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West Berkshire secondary schools surpass national average

The Willink came out on top for the best-performing state school, government data reveals

Fiona Tomas

Fiona Tomas


01635 886639

West Berkshire secondary schools surpass national average

WEST Berkshire’s secondary schools remain above the national average in several key categories, according to figures released last week by the Department for Education.

The data assesses schools on a range of criteria, from their overall performance, the proportion of pupils gaining five or more passes at grade 5 or above at GCSE and the paths GCSE and A-level pupils take upon completing their education, as well as other factors. 

St Bartholomew’s School, which is an academy – meaning it is directly funded by the Department for Education and independent of local authority control – was the only secondary school in the district to score ‘well-above average’ in terms of overall performance.

The Willink came out on top for the best-performing state school, closely followed The Downs, Compton.

Just under half of Year 11 pupils (47 per cent) across the district’s three state-funded secondary schools scored a grade 5 or above in English and mathematics at GCSE – which is equivalent to a ‘strong pass’.

But this was still higher than the national average of 43 per cent, with The Willink coming out on top, with nearly two thirds (65 per cent) of GCSE pupils achieving the feat.

The Burghfield Common school also scored impressively for the number of GCSE pupils being entered for more than one modern foreign language, with 11 per cent of pupils sitting at least one exam in this category in 2018 –  more than three times the national average.

The figures – which do not include data for independent schools – also revealed pupils’ post-secondary school choices.

Just four per cent of West Berkshire 16-year-olds chose to enter employment on gaining their GCSEs in 2016 – the year for which the most recent data is currently available.  But this figure rose significantly for A-level leavers, with 27 per cent of the district’s sixth-form pupils pursuing a paid job on leaving. 

Trinity had the highest proportion of pupils in this category, with 40 per cent of 16- to 18-year-olds opting for employment. 

Meanwhile, Theale Green School scored the highest for sixth-form leavers taking up an apprenticeship, with nearly a 10th (eight per cent) of its pupils doing so – double the district’s average.

Among all West Berkshire secondary schools, The Downs had the highest proportion (nine per cent) of sixth form leavers who did not continue in higher education or employment.

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