State grammar schools outperform independent sector

SUCCESSFUL grammar schools in Yorkshire have celebrated outperforming schools from the region's independent sector in league tables for both A-levels and GCSEs.


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Ermysted's Grammar School in Skipton secured the best A-level results in the region and featured in a list of the country's top performers.

The average candidate at the selective boys state school achieved more than four A grades.

This success was also repeated in GCSE tables where Heckmondwike Grammar not only secured the best results in the region but was also ranked fifth best across all schools in the country.

Every GCSE pupil at the school hit the Government benchmark of achieving five A* to C GCSE grades including English and maths. It was one of 100 state and independent schools in the country to achieve this but had the fifth highest average candidate point score.

Headteacher Mark Tweedle said: "I am delighted with the results which are down to the hard work of our students and teachers here.

"League tables are useful because they provide parents with information about standards at a school. However I would not want to get drawn into comparisons with other schools as there are so many factors that can change your results from one year to the next."

Heckmondwike Grammar also achieved the third best A-level results of any state school in Yorkshire behind Ermysted's and Ripon Grammar School.

Almost 150 private schools across the country effectively came bottom of the school league tables yesterday after their pupils sat "tougher" international GCSEs which are not recognised by the Government when publishing league tables

Private schools heads attacked the Government's position, calling it "nonsensical".

David Lyscom, chief executive of the Independent Schools Council said: "The comparison of school performance via league tables is deeply flawed, in particular given the wide variety of valid qualifications currently on offer, and the differing views of their worth. Indeed, some qualifications – notably the demanding iGCSE – are not considered at all in the tables."

A spokesman for the Department for Children, Schools and Families said: "This is a fatuous argument. The iGCSE does not meet the requirements of the National Curriculum and so it is not approved for use in curriculum in state schools – it would make absolutely no sense for it to be included in the end-of-year tables just because some independent schools choose to offer them."