Bridging the gender gap: dominance of girls' schools under threat as boys raise their game

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The Independent Online

Today's Independent league table of A-level results shows it is no disadvantage to have more boys than girls in your sixth form.

Today's Independent league table of A-level results shows it is no disadvantage to have more boys than girls in your sixth form.

Coopers' Company and Coburn school in Havering, Essex, is the top-performing non-selective school. Its students achieved a point score of 401.9 - the equivalent of at least three grade-As and an E for every pupil sitting the exam.

Dr Davina Lloyd, the headteacher, said the cohort was made up of 60 per cent boys and 40 per cent girls - supporting evidence that boys were narrowing the gap on girls. Overall, in the grammar schools' league table - where there are more single-sex schools - neither sex predominated the table. The top school, Colyton, in Devon - which has a point score of 514, the equivalent of at least four grade-As for every pupil, is mixed - while the rest of the top 10 showed an equal number of boys' and girls' schools.

Some comprehensives are still outstripping grammar schools, which select all their pupils. If a top 100 of both grammar and comprehensive schools were to be compiled, there would be 11 comprehensives in the list. Coopers' Company and Coburn would come 41st, beating 123 grammar schools. It is one of the most popular state schools, with more than 1,000 applications a year for its 180 places. It had its origins in the East End of London and until recently selected 10 per cent of its intake from that area.

Overall, the number of non-selective schools making the top 100 is slightly lower than in previous years.

The top-performing college was Greenhead, Huddersfield, which has a reputation for sending students to Oxford and Cambridge.

LIL, HELEN AND KATE ARMSTRONG: FIRST TRIPLETS TO WIN PLACES AT CAMBRIDGE

Lil, Helen and Kate Armstrong from Truro College in Cornwall yesterday became the first set of triplets to win places at Cambridge University after achieving the A-grades they needed to secure their places.

Lil will read medicine at Selwyn College with her As in biology, chemistry and geography. "I am extremely excited and also a little nervous," she said. Helen who will read law at Corpus Christi, with As in English literature, geography and law, added: "It's just a great relief to know we're all going." Kate will take natural sciences at Trinity, with As in chemistry, human biology and physics. "I am amazed and delighted," she said, and thanked staff at Richard Lander School and Truro College.The 18-year-olds' father, Tim, a scientist at Royal Cornwall Hospital, said: "I think it has been a great help that there are three of them because they work off each other and ask each other questions."

WILLIAM AND JOSEPH THORPE: TWIN EXAMPLES OF BOYS' RESURGENCE

Boys were celebrating their fightback against girls in this year's A-level results at King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Boys in Birmingham, where 16 pupils achieved at least five A-grades at A-level.

Leading the pack was Jacob Curtis, the grammar school's head boy, who achieved six A-grades, being the first in its history to get so many in one sitting. He was followed by the identical twins William and Joseph Thorpe, who each achieved five As in economics, history, maths, further maths and general studies.

William is off to Leeds University to study maths, while Joseph opted for history at York. Jacob plans to apply to Oxford after taking a gap year.

Vincent Darby, the head teacher, said the results were another record, with 85 per cent of his 96 students achieving A- and B-grades. Nearly half (42 of 96) achieved three A grades. Sixty-two per cent of its entries were awarded an A-grade.

ADAM BUCKLAND, 13: YOUNGEST STUDENT TO PASS EXAM

A teenage prodigy who took an A-level exam after just nine months' study is thought to be the youngest person to pass the qualification this year, taking it when he was just 13.

Adam Buckland, from St Albans, Hertfordshire, got a C-grade in computer studies after attending evening and Saturday lessons as well as school.

Adam, who turned 14 last month, is at Saint Albans, a prestigious private school in Hertfordshire, but sat his A-level at Ryde College, a private tutorial centre near Watford which regularly produces young candidates to pass GCSE and A-level exams.

The teenager said he had been interested in computers since his family got their first machine when he was four. He found the A-level course was "tough but enjoyable.

"My dream job would be to work for a computer games manufacturer," he said.

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