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Success in spite of cuts

ST CHRISTOPHER'S High School in Accrington has proved to be Hyndburn's top school for GCSE performance in national league tables released this week.

ST CHRISTOPHER'S High School in Accrington has proved to be Hyndburn's top school for GCSE performance in national league tables released this week.

Pupils at the school achieved their second best results to date, with 64 per cent gaining five or more A* to C grades. This puts them well ahead of the Lancashire average of 53.3 per cent and the national average of 52.9 per cent, although it is a slight drop on last year's score of 67 per cent - the school's best ever result.

Headteacher Alasdair Coates said: "We're absolutely delighted for our pupils because they've far exceeded their expectations. They have done particularly well because they were disadvantaged by budget cuts, which meant they were taught in six groups instead of seven. They were the only year group to be affected in this way and we wouldn't have been surprised if the results had reflected that. But they show the hard work of staff and pupils and a great deal of support from parents."

The next two schools in the table, which also includes GNVQ results, both improved on last year, with Rhyddings High in Oswaldtwistle jumping to second place in Hyndburn's league table and Norden High in Rishton improving by one per cent.

For Rhyddings, it is the second year running that their scores at A* to C have gone up. They increased by eight per cent between the 2001 and 2002 exams, and a further three per cent between 2002 and last year.

Headteacher Barry Burke said the published score of 45 per cent was incorrect, as re-marking had actually pushed the figure up to 46 per cent. He said: "It's good to see that Hyndburn kids are starting to realise their potential. It seems to be a reflection of their increased self-belief and I hope we're seeing that in the whole area, not just this school. I am delighted for the pupils concerned and I hope that they will continue to improve." He added that the increase in those gaining A* to G grades also meant that more pupils were completing courses than before.

Mount Carmel High in Accrington dropped from second place to fourth place in the table, with a decrease of 17 per cent on last year's figure, and The Hollins Technology College in Accrington dropped by nine per cent.

Coming last in the table was Accrington's Moorhead High School, which was among the three worst performing schools in Lancashire. Headteacher Andrew Bateman said: "Statistics only give one picture of a school's performance and we are quite satisfied with the progress our pupils are making from Key Stage 3 to 4. Our A to C grades are lower than targeted but the tables demonstrate the children are making progress."


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