North Yorkshire's schools are celebrating yet another set of bumper GCSE results this year with a notable number recording significant increases in their A*-C pass rate including English and maths.
Early indications show that the county's students overall continue to perform well above the national average and have improved on the previous year yet again.
Results so far show that the proportion of pupils achieving five GCSE passes at A*-C, including English and maths, has risen by 1.2 per cent in North Yorkshire to nearly 65 per cent, well above last year's national average of almost 59 per cent.
The proportion of North Yorkshire pupils achieving five good GCSE passes at grades A*-C has risen by three per cent to 85.3 per cent. The national average last year was 79.5 per cent.
North Yorkshire expects these figures once again to place the county within the top quarter of authorities nationally. Some schools have scored large increases with A*-C grades including English and maths, up by:
- 17 per cent at St Augustine's in Scarborough;
- 13 per cent at Richmond School;
- 12 per cent at Selby High;
- 10 per cent at Brayton, Selby; and
- nine per cent at Risedale school, Catterick; George Pindar Community Sports College, Scarborough; Settle College and Upper Wharfedale..
However, along with schools nationally, some schools in the county appear to have seen their students lose out in English due to changes to grade boundaries made by the exam boards at a late stage in the academic year. A change in grade boundaries between January and July appears to have resulted in young people following the same syllabus and with similar marks getting lower grades than those who took the exam six months earlier. The effect is not consistent across North Yorkshire but does seem to be very significant in some schools.
The Association of Directors of Children's Services has asked for the matter to be investigated as a matter of urgency.
County Councillor Arthur Barker, executive member for schools, said:
"As ever, our results overall are impressive and we must congratulate students for all their hard work and focus and teaching staff for their dedication and high standards. Clearly more information is needed to determine how the changes to English marking may have affected some pupils, but it would be disappointing if pupils have been disadvantaged through no fault of their own."