Leyland schools take a knock in GCSE results

Pupils at Wellfield High School, Leyland, celebrate the school's 100 per cent pass rate in English literature. Photo by 'Clive Lawrence Photography
Pupils at Wellfield High School, Leyland, celebrate the school's 100 per cent pass rate in English literature. Photo by 'Clive Lawrence Photography
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Leyland schools are celebrating their high achievers today as many of the town’s pupils have gained top grades in their GCSE exams - but overall pass rates are down from last year.

The town’s schools have seen a knock in the number of overall passes, which headteachers are saying is a result of government changes.

Nationally, there has been a drop in English grades, but on average across all subjects this year’s results show a rise in A* to C grades.

In Leyland, Academy@Worden, Balshaw’s CE High School and Wellfield High School have all reported a drop in the number of students gaining at least five passes (A*-C).

Leyland St Mary’s Catholic Technology College has not announced its pass rate this year.

Academy@Worden’s pass rate fell from 100 per cent last year to 85 per cent this time; Balshaw’s dropped from 91 per cent to 80 per cent; and Wellfield reported that its “overall pass rate was slightly down.”

Despite this, the schools have plenty of reason to celebrate as many Leyland pupils gained top marks.

At Worden, there was a 100 per cent pass rate in ICT, health and social care, performing arts, sport, travel and tourism and BTEC science.

Headteacher Chris Catherall said: “The school goes from strength to strength and every one of our pupils should be extremely proud of their achievements.

“The changes to the way that the exams are reported have had an effect, but we are pleased that our students have managed to come out with something so high.”

Wellfield achieved a 100 per cent pass rate in English literature, ICT, Spanish, art and photography.

The number of pupils achieving grades A* to C in English also increased compared to last year, and the school achieved its best ever results for music.

Wellfield also reported a sharp rise in the number of pupils achieving A* or A grades, almost twice as high as last year’s results.

Headteacher Piers Tolson said: “We are very pleased with the results in individual subject areas.

“The school demonstrated a really strong performance in English and maths, despite the fact the Government has raised the bar nationally.

“Although our overall pass rate was slightly down, this was mainly due to the readjustment of grade boundaries which will affect a number of schools.

“We are delighted to see big improvements across a number of subject areas.”

Balshaw’s headteacher Jo Venn said: “I think what the government has said about the results being very volatile this year is true.

“We don’t do a lot of early entry exams, so we weren’t affected there, but I do think there is a lot more pressure on students these days.

“We just want everyone to do their best.”

A statement from Leyland St Mary’s, which has had a troubled year as teachers went on strike during Year 11s sitting their exams, reads: “After a turbulent year caused by the devastating fire in September, pupils and teachers have risen to the challenges set before them and have achieved some outstanding results.”

Headteacher Kathy McNicholas added: “We are absolutely delighted by the individual performances of pupils, staff and departments.

“It just goes to show what can be achieved in the face of adversity.”