Burnley GCSE results improve by three times national average

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BURNLEY secondary schools which were ranked among the worst in the country for GCSE results have massively improved with the number of pupils getting five GCSEs increasing by 15%.

The provisional exam scores show the schools, which were ranked the second worst in the UK, would have shot 80 places up last year’s performance league table.

The rate of improvement, which saw passes leap from 55% to 70%, is three times the national average and headteachers at Burnley’s five superschools said they were delighted with the results.

Shuttleworth College headteacher Mr Bob Wakefield said: “I am delighted the results have improved so much.

“They have gone from 23% of our pupils gaining A to C, including English and maths, to 40%.

“This is testament to the hard work of pupils and teachers. This was also the first year group to go through the new college.

“We are now making really good progress and are optimistic 50% of our students will achieve that target next year.”

Education bosses said there is still a great deal to do, particularly in improving the level of attainment in English and maths in Burnley but added they were confident this could be achieved.

Mrs Sally Cryer, head of Unity College, added: “Headteachers have had a relentless drive in raising standards across the town and improving their schools. Headteachers work very closely and this is reflected in the rapid improvements of GCSE results.”

Blessed Trinity RC College headteacher Miss Bernadette Bleasdale said the improved results reflected the stability of all Burnley’s superschools now being in their new buildings but she said problems recruiting maths teachers was impacting on exam results. “The stability with staff and pupils makes a big difference. We expected things to improve once things had settled down and that improvement should continue,” she said. “It’s a huge achievement but it needed to be. Burnley’s schools are going in the right direction and we are delighted.”

County Coun. Susie Charles, Lancashire County Council’s Cabinet member for Children and Schools, said: “An improvement of 15% in just one year is quite extraordinary and should be applauded.

“This rate of improvement is no less than three times the national average, and shows real solid ground is being gained in Burnley’s flagship secondary schools.

“We recognise there is still work to be done, particularly in raising achievement in English and maths, but these results clearly demonstrate the hard work of headteachers, staff, governors and, most of all, the students. I should like to congratulate them all.”