EAST LANCASHIRE schools and colleges were celebrating record results yesterday as grades dipped nationally.
After dire warnings of tougher standards by exam boards, local schools either held or exceeded their position.
Schools including Queen Elizabeth Grammar School and St Christopers C of High School in Accrington said this year saw their best ever results recorded ‘by a country mile’.
St Christopher’s headteacher Richard Jones said he was thrilled with the ‘record breaking’ results of a 99 per cent pass rate and 62 per cent A* to B grades.
He said: “We have more students accessing top universities than ever before. These are our best results and confirm that the sixth form continues to go from strength to strength.
“Our students deserve all the praise and acclaim that they will receive and I wish them well - they are a wonderful group of young people. I also want to highlight the dedication and expertise of our talented teachers who have guided and nurtured them through their time at St Christopher's.”
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St Wilfrid’s CofE Academy in Blackburn were also reporting a rise to 98.9 per cent from last year’s 97 per cent.
Principal Cath Huddleston said: “I’m delighted with how hard the students have worked for their results. They now begin this next exciting phase in their lives.”
Nationally 98 per cent of candidates passed at least one exam, down by 0.1 per cent, the first time it has fallen in 32 years.
Just over one in four, 26 per cent, of exams were awarded an A* or A grade, down 0.3 per cent on last summer.
Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School said this year’s results exceeded all previous years, with 74 per cent gaining A*-B grades and 20 per cent awarded the top A* grade. QEGS headmaster Simon Corns said he was extremely pleased with the results.
He said: “I was delighted by the notable increase. We do not offer the ‘easy’ subjects so success is especially significant at a time when there is pressure nationally to keep the number of top grades down.”
Clitheroe Royal Grammar School saw its highest number of As and A*s to date. A total of 68 per cent of all results were graded the highest grades of A* to B but the school were most proud of their 12 per cent of all grades being an A* “our best ever”.
Blackburn College said it maintained last year’s 100 per cent pass rate in their highest performing courses including law, chemistry, biology, maths, English literature and business.
And Darwen Aldridge Community Academy also kept its 100 per cent pass rate with principal Brendan Loughran noting most students had secured university places by yesterday. The school was also celebrating 45 per cent grades at A or A*, and 52 per cent grades at A* to B.
Haslingden High last year broke into the top 100 schools nationally for their A Level pass rate success. This year the school saw a minor drop but almost half of all grades awarded were at A*-B.
Students at St Mary’s College celebrated an A Level pass rate of 99 per cent with 85 per cent high grades of A* to C.
Principal Frank Dixon said: “We are thrilled to see the students achieve such exceptional results.”
Westholme said almost 10 per cent of all grades were A*s and that over 86 per cent of pupils would find their way to their top choices of university.
Alder Grange School in Rawtenstall maintained its 100 per cent pass rate but described it as a ‘best ever’ with a series of ‘personal bests’ for their students grades.
Burnley College retained its 99.2 per cent pass rate but saw grades rise with a quarter of all students achieving A* or A grades. A total of 90 per cent of students achieved at least one high grade at A* to C and 62 per cent of students one top grade A*-B.
Meanwhile Nelson and Colne College retained its existing 100 per cent pass rate, which placed it as the fourth highest performing college in the country for A Level grades.
Students were praised by Blackburn with Darwen Council’s schools member Ashley Whalley. He said “Today has been a great day for the A Level students within the borough. All those that sat A-levels will have worked incredibly hard over the past two years and I congratulate them all.”
The NUT’s executive member for Lancashire, Simon Jones said: “Congratulations to all of the students who have done so well. At a time of unprecedented change in education policy, teachers have continued to put students first and support them to achieve their personal best.”