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Schools will continue to rise to the challenge of higher standards

Schools in Staffordshire will continue to rise to the challenge of higher standards when it comes to GCSEs, the county’s education chief has said.

The news comes as new GCSE result statistics are revealed by the Department for Education. Instead of being graded A*-G, pupils are now being graded 9-1 in English Language, English Literature and Maths, with a grade 5 as the benchmark.

Pupils in Staffordshire who have achieved a level 9-5 pass in English and Maths is 39.3%, compared to 39.6% nationally.

The average Attainment 8 score in Staffordshire is 44.9, compared to the average national score of 44.6. Attainment 8 is a new performance measure, which measures a pupil’s average grade across eight GCSE subjects.

County Councillor Philip White, Cabinet Support Member for Learning and Skills said:

“The new higher standards at GCSE level have really tested schools and students, and I think this is reflected in the results on both a local and national level.  This is only the first year of the new exams and it will take time for the new standards to bed in.

“Over the past five years there has been great progress in Staffordshire schools, with 89% of schools being rated “Good” or “Outstanding” in 2017 compared to just 65% in 2012 and this has pushed our exam results up to around the national average as these results reflect.

“Our teachers and school leaders have been working hard to improve standards and I believe they will continue the upward trajectory and take us further up the performance tables in years to come.

“Every good grade represents a student unlocking their potential and increasing their chances of securing one of the many high-skilled jobs we have available in Staffordshire today and we are determined to continue to support and where appropriate challenge our schools as they continue on their improvement journey.”