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Executive Leader Cllr Brenda Warrington

Leader's Blog  

Councillor Brenda Warrington, Executive Leader of Tameside Council

Tameside Pupils Get Results

Thursday, 29 August 2019

This August, as has happened every year, young people in Tameside took the first step in the rest of their lives as they received their A-Level and GCSE results.

This is the third year of the reformed GCSE exams, which use a grading scale of 9 to 1 – with 9 being the highest grade. Students are required to score at least a 4 or above to pass, with anything above 5 considered to be a “strong” pass. I’m delighted to announce that Tameside’s students have raised the bar once more with their GCSE results. 63% of the borough’s high school pupils achieved a standard pass of Grade 4 and above in both English and Maths – up from 62% last year – while 40% achieved a strong pass of Grade 5 and above. Audenshaw School, St. Damian’s RC Science College and Fairfield High School for Girls were the top performing schools, however the biggest improvement was found at Droylsden Academy – which recorded a 15% rise in standard passes and a 10% rise in strong passes compared to results last year. Strong passes also improved by 8% at Longdendale High School and by 6% at Audenshaw School.

Our three A-Level providers; Ashton Sixth Form College, Audenshaw School and Clarendon Sixth Form, also continued their strong record of success. A special mention has to be given out to Clarendon Sixth Form, which maintained its position as the highest performing college in Greater Manchester for school leavers and apprentices. Their pass rate this year held at 100%, with 84% of those students receiving high grades. I have no doubt that many of those students will fly the flag for Tameside as they go onwards to prestigious universities and jobs across the country, and maybe even further afield.

As important as these exam results are, we can’t forget that they are by no means the beginning or the end of education. I’ve said in the past that learning is a lifelong commitment, and we’ve put that belief into practice in Tameside. Our “Tameside Loves Reading” project, which gives residents of all ages a chance to improve their literacy skills, is starting to bear fruit. For the next 12 months, every baby born in Tameside Hospital will receive a free book. We’ve also trained up almost 100 “reading volunteers” to go into schools and support children, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, to develop a love of reading. As of July over 200 children in 27 schools had at least half an hour’s reading time with a volunteer, every week for ten weeks. That’s a total of 1,000 hours of learning in total. As I write this more volunteers and partner organisations are also being signed up to expand the programme in the new academic year.

But we also have plenty of schemes to give our adult residents the chance to get back into learning as well. This time last year we signed up to the Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award (iDEA), which gives residents access to free online courses to improve their computer literacy, enterprise skills and employability. We’ve also rolled out “Learn My Way”, which teaches residents about basic skills such as online safety, money management and looking for a job at a pace that suits them. As I wrote in my blog at the beginning of the month, the new term for Tameside Adult and Community Education (ACE) starts on 9th September, providing courses in English, Maths and IT up to GCSE level as well as vocational modules in retail, child care and English for Speakers of Other Languages.

Congratulations to all the students who’ve done themselves, their schools and Tameside proud with their exam results, and the teachers and school staff who supported them to get there. Remember that no matter how young or old you are, right now is always the right time to begin your journey into education. 

Posted by: Executive Leader

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