Submitted by Stephen Morris on 2012-09-11
East Yorkshire

Record GCSE results in East Yorkshire

This summer saw schools in East Yorkshire achieve record GCSE results.  59% of students now achieve five or more A* to C grades, including English and Mathematics (a 3% improvement) while the number gaining good results in five or more subjects has increased 5% to 85%.

East Yorkshire schools have made this improvement despite a severe shortfall in funding from the Department for Education. Extra funding to raise GCSE attainment in the region was one of the recommendations of a recent School Improvement Review panel by East Riding of Yorkshire Council.  The panel recommendations included the setting up of an “excellence for all” fund. One- off funding of £200,000 which would be available to maintained schools meeting Council criteria.

Other recommendations suggest that:

  • All East Riding schools, including academies, adopt a coherent, consistent and comprehensive approach to promoting the highest level of achievement possible
  • Schools adopt those strategies from the identified good practice list which they have not implemented
  • A workshop be held with the council’s school improvement team for secondary school headteachers and governors, as a matter of urgency, to implement the report’s findings
  • Full support to be given to governors to ensure they recruit first class leadership team members and to ensure governors have the support required to be active critical friends with regard to monitoring pupil tracking and achievement.

Councillor Julie Abraham, portfolio holder for children, young people and schools at East Riding Council, stated

The panel has identified that improvements can be achieved with a relatively small sum and even in these financially constrained times, I have ascertained that funding can be made available to those schools that meet the criteria to deliver results

The authority recognises that our schools have struggled with years of underfunding from central government and if these additional resources can make a difference then it is right that we provide them.

Longer term, we hope that central government will act on the now recognised fact that the East Riding is one of the worst funded in the country and provide adequate, sustainable and fair funding to allow our schools to provide the quality education for all pupils that they strive to do at present.

Achieving record results with such limited resources, and when results have been lower than expected due to changes in grade boundaries is a remarkable testament to the teachers and students in East Yorkshire schools.  If increased funding can be secured, it seems that the sky's the limit!