Mixed results for region’s schools

NORFOLK’S teenagers have surged up the A-level table – but dropped down the GCSE league after government figures revealed a mixed performance in the county.

It has moved up from 80th to 65th of the 150 English local authorities, thanks to a big improvement in the average A-level points score per student in 2010.

But a leap from 50pc to 52.3pc of 16-year-olds getting the “gold standard” of five C-grades, including English and maths, was not rapid enough as Norfolk fell from 78th to 103rd for its GCSE results.

The national average is 53.1pc.

The mixed overall results are mirrored by some inconsistent performance by the county’s schools.

Three Norfolk schools are competing with the nation’s best after being named among the most improved for their GCSE results.

Cromer High, Sprowston High and Thorpe St Andrew School take the accolades in this year’s GCSE and A-level performance tables, which were published by the government this week.

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But there are four Norfolk schools in the bottom 200 in England for GCSE results, five in the bottom 100 for the amount of value they add to pupils between age 11 and 16, and four in the bottom 200 for persistent absence.

They include Great Yarmouth High and Oriel High in Gorleston, where more than one in eight pupils (13.3pc and 13.2pc) missed at least one day of school each week in 2009-10. Since September, Oriel has become Ormiston Venture Academy.

Norfolk’s A-level average points score per student improved from 704.6 in 2009 to 721.2 in 2010.

Alison Thomas, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “These are record GCSE results for Norfolk students. However, there is still more work to be done to ensure that all of Norfolk’s students are achieving their potential and we have seen a dip in results at seven of our schools.

“We are working closely with these schools to determine what happened this year and how we can bring about further improvements.”

She added: “While it is disappointing to see any Norfolk schools near to the bottom of these tables, two of these schools have recently become academies and have just heard that they will receive significant capital investment, which we are confident will help to further drive improvement and raise aspirations.”