The changing face of education in Brighton and Hove has been revealed following the release of last year’s GCSE results.
The Department for Education (DofE) figures, which were made available today (January 24), show an overall increase in attainment in the city.
However, a handful of city schools saw the percentage of students gaining five A* – C grades (including maths and English) fall.
Brighton College retained its position as the top school with an impeccable 100 per cent of students gaining five A* – C grades.
However, the real success story is Hove Park School which has gone from 27 per cent of pupils gaining the grades, to 61 per cent in just three years.
In terms of their ranking, the school has jumped from tenth best to equal sixth in just a year.
Headteacher, Derek Trimmer, who took over 18 months ago, said: “Our first priority was to look at the school’s leadership before focusing on behaviour and teaching.
“However, the most important thing is ambition.
“This is only the beginning, next year we want to hit 70 per cent and the following year we’re on course for 80 per cent.”
Patcham High also enjoyed a jump in the city league table, going from ninth to eighth.
It was up six percentage points on 2011, with 57 per cent of pupils gaining five A* – Cs.
Brighton and Hove High School was up with 96 per cent of pupils reaching the national standard, while Cardinal Newman Catholic School also improved by three percentage points to 69 per cent.
Elsewhere, Longhill High School saw an impressive eight percentage point increase to 45 per cent with Varndean School and Blatchington Mill up one and three percentage points to 56 per cent and 61 per cent respectively.
Not all rosy
However, it wasn’t all rosy, with usual high-flying Roedean School dropping from second to third best in the city.
In 2011, 94 per cent of pupils gained five A* – Cs (including maths and English). This year that was down to just 89 per cent.
Also witnessing a fall was Dorothy Stringer High School which was down from 74 per cent to 67 per cent.
It was also a mixed year for the city’s two Aldridge academies.
Brighton Aldridge Community Academy saw a three percentage point increase from 37 per cent to 40 per cent, while its sister school in Portslade saw a one percentage point fall to 38 per cent.
Former headteacher, Dr Stuart Newton, warned that detailed analysis of the figures was needed.
He said: “What these figures don’t show is where the students at these schools have come from.
“It is important to take into account the value added, and that isn’t shown.”
He added: “Many people will dismiss an increase in attainment by saying that ‘exams are always getting easier’. I think that is unfair.
“Over the last couple of decades we have improved in the Olympics.
“We don’t attack our sports stars and tell them that it’s because the Olympics are getting easier.”
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