Exam results show that Tunbridge Wells schools outperform the rest of the county

Academy learn to keep discipline
Tunbridge Wells Rugby Academy play in the Kent Cup

Kent has the highest number of under-performing schools in the country, although Tunbridge Wells borough continues to retain its reputation for educational excellence.

GCSE results for 2015 released on Thursday have further cemented the position of the county’s grammar schools at the top of the league tables.

Three borough grammars of Skinners”, Tunbridge Wells Girls’ Grammar and Cranbrook School each achieved close to a 100 per cent score of pupils gaining five or more GCSEs at A*- C in English and Maths.

These figures far exceed the county average, which actually fell slightly from 58 per cent in 2014 to 57.3 per cent in 2015, after being dragged down by 20 under-performing schools.

This was the highest amount of under-performing schools in any authority in the country, and was eight more than in Birmingham, which had 11.

The government has changed the way it records GCSE results since 2014, leading to many authorities recording a decline.

However, the county as a whole is still performing better than the national average, which was 53.8 per cent, which serves to highlight the large gap in attainment between the county’s best and worst schools.

Kent County Council cabinet member for education Roger Gough said: “Cleary what we wish to see is a good performance across a range of subjects, across all our schools.

“What we have seen is a certain amount of volatility between schools. Some have done extremely well, while others have fallen back, partly due to changes in the grade boundaries for English and maths.

“But overall the situation in Kent as a whole remains pretty stable.”

Of the non-independent Tunbridge Wells secondary schools listed in the league tables, Tunbridge Wells Girls’ Grammar and Skinners” both saw 99 per cent or more of their pupils achieve five or more GCSE’s at A* C in English and Maths.

In addition, 99 per cent of pupils at Cranbrook School, a grammar school with boarding facilities within the borough, secured these grades alongside 97 per cent of pupils at Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys.

Bennett Memorial was the highest achieving non-grammar in the borough with 72 per cent of pupils gaining A* – C, followed by St Gregory’s Catholic School, 64 per cent.

One of the biggest improvements came from Skinners” Kent Academy which climbed to 56 per cent, up from 50 per cent in 2014.

Principal Matthew Tompkins said: “The GCSE results of 2015 were the best ever achieved by students of The Skinners” Kent Academy and we are extremely proud of them and the progress they continue to make.

“At The Skinners” Kent Academy we never waver from making sure that students are given the best opportunities from which they can learn and be successful.

“We have great pride in our achievements this last year and have high ambitions for the coming year.”

A total of 59 per cent of pupils at High Weald Academy, also in Cranbrook and which Cllr Gough singled out for praise, reached this benchmark, while 51 per cent at Mascalls Academy in Paddock Wood also achieved it.

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