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Schools on the up as GCSE results rise - with Lowestoft academy ranked Suffolk's best school for Progress 8

PUBLISHED: 09:03 13 October 2017 | UPDATED: 09:03 13 October 2017

East Point Academy, Lowestoft, was ranked as Suffolk's best school for Progress 8, the new accountability measure. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

East Point Academy, Lowestoft, was ranked as Suffolk's best school for Progress 8, the new accountability measure. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

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Suffolk has risen more than 50 places in the national secondary school league table in five years on the back of improving GCSE results.

Provisional government statistics released yesterday, show 62.4 per cent of GCSE students in Suffolk achieved at least a grade 4 in English and maths this year, ranking the county 85th out of 151 local authorities.

In 2012, Suffolk was ranked 142nd, prompting outrage and the Raising the Bar scheme.

The difference between the Suffolk and England state school average has fallen from 8.4pc points in 2012 to 1.1pc in 2017.

The 2017 results included the first phase of the 0-9 numerical grading system – just English and maths this year – replacing the A*-G system by 2020. The reforms of former education secretary Michael Gove reflect a tougher, more traditional curriculum.

East Point Academy in Lowestoft was ranked Suffolk’s best school for Progress 8, the new accountability measure, with 0.69. It was in special measures three years ago.

Principal Richard Dolding praised the “fantastic achievement”. Suffolk scored -0.01 (average) and Essex scored -0,04 (below average) in Progress 8.

Gordon Jones, education cabinet member at Suffolk County Council, praised the authority’s signature Raising the Bar scheme for delivering the results. But Labour questioned the rate of progress and being in the bottom half of authorities.

Mr Jones said: “Students continue to make above average progress, closing the attainment gap to national. Through our Raising the Bar programme, schools are driving up standards.”

Jack Abbott, Labour Group’s spokesman for education, said: “We want to be in the top 10, 20. Being 85th after five years is questionable. I think this is reasonably slow progress. How much money is being spent? With the new funding formula, I would be hammering down Justine Greening’s (education secretary) door. Quite frankly, we need it.”

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