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Southport Reporter® covering the news on Merseyside.

Date:- 05 February 2007

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Liverpool is top of the class

EDUCATION Ministers have rated Liverpool as the best performing value addedlocal authority in the North West.  The government’s latest GCSE league tables show that, when taking social factors into consideration, schools in Liverpool are doing better than anywhere else in the region.

Thevalue added scale’ is based on the progress pupils make in secondary schools when taking into account factors which can effect pupils’ grades, such as special educational needs, deprivation, and having English as a 2nd language.  The scale is the most accurate way of judging the difference schools make to pupils. It measures schools’ success in helping every child learn, regardless of their level of ability or social circumstances.  As well as outstripping the rest of the North West, Liverpool is also the highest ranked major city in the UK outside London on the value added scale.

Liverpool City Council’s chief executive Colin Hilton said:- “Education in Liverpool continues to go from strength to strength and this is reflected in the latest league tables. I’m delighted that the city is leading the way when it comes to making sure all pupils, from all different backgrounds, are able to fulfil their academic potential.  It’s the latest success story for education in Liverpool, and although we still have work to do, we are now seeing real, significant progress in the academic progress of young people in this city.”

In 2006, the number of Liverpool pupils gaining 5 or more A* - C grades rose dramatically from 50.1% to 55.6%. The national average is 56%, meaning the city reduced the gap from 5.6% to just 0.4%.  Top performing Liverpool schools included St Francis of Assisi Academy which was named the top achieving value added secondary school in the country and Fazakerley High, which doubled the number of pupils getting high-grade GCSEs from 30% to 60%.

The council’s executive director for children’s services, Stuart Smith, said:- “Liverpool remains the most deprived city in the country, but our educational attainment levels continue to improve faster than the national average. Indeed, in 2006, our GCSE results improved at about 4 times the national rate.  We have invested millions in our schools, and year after year we are seeing major improvements in teaching standards and pupil attainment. To be ranked as the best value added education authority in the North West and one of the best in the country is testament to the hard work of the students, teachers, governors and parents who are helping us develop a first class education service.”

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