSEs, which take a different format to regular GCSEs and which many private schools and academies enter pupils for, are also excluded.

Matthew Arnold School in Arnold Way, Oxford saw 73 per cent of its pupils getting five A* to C grades including English and maths.

Headteacher Katherine Ryan said: “We’re thrilled for every single student who got the results they deserved.

“They’ve had their hard work rewarded. We want everybody to be successful and compared to the national average our students are making very good progress.”

Paul James is the headteacher of the Cherwell School in Marston Ferry Road, which saw 72 per cent of its pupils pass with A* to C in five subjects including English and maths.

He said the results were the school’s best ever and said: “Whilst there is a lot of discussion about the league tables this year we want to recognise the hard work and determination by students and staff that sees such high levels of achievement.

“The range of students who do so well is something that we see as being very important."

Henry Box School in Church Green, Witney, said it was delighted with its benchmark pass rate of 65 per cent.

Headteacher Wendy Hemmingsley said: “Underneath the headlines, we know that our students made outstanding progress in 2014.

“There is more to do, of course, but the progress made by our young people last year just shows what can be achieved when schools and families work together”.

Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet member for education Melinda Tilley said: “We have long said we wanted Oxfordshire to be ahead of national averages and it is a delight to be able to say that in 2014 we have achieved that.

“The aim must now be for our schools to get even better and extend the gap between Oxfordshire and the rest of the country.

“These results will mean little if next year we are back in line with the national average or below it, so as always, we must guard against complacency.”

She added: “While the new assessment system makes comparisons with previous years very difficult, it does show that Oxfordshire schools delivered good GCSE results first time around without the need for resits.”


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