Trio of schools beat national GCSE pass rate but three others fall short

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ONLY three secondary schools in the area beat the average GCSE pass rate for West Sussex.

Davison CE High School for Girls and Durrington High School, both in Worthing, along with Steyning Grammar School, were the area’s top performers in the latest league tables, published by the Department for Education.

The new tables show the percentage of students who earned five or more A*-C grades at GCSE or equivalent, including English and maths. The results are provisional and will be finalised in January.

Out of the 37 schools in the county, whose GCSE data was recorded, Davison placed 11th with a 67 per cent pass rate; Durrington was 12th, with the same pass rate; and Steyning was 15th with a 63 per cent pass rate.

All three schools performed well above the national average pass rate of 56.1 per cent for state funded schools and the West Sussex average pass rate of 59.4 per cent.

Worthing High School’s result of 59 per cent placed the school 21st in West Sussex, beating the national average but falling short of the county average.

The same was true of Chatsmore Catholic High School, Worthing, which placed 22nd with a pass rate of 58 per cent.

Three schools fell short of the national average – Shoreham Academy, with 52 per cent, The Angmering School, with 51 per cent, and St Andrew’s CE High School for Boys, in Worthing, with 48 per cent.

Elsewhere in the county, Millais School, in Horsham, topped the table with 83 per cent, followed by St Paul’s Catholic College, in Burgess Hill, with 79 per cent.

At the other end of the scale, Ifield Community College, in Crawley, recorded the lowest results at 35 per cent, with Ormiston Six Villages Academy, in Chichester, not far ahead with 38 per cent.

Provisional GCSE results were not recorded for Bohunt School, in Worthing, Lancing College, Our Lady of Sion School, in Worthing, Shoreham College or The Towers Convent School, in Upper Beeding.

The 59.4 per cent provisional GCSE pass rate for West Sussex was welcome news for the county council, the figures having built themselves back up to the 2013 level after dropping to 57.6 per cent in 2014.

Jeremy Hunt, West Sussex County Council’s cabinet member for education and skills, described the results as ‘excellent news’ for the county, the schools and the students.

Mr Hunt said West Sussex was now ranked 38th out of 151 authorities nationally, up 28 places on last

year, and had risen from 15th to 9th out of 34

Shire counties.

He added: “These figures clearly show the significant improvements our schools and pupils have made, and how the hard work and dedication of our students, their teachers and all school staff is helping to improve the outcomes for the young people of West Sussex.

“I also want to congratulate those young people who, whilst not necessarily achieving the top grades, gained good results and personally achieved or exceeded the grades there were hoping for.

“All of our young people in KS4 are a credit to the county and should be proud of themselves.”

With students entering secondary school with varying levels of academic ability, some headteachers said they felt that GCSE league tables were not the fairest way to judge a child’s achievement.

From 2016, a new system called Progress 8 will come into play which will essentially compare the achievements of students who started secondary school with the same attainment level, giving a clearer view of the progress they made during secondary school.

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