A Heanor school is bucking Derbyshire and national trends after recording a rise in the number of pupils achieving top GCSE grades.
New league tables from the Department for Education show 75 per cent of Michael House School pupils clinched top marks in their GCSEs last year – up from 60 per cent in 2013 – making it the best-performing secondary in the Ripley and Heanor News’ circulation area.
Imogen Beeston, an art teacher at the school, said: “We’re exceptionally proud of pupils – they’ve done really well.”
Overall, the number of Derbyshire pupils achieving top grades in their GCSE exams dropped by nearly ten per cent in a year.
The Government figures show 53.7 per cent of pupils were awarded five or more A*-C grades, including English and maths, in 2014 – compared to 59.1 per cent the previous year.
At the same time, the national average fell from 59.2 per cent in 2013 to 53.4 per cent last year.
The drop comes after changes to the exam system led to tougher tests, a ban on coursework and a clampdown on re-sits.
A spokesman for Derbyshire County Council said it was not possible to compare the 2014 tables with the previous year because of the Government’s controversial changes.
Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said: “Fundamentally young people’s achievement matters more than being able to trumpet ever higher grades.”
One school in the Ripley and Heanor News’ circulation area – Alfreton Grange Arts College – failed to reach the Government’s target of 40 per cent of pupils obtaining five good GCSEs.
Last years’s figure was 27 per cent – compared to 51 per cent in 2013.
A council spokesman said improvements are being made at the school, which was placed in special measures by Ofsted inspectors in 2013.
GCSE league table results for all the schools in the News’ area...
• Alfreton Grange Arts College, from 51 per cent in 2013 to 27 per cent in 2014
• Frederick Gent School, from 43 per cent in 2013 to 52 per cent in 2014
• Heanor Gate Science College, from 53 per cent in 2013 to 52 per cent in 2014
• John Flamsteed Community School, from 59 per cent in 2013 to 53 per cent in 2014
• Michael House School, from 60 per cent in 2013 to 75 per cent in 2014
• Mill Hill School, from 63 per cent in 2013 to 51 per cent in 2014
• Swanwick Hall School, from 58 per cent in 2013 to 47 per cent in 2014
• Tibshelf Community School, from 48 per cent in 2013 to 57 per cent in 2014