Norfolk’s schools have narrowed the gap on the national average at GCSE for the second successive year, according to provisional results published yesterday.
Early results suggest that the county has climbed 35 places up the national league tables over the last two years with a 16 place jump since 2014.
Yesterday’s statistics show that 53.8 per cent of students achieved five A* to C grades, including English and maths - compared with 52 per cent on the same day last year, which is an improvement of 1.8 percentage points.
Nationally the improvement was 0.2 percentage points for state-funded schools, up from 55.9 per cent to 56.1 per cent.
Progress in maths in Norfolk is particularly strong – 67.3 per cent of students made expected progress in the county, putting Norfolk above the national average of 66.6 per cent.
The news follows rapid improvements in both assessment results for five-year-olds and phonics results for six-year-olds this year.
Reading performance for seven-year-olds has also gone above the national average for the first time.
Inspection data from the last academic year also shows that the proportion of “good” Norfolk schools has increased at a greater rate than that seen nationally, with 22,000 more Norfolk children now attending good schools than in 2013.
Eighty-one percent of Norfolk’s schools are now judged to be at least good by Ofsted.
The improvements follow a relentless focus on raising standards from all of those working in education in the county.
Two years ago Norfolk County Council launched its strategy A Good School for Every Norfolk Learner, highlighting its determination to further challenge and support schools to improve.
Education leaders across the county have backed the strategy, showing a shared commitment to raise standards.
James Joyce, chairman of the children’s services committee at Norfolk County Council, said: “We want every child in the county to receive an excellent education.
This has been a focus for the council and all of our partners over the last two years and Norfolk’s schools and academies have risen to the challenge.
“Today’s results are testament to the shared hard work and commitment of all of those working in education in Norfolk, particularly headteachers, teachers, governors and academy trusts.
“However, that commitment must and will continue.
“We want Norfolk’s children to be achieving above the national average and for every child in the county to attend a good or outstanding school.
“These provisional results show that this can be achieved and we must remain steadfast in our strategy to support and challenge Norfolk’s schools to do their very best for the county’s children.”