IT was a mixed year for Swindon area schools, with some achieving record GCSE results and others failing to meet national and regional standards.
In summer 2013, 56.4 per cent of pupils achieved five or more GCSEs at A* to C grades including English and maths, according to the latest Key Stage 4 and 5 performance tables published by the Department of Education.
This represented a slight increase from the 52.7 per cent recorded in 2012.
Highworth Warneford School achieved the best results in its history and topped the region’s league tables with 70 per cent of students receiving five or more GCSEs and scoring A* to C grades including in English and maths.
The score represented a major increase from the previous year, where just 53 per cent had achieved such marks. Headteacher John Saunders said the school is delighted with pupils’ grades.
“The results are the best in the history of the school,” he said. “They reflect how hard pupils and staff worked and the support we received from parents and governors.
“It’s really nice that pupils have been rewarded for their efforts.
“Last year we had a bit of a dip but we normally get results in the mid-60s. We would hope to maintain if not improve in the future.
“We always try to improve as much as we can.”
Warneford was closely followed by The Ridgeway School which, despite a slight drop, continued to dominate in the borough.
A total of 70 per cent of pupils scored five or more A* to C grades, including in English and maths, compared to 74 per cent the previous year.
Also performing above the national average of 59.2 per cent were St Joseph’s Catholic College with 67 per cent, Lydiard Park Academy at 61 per cent and Kingsdown School at 60 per cent.
Although some maintained academic standards, others plummeted down the performance table.
Swindon Academy came last with 37 per cent of pupils being awarded A*-C grades in five or more subjects.
A total of 46 per cent of students received five or more A* to C grades including English and maths at Nova Hreod, 50 per cent at The Dorcan Academy, 54 per cent at Churchfields Academy and 58 per cent at The Commonweal School.
Nova Hreod vice principal Linda Culling said: “We were delighted with our results. We had some significant achievements and a fifth of our results were A* to As.
“Both our English and maths outcomes were better as well. We still have some work to do but it’s a generally improving picture.”
The borough’s overall results were deemed positive by Swindon Council, which praised schools for gradually closing the gap on the national average’.
Coun Fionuala Foley, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “We are continuing to raise the bar in Swindon in terms of educational attainment and this year we closed the gap on the national average for the key performance indicator of five or more A*-C grades.”
In Wiltshire, 59 per cent of Bradon Forest School students received five or more GCSEs at A*-C marks compared to 64 per cent at Royal Wootton Bassett Academy.