Mixed response to school league tables’ results in South Yorkshire

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SOME impressive results are recorded in South Yorkshire’s 2011 school league tables, but the boroughs still lag behind national averages in the main.

In Doncaster Mexborough School,currently in the process of becoming an Academy, fared badly, st 37 per cent in GCSE passes, it just made the grade but was close to the bottom of thetable and six per cent down from the previous year. Conisbrough’s De Warenne Academy showed marked improvement, up from 30 to 40 per cent last year.

Doncaster Council’s Director of Children’s and Young People’s Services, Chris Pratt, said: “We recognise there is still more work to be done in terms of matching the national figures. However the overall results show that we are heading in the right direction with 54.4 per cent of students achieving five or more grades at A* to C, including English and Maths, which is a three percentage points increase on last year. These results show that all of our secondary schools are performing above the Government’s benchmark target”.

Rotherham schools’ performance at Key Stage Four rose for the ninth consecutive year in 2011. The figures for five or more grade A* to C grades including English and maths increased by 5.9 per cent to 56.7 per cent and overall five or more A* to C grades increased 8.5 per cent to 81.8 per cent.

Rotherham has narrowed the gap behind national average results which include English and maths, and is 2.3 per cent above the national average at five A* to C grades over all.

Among the schools with individual improvements of 10 per cent plus at five or more A* to C grades including English and maths, was Swinton Comprehensive School with a big leap of 16 per cent to 56 per cent.

Headteacher David Pridding said: “At Swinton we are very proud of the 2011 examination results. Sixth form results have been consistently good over the last few years, but the class of 2012 produced the best results ever for the school”. Wath Comprehensive School scored well above the national average of 82.1 per cent pass rate at A-Level. At 95 per cent it bucked the borough’s 6.1 per cent lag behind the national average for three or more A-levels.

A school spokesman said: “We were really please with the outcomes at A-level. One third of our students are from other schools throughout the Dearne Valley and the combination seems to work well. We were equally pleased with the GCSE results.

Barnsley schools came close to the bottom of five or more grade A* to C GCSE rankings. But there were some successes: Wombwell High, currently in Special Measures, lifted its GCSE results from 34 per cent in 2010 to 47 per cent last year.

Darfield Foulstone, just out of special measures, dropped three from 2010 to 38 per cent, and the Dearne ALC gained two, but bottomed Barnsley’s table at 32 per cent - below the 35 per cent target set by ministers. Kirk Balk School at Hoyland gained five to reach 45 per cent.

A total of 107 schools did not reach the Government’s set GCSE target last year. There were three in Barnsley that failed to reach 35 per cent and one in Doncaster.

For a more comprehensive roundup of the league table results, visit www.southyorkshiretimes.co.uk