Oxford Academy results fall amid celebrations elsewhere

7:00am Friday 22nd August 2014

By Alex Wynick

THE new headteacher of a failing academy has vowed to “get it right” next year after seeing a lower set of results than last year.

Niall McWilliams, who only took over Oxford Academy in March, said they were disappointed that out of the 144 pupils who sat the exams, just 30 per cent achieved five GCSEs with grades between A* and C – down 12 per cent on 2013.

Mr McWilliams, who was brought in as headteacher from Carterton Community College, said: “I believe we need to do better and we know we can do better. I’m genuinely confident that we will.

“We have got the right structures in place. Next year will see a significant improvement. We can get it right for next year.”

He said that, while the results were poor, there were some improvements, adding: “English A* to C is now at 53 per cent and maths is about 50 per cent which is above target, even with the change in grade boundaries.”

It was a change from last week at the Sandy Lane West academy when all its A-Level students passed for the first time in its history.

Placed in special measures last January following an Ofsted inspection, the school was then the worst performing in the county and 25th worst in the country.

Meanwhile in East Oxford, Oxford Spires Academy’s A* to C grades including English and maths jumped 10 per cent from 2013 to 59 per cent.

Principal Sue Croft said: “They’re a lovely year group, and they work really well with the staff.”

Vicky Baden, 16, from Didcot, got one A*, three As, three Bs and a C.

She said: “I wasn’t expecting it at all. I was expecting to fail most things and then maybe get a couple of Cs.

“I didn’t think I’d done that well – I just revised a lot I suppose.”

Cheney School in Headington yesterday had not released its results, citing technical problems, but said that its pupils had done well. Headteacher Jolie Kirby said: “We have had exceptional results from students from Year 8 and upwards.

“The number of A* to B grades has gone up, it’s now over 55 per cent, which is really brilliant.”

Emma Cattermole was one of Cheney’s top-performing pupils, achieving seven A*s, one A, and an A in AS-Level French which she sat a year early.

Emma, 16, who lives in Cowley, said: “I’m over the moon, some of my grades were way better than I expected.”

St Gregory the Great Catholic School in Cowley saw 46 per cent of students receive five A* to C grade GCSEs including English and maths, with 64 per cent getting above a C in English and 58 per cent in maths.

In North Oxford, The Cherwell School also did well, with an improvement of five per cent in its A* to C grades including English and maths, reaching 76 per cent.

Headteacher Paul James said: “I’m delighted so many students are really well placed for their future next steps.”

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