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GCSE RESULTS: Changing fortunes for Oxford academies in GCSE results
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THE two schools serving Oxford’s most deprived communities have reversed their fortunes – with failing Oxford Academy making substantial improvements at GCSE while Oxford Spires Academy’s results fell sharply.
Oxford Academy, which was put in special measures in January after failing an Ofsted inspection, saw the percentage of pupils achieving five A* to C grades at GCSE including English and maths leap from 26 per cent last year to 39 per cent yesterday.
Meanwhile the 800-pupil Oxford Spires Academy, which expected a success rate of more than 60 per cent, instead saw last year’s 57 per cent figure drop to 49 per cent.
Headteacher of the Glanville Road school Sue Croft said a small number of marks lost by a few pupils had had a significant impact on the overall result.
She said: “If people didn’t know we were going for 60 per cent they would look at our results and say they were good. We won’t be doing massive remarking.
“The students have still done better than the national average and a lot of children are going to be very happy today.”
She added: “It means we have got to work hard next year.”
Oxford Academy, in Sandy Lane West, was last year’s worst performing secondary in the county.
While the 950-pupil school is still bottom of the results table – and below the Government’s floor target with 39 per cent – the increase was welcomed.
Executive headteacher David Brown, who was brought in to raise standards, said pupils had put in an “inordinate” amount of hard work.
This year 82 per cent of students achieved five or more A* to C grades, which is a 32 percentage points increase, and 35 pupils gained at least one A* or A grade.
Mr Brown said: “In a tough year when results are going down we are going the other way.
“We still have a lot of hard work to do but I promised I’d improve results, which I have.”
He put improvements down to hardworking staff and improvements to staff morale, adding: “This is not finished. It is the first step on a journey taking Oxford Academy on a journey where it should have been all along.”
Early indications suggest around 60 per cent of Oxfordshire pupils have achieved the benchmark of five A*-C grades including English and maths, compared to 57.9 per cent last year.
Oxfordshire County Council children, education and families cabinet member Melinda Tilley said: “At a national level, much is already being made of the proportion of top grades apparently falling for the second year running.
“We can’t say at this stage whether Oxfordshire has bucked that trend but if confirmed, early indications for A* to C including English and maths would represent an improvement on the county’s results last year, obviously something we hope is borne out.”
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