THE FIRST free school to produce GCSE results in Yorkshire has seen its grades improve for two years in a row.
Batley Grammar was one of the first of 24 free schools to be launched nationally in 2011 - one of three in Yorkshire.
However the school is far from a new project. It first opened its doors in 1612 and for most of its history has been a state school.
It became a private school in 1978 but returned to the state sector in 2011. At the time the school said it had applied because of concerns over falling pupil numbers and over the ability of some of its parents to meet the cost of fees.
Its GCSE results have improved for the past two summers, despite the school’s year group getting bigger since becoming state-funded meaning parents no longer had to pay.
This summer the school saw 79 per cent of its pupils achieve five A* to C grades including English and maths.
The school’s headteacher Brigid Tullie said: “We are particularly pleased with the sustained improvement in the levels of progress in our core subjects of English and maths.
“These, as well as the raw results, are very important measures of performance by which Ofsted judge us. Seventy eight per cent of students in English and 82 per cent in maths achieved expected progress and 46 per cent in English and 38 per cent in maths achieved better than expected progress.”
The majority of the secondary free schools which have opened under the coalition Government’s flagship programme will not be delivering GCSE results for several years as they have started from scratch and opened with only a year seven cohort who are five years away from taking their first set of exams.