Schools in West Norfolk bucked the county and national trends of falling pass rates in this year’s GCSE exams when the results were announced on Thursday.
As previously reported, both the King’s Lynn Academy and the Springwood High School in Lynn recorded record figures for the proportion of students achieving the so-called “gold standard” of five A* to C grades, including English and maths.
But also at the top of the class were students of the Nicholas Hamond Academy in Swaffham, whose gold standard figure soared from just 19 per cent last year, according to the Department for Education, to 46 per cent this time around, another record.
Principal Cheryl Hill said: “A very delighted and determined Year Group of our students produced the highest set of GCSE results the community has experienced.
“Despite a turbulent secondary education, these exceptional young people rose to the challenge and showed great resilience in adapting to the many changes they faced during their senior school career.
“They can be extremely proud of themselves as are the staff and governors here. The grades we have achieved are indicative of the aspiration and dynamism which is the foundation of our journey to become outstanding.”
Mick Castle, Norfolk County Council’s cabinet member for education and schools said the county-wide drop in grades reflected the nationwide trend, which he said was born out of ministers’ wish to make the exam regime tougher.
But he added: “We already had a significant task in Norfolk in supporting and challenging schools to raise levels of achievement and that focus will intensify with the additional funding we have made available.
“We will be unyielding in our efforts to support schools to improve.
“We have many good and outstanding schools in Norfolk and several schools that have posted significant improvements this year, despite these more challenging exams.
“Our focus now is to get these schools and teachers working with those that need extra help, sharing best practice to ensure that there is excellence across the board for Norfolk’s children and young people.”
n See some of West Norfolk’s top achievers on the centre pages