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GCSE results: Thurrock schools see fifth biggest drop in the country.

IN AUGUST of each year, there has been wild celebrations across Thurrock schools as their GCSE exam results have gone up and up and up.

For optimists, it was a sure sign of educational exam results increasing and strategies improving. Some pointed to the increasing freedom schools enjoyed under the academy system and freedom away from the big bad local education authority at Thurrock Council.

Others questioned whether the increases were as a result of re-takes and a massive push to get those students who were struggling to get a C pass over the pass mark.

It felt like a bubble that would one day burst, it looked like a bubble that would one day burst.

On Thursday October 15th,, it burst. It is the first time the provisional results by school have been released this early, with schools minister Nick Gibb saying in July this would help parents make a more “informed” choice when choosing secondary schools, ahead of the school admissions deadline on October 31.

The results also mean that Thurrock has seen the 5th biggest decline in the country with an overall drop of 6.3%.

It all began to look a bit fishy back in August, when only four schools released their key exam figure of how many students (as a percentage) got 5 or more GCSEs at A* to C (inc English and Maths).

Three schools had seen their results improve (Grays Convent, Ormiston Park Academy and Hathway Academy).

Gable Hall released theirs, later on that day with a refreshing honesty from the head, Dr Sophia Asong that she was bitterly disappointed with a drop of 12%.

A month later, Harris Academy released their results which also showed a drop of 12%.

YT asked Thurrock Council if they had received the results but told us that they were also in the dark.

Now the results for the other schools have been released and as suspected, they do not make pretty reading.

St Clere’s results (see sep article) have dropped by a staggering 21%; William Edwards by 14%; Gateway Academy by 12%; Hassenbrook by 9% and Ockendon Academy by 7%.

One of the key questions is what exactly have they told parents and more importantly, what did they tell parents at Open Evenings.

St Clere’s have out a long and detailed explanation on their website. There does not appear to be an explanation on the websites of Gateway Academy, Hassenbrook Academy, Ockendon Academy. William Edwards school has a link to the www.gov.uk website.

One head (who wished to remain anonymous) explained to us why they thought their had been a drop in results.

"It all seems to be about the pupils sitting on the C/D border. The more of those you have, the more you might have, I stress might have, been affected by changes."

In November, there will be the second Thurrock Education Awards. There are a number of categories but strangely not one for statistician of the year.

For your information, here are the (provisional) results from 2015. Some are still subject to appeal.

2015 5 A* to C (inc English and Math

1. Harris Academy: 81% Down by 12%

2. Grays Convent: 70% Up by 7%

3. Gable Hall: 58% Down by 12%

4. William Edwards: 56% Down by 14%

5. Hassenbrook: 46% Down by 9%

6. Hathaway Academy: 46% Up by 2%

7. St Cleres: 45% Down by 21%

8. Ockendon Academy: 43% Down by 7%

9. Ormiston Park Academy: 38% Same

10. Gateway Academy: 38% Down by 12%

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2014 5 A* to C (inc English and Maths)

1. Harris Academy: 93%

2. Gable Hall: 74%

3. William Edwards: 70%

4. St Clere’s: 67%

5. Grays Convent: 63%

6. Hassenbrook Academy: 55%

7. Gateway Academy: 50%

7. Ockendon Academy: 50%

9. Hathaway Academy: 44%

10. Ormiston Park Academy: 38%

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