Chart-topping results in GCSE league tables

CHART TOPPERS Heckmondwike Grammar school headteacher Mike Cook with current year 11 pupils. (D521C404)
CHART TOPPERS Heckmondwike Grammar school headteacher Mike Cook with current year 11 pupils. (D521C404)

Heckmondwike Grammar School is celebrating after it was ranked fifth in the country for its GCSE performance.

In Department for Education (DfE) league tables released last week, the school topped the rankings for Yorkshire and gained national acclaim after 100 per cent of pupils achieved five A* to C GCSE passes, including English and maths.

Headteacher Mike Cook said: “Once again we are delighted that the efforts of our fabulous pupils and outstanding staff have been rewarded.

“League tables should be eyed with caution as they only tell part of the story, and all the masses of data should be interpreted intelligently alongside other information when choosing a school or judging its performance, however we are very happy to be ranked so highly.

“We have talented staff and ambitious pupils, which is a potent combination, and we are constantly refining what we do to make sure we continually improve.”

The school, in High Street, Heckmondwike, also excelled in its A-level results.

All mainstream schools in North Kirklees scored above the floor standard of 40 per cent set by Education Secretary Michael Gove.

Nationally, schools that are below this standard and have a history of under-performance face being taken over by a sponsor like an academy trust.

The Institute of Islamic Education in South Street, Dewsbury, scored just 23 per cent, but because it is an independent school, the DfE does not have jurisdiction to force these measures.

Dewsbury’s Westborough High School and Earlsheaton Technology College, now known as Manor Croft Academy, were the next worst performers in our area, with both at just 46 per cent of five A* to C grades at GCSE.

However, the figure was an improvement for Earlsheaton, which has just 33 per cent in 2012. Across Kirklees, 62.6 per cent of pupils achieved at least five A* to C grades at GCSE - topping the national average of 59.2 per cent.

Beating this national figure were Batley Business and Enterprise College, which maintained its 2012 figure of 61 per cent and Batley Girls’ High School, which improved from 54 per cent in 2012 to 72 per cent.

Batley Grammar School achieved 81 per cent, another rise from 69 per cent.

In Mirfield, Castle Hall Academy made a slight improvement from 65 per cent in 2012 to 69 per cent. And Mirfield Free Grammar rose from 74 per cent to 82 per cent.

St John Fisher Catholic High School remained above the national average at 60, but saw a slight drop from its 2012 figure of 64 per cent.

Falling below the national average were Spen Valley High School at 50 per cent, Thornhill Community Academy at 54 and Whitcliffe Mount Business and Enterprise College at 58 per cent.

Since 2010, GCSE grades across Kirklees have improved by almost 10 per cent – well above the average for England.

Overall achievement for young people in Kirklees taking A-Level and level 3 vocational qualifications also continues to be strong.

A total of 82.2 per cent achieved at least three A* to E grades at A-Level, compared with 80.5 per cent nationally.

Coun Cath Harris, Kirklees Cabinet member for Children’s Services, said: “These results are the outcome of many years in the education system and they reflect the tremendous hard work of staff and pupils.

“By helping young people to achieve, either through exams or vocational qualifications, we are preparing people for the next stage in their lives.

“It is vital for the future workforce to be equipped with a wide range of skills and opportunities.”