GCSE results rise despite controversial reforms

City of London Academy Hackney toasts its GCSE results. Photo City of London Academy Hackney / Twitter
City of London Academy Hackney toasts its GCSE results. Photo City of London Academy Hackney / Twitter

Teenagers across the City and beyond are plotting their futures with ever clearer vision after picking up their GCSE results.

Major reforms had been proferred by many as good reason to expect a poor set of results across the country, but instead grades rose for the first time in seven years.

Ditching the traditional A*-U grading system, pupils were marked on a controversial new 9-1 spectrum, with 66.9% earning a 4 (C) in 2018’s boundaries – a 0.5% increase on last year’s breakdown.

Despite uncertainty over grade boundaries, which inhibited some teachers in their ability to properly prepare students for exams, the results make favourable reading, particularly for the City Corporation’s academy schools.

At Highbury Grove, 69% of students achieved a Grade 4 or above in English and mathematics, a feat hailed as an ‘academic transformation’ by executive principal Clare Verga following its takeover by the City of London Academies Trust.

“The GCSE results achieved at the City of London Academy Highbury Grove reflect the transformation the school has made this academic year. Our results are testament to the phenomenal hard work of both students and staff and I am very proud of all involved. My congratulations to all.”

The City Academy Southwark achieved a 73% pass rate for English and mathematics, while Hackney boasted a 74% pass rate with at least three other GCSEs. Islington and Highgate Hill, 71% and 60% respectively, saw the majority of students graduate with Grade 4 or above in the two core subjects.

Further afield, City of London Freemen’s School students, in Ashtead Park, Surrey, made it a near perfect day with a 99.7% pass rate across the board.

Andrew McMurtrie, chair of the City of London Academies Trust, congratulated all students for their hard work in achieving their GCSE results.

He said: “The City of London Corporation is committed to providing access to world-class education and learning opportunities.

“I hope the students will be able to make the most of the experience that they have had during their time at the school and use it in the career path of their choice.”