Thousands of Oxfordshire students receive GCSE results

Relief has arrived for thousands of nervous students across Oxfordshire who opened their GCSE results today.

This year a new national system has been introduced to assess the performance of schools. Although pupils still receive a grade from A* to U, the percentage of students achieving five A*-Cs including English and Maths will not be used for official statistics when they are published later this year.

Schools will instead be assessed on a set of performance measures called Attainment 8 and Progress 8, which give schools a rating based on the attainment and progress of all students taking the exams – rather than just those achieving the A*-C benchmark in five subjects including English and Maths.

The council has today received results in a variety of different formats, with some schools and academies continuing to submit their five A*-C figure in addition to the new measures. As such it is not possible at this stage to provide a meaningful overview of how the county has fared as a whole, or to compare performance with previous years.

Commitment of students and teachers

Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Families Melinda Tilley said: “Changes to the examination system are being introduced at the national level, and we will no doubt be able to put Oxfordshire’s results into context in due course.

“What doesn’t change however, is the hard work and commitment that our young people routinely show in coming through these important exams, and the dedication and professionalism of our teaching staff who do their best to enable children to fulfil their potential.

“The exam period is a stressful time for young people, so it’s also important to remember the role of parents and carers in supporting their children to achieve their goals.”

Top performances from around the county

  • At Oxford Spires Academy 84 per cent of English students managed an A*-C grade, and 65 per cent in Maths. One student achieved 10A*s. The school’s Progress 8 score of 0.43 means pupils achieved almost half a grade higher than the national average for their best eight GCSE grades. The figure for those eligible for free school meals was even better at 0.49
  • The achievements of students at Wallingford School meant that more than 30 per cent of students achieved 5 A/A* grades, with 13 per cent getting at least 8 A/A* passes.
  • At Wheatley park, two students notched up 11 A*s apiece, while a third achieved eight A*s and 4As. An impressive eight per cent of all students achieved more than eight A* or A grades.
  • Results at The Warriner in Bloxham included 22 students achieving eight or more GCSEs at A*/A. One student swept the board with 10 A*s.
  • A raft of impressive performances at Didcot Girls School meant that no fewer than 41 students achieved 6 or more A* or A grades.
  • Among the top performers at Abingdon’s Larkmead School were nine students who achieved eight or more passes at A*/A.
  • At The Cooper School in Bicester, 66 per cent of students achieved A*-C grades in English and Maths. In total, 99.5 per cent of students achieved five or more A*-G grades.
  • Ten high performing students at Oxford Academy achieved 100 per cent A*-C grades in all of their exams Seven others achieved results at A*-A in more than half of their exams.
  • Staff at St Birinus in Didcot have reported their best ever results, with one student scooping 10A*s and four others achieving at least 5A*s each.
  • Eynsham’s Bartholomew School was also celebrating record results, with one student scoring 11A*s and one A. Seven other pupils achieved A* and A grades across the board.

Next steps

While the vast majority will choose to stay on at school or further education colleges, there is also a wide range of workplace training schemes and apprenticeships available within Oxfordshire.

Throughout the results period and beyond, county council staff will be available via the web chat service on the Oxme website or over the phone (01865 328460) to talk to young people and parents about the wide range of learning and employment opportunities available in Oxfordshire, and to help with applications.

“Cllr Tilley added: “If you don’t get the GCSE grades you’re hoping for, or are simply not sure what to do next, you can rest assured there will be a place in learning guaranteed for you in September.

“Our simple message to young people is not to panic - there are plenty of opportunities out there and the professional help you need to figure out what to do next. You should speak to your school, local college or get in touch with the council for help and advice.”