Students put Calderdale higher than UK average in GCSE performance

James Franklin-Smith, head teacher at Trinity Academy
James Franklin-Smith, head teacher at Trinity Academy

Nearly two-thirds of secondary school pupils in Calderdale achieved the equivalent of a Grade C in two key GCSEs, new figures show.

Statistics released by the Department for Education show 65.1 per cent of students achieved at least a new grade 4 in their English and Maths GCSEs this year.

A total of 44 per cent of Calderdale students got the new grade 5, equivalent to a low B/ high C, or above in the two key subject areas - that’s higher than the national average of 42 per cent.

Across the area, schools are making slight progress with a 0.01 per cent rate above the regional average at ‘Progress 8’.

Despite a positive figure, it means that students in the region are performing roughly in line with expectations.

The ‘Progress 8’ score, which seeks to measure the strides that pupils have taken, has replaced the traditional A*-C grading system.

Of the 15 local authorities in Yorkshire, Calderdale came third in the list of ‘Progress 8’ per pupil.

The top-performing school is Trinity Academy, which recorded a ‘Progress 8’ score of 0.65 and is described as ‘well above average’.

The Halifax Academy (0.37), Rastrick High (0.26) and Calder High (0.19) performed ‘above average’.

James Franklin-Smith, principal of Trinity Academy at Holmfield, said: I am incredibly proud of the results that our students and staff have achieved. These results put us in the top 5% of schools nationally, which is an outstanding achievement.

“I’m particularly pleased because the new measure celebrates progress across a broad range of subjects; these results show that students of all abilities at Trinity performed significantly above their peers nationally across all subjects.”

Five schools were ‘average’, two ‘below average’ and two were ‘well below average’.

Nationally, the percentage of pupils passing their GCSEs dropped slightly as the impact of the exam shake-up was felt.

It was the first year students faced “more challenging” qualifications and a different grading system, in English, English literature and maths.

The overhaul came after calls from the government and regulator who wanted greater differentiation between students at the top grades.