Durham Gilesgate Sports College achieves best GCSE results in its final year (From The Advertiser Series)
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Durham Gilesgate Sports College achieves best GCSE results in its final year
A NORTH-EAST school has achieved record GSCE results in final the year of its existence.
Durham Gilesgate Sports College headteacher Arthur Raymond, who has presided over a “horrendous” year of staff cuts as the Durham City prepared to close, said it was a “bitter sweet moment” as he too prepared to retire.
Mr Raymond said: “It is an amazing story of achievement against all odds. We have 88.5 per cent of the students who got a C or above in English, 70 per cent who got a C or above in Maths.
“When you combine Maths and English students getting five GCSEs – the main government indicator – it was 68 per cent of the students. “Students getting five As to Cs – the old indicator without English and Maths – was 98.1 per cent.”
Faced with falling roles, governors decided to end 11 to 16 education at Gilesgate to concentrate on the school’s sixth form on a separate site off Freeman’s Place.
Mr Raymond said: “The closure meant we had to engage in a huge staffing reduction exercise and what is amazing about this success is that the staff and everyone associated with the school has managed to get what are the best ever results.
“This was all in a year when members of staff have been faced with such incredible uncertainty in their own lives. I cannot tell you how much I admire the staff for what they have done.
“In the last presentation to them before I left I said didn’t dare dream we would manage to pull off this achievement.”
The school will be become temporary home Durham Free School in the new term.
Mr Raymond said: “The last Ofsted inspection in 2012 recognised us as a good school, with the potential to become outstanding and of course this (the latest results) would have been confirmed that had we been continuing.”
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