Schools improve GCSE results

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The Independent Online
Top State Schools on A-level points

King Edward VI Grammar School, Chelmsford, Essex (31.1); Chelmsford County High School for Girls (30.8); King Edward VI Camp Hill School (Boys), Birmingham (27.5); King Edward VI Camp Hill Girls' School (26.8); Colchester County High School for Girls, Essex (26.4); Queen Mary's High School, Walsall, W Midlands (26.4).

League tables of school performance published today show a sharp rise in GCSE exam successes, with the number of schools getting 100 per cent top grades nearly doubling.

As the results were released, the Independent discovered that the Government is likely to change next year's league tables to make them fairer.

A government-appointed working party, due to report shortly, recommends a rolling average of the last three years' results should be published alongside next year's results.

The report says value-added tables, being considered by the Government and the Labour Party, could not be in place until the turn of the century.

Yesterday's tables for England show the percentage of pupils getting five or more grades A-C is up from 41.1 to 43.3, and the number of schools with 100 per cent A-C grades is up from 55 to 97.

Gillian Shephard, the Secretary of State for Education, said: ``While I do not claim that performance tables tell us the full story . . . they do provide us with essential facts on which we can build.''

David Blunkett, the shadow Education Secretary, repeated his promise of tables that would compare schools' results with their intake. He added: ``But where we shall do much more than this government is by acting to help those schools which are falling behind.''

The third set of government league tables show that the top school at A-level is King Edward's School, Birmingham, and the top state school is King Edward V1 Grammar School, Chelmsford. The top comprehensive at A-level is Bramhall High School, Stockport; the top comprehensives at GCSE are Bexley Grammar School in Kent and the Liverpool Blue Coat School which both got 97 per cent grades A-C.

For the first time the the tables separate authorised and unauthorised absence. The truancy rate has fallen slightly with the average percentage of half days missed without permission down to 0.9 per cent from last year's 1 per cent.

The school with the highest unauthorised absentee rate is Whalley Range High School (Upper) in Manchester.

Full league tables, Section Two