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Wharfedale and Aireborough schools earn high marks in league tables
Comprehensive secondary schools across Wharfedale and Aireborough have excelled in newly published league tables.
St Mary's Catholic High School, in Menston, again topped the rankings for Leeds in terms of how many pupils – 89 per cent – achieved five A* to C rated GCSEs, including English and maths.
Otley’s Prince Henry’s Grammar School was also among the best performing in that ‘gold standard’ category, scoring 73 per cent, with Guiseley achieving 64 per cent, Horsforth 63, and Benton Park 61.
Meanwhile, Ilkley Grammar School was confirmed as one of the top performing comprehensives at post-16, locally and nationally, in the new school league tables.
With an average AS/A2 points score of 932.9, the school outperformed all Bradford schools, including the Bradford Grammar Schools, as well as The Grammar School at Leeds. GCSE scores were also well above average – with 75 per cent of students gaining five or more GCSEs at A*-C, including English and maths.
St Mary's headteacher, Robert Pritchard, said: “The performance tables now have a great deal of information.
“It is very pleasing that St Mary’s compares very favourably with other schools in the country.
“We have outstanding students, staff and parents who work together to get the best out of everyone.”
When it came to the English Baccalaureate, which requires pupils to get A* to C GCSE grades in maths, English, two science subjects, a language and either history or geography, Prince Henry's outperformed every other state school in the city.
Headteacher at Prince Henry's, Janet Sheriff, said: “I am delighted with how well we have done in the newly published league tables. The data confirms our position as one of the very best comprehensive schools across the city.
“I am particularly pleased with our year-on- year improvements and the fact that 44 per cent of our students achieved the English Baccalaureate – this makes us the top performing Leeds school in that category, with our students achieving significantly above the national average of 16.2 per cent.
“This success is a reflection of our well-planned curriculum, our talented and dedicated staff, and the positive attitude to learning displayed by our students.”
The Government says the league tables, which contain achievement data for more than 4,000 state and independent schools based on last summer's exams, keep schools accountable and help parents make informed choices.
Some critics, however, claim the statistics only really reflect what kind of pupils a school has.
Guiseley school said its students have achieved another strong set of results at GCSE this year, with a significant cohort also achieving the English Baccalaureate. It said 42 per cent of students achieved three or more A* to A grades, reflecting the school’s commitment to challenging them to achieve. It said there was a particularly strong performance at A-level with the school beating its previous school record of grades A* – B being awarded.
Deputy headteacher Alison Mander said: “As a school we are committed to ensuring that our staff and students are challenged and supported to be the best they can be. Our results this year reflect our collaborative working with students in a caring and respectful environment.”
Ilkley Grammar School headteacher, Gillian James, was delighted with the school’s performance, but felt such tables do not tell the whole story.
“So much depends on how many qualifications a student takes, and which ones,” she said. “We have never played the ‘points game’, believing instead that we should play to students’ strengths and aspirations.”