Muslim girls' school leads the way

Britain's first all-girls' Muslim state school has been adjudged the best secondary school in England for adding "value" to children's education.

Britain's first all-girls' Muslim state school has been adjudged the best secondary school in England for adding "value" to children's education.

Feversham College, in Bradford, was deemed to have boosted students' performance more than any other secondary school. Each pupil scored an average of 340.3 points - equivalent to nearly seven A grades each. This was ranked as the most impressive as the pupils had low achievement levels on leaving primary school.

Seventy per cent of students achieved five good GCSE passes, up from 61 per cent last year.

The school received government approval to join the state sector in 2000 and opened in September 2001. An earlier application made by the school to be accepted into the state sector was rejected by the Conservative government in 1995.

Jane Tiller, the school's headteacher, said: "Feversham College is a faith-based school, underpinned by an Islamic ethos, which influences the quality of teaching and learning. Our added value has increased because we monitor student progress and teaching and learning with a rigorous focus on exam preparation.

"Everyone associated with the College has high expectations for exceptional achievement, including the girls themselves. This has reaped rewards and we are delighted with the outstanding performance of our school."

Tahir Alam, the education spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain, said the Muslim ethos of the school would have played a crucial part in its success.

The school was closely followed in the tables by Britain's only Sikh state secondary school, Guru Nanak Sikh Voluntary-Aided Secondary School in Hayes, Middlesex.

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