GCSE results get better

Government sells off HMS Ocean for £84m

GCSE students across Portsmouth have recorded a rise in exam results.

City schools performed well with 42.3 per cent of pupils achieving the 'gold standard' pass rate of five A* to Cs, including English and maths.

This shot up from 39.5 per cent last year – but Portsmouth is still well below the 53.1 per cent national average.

Now a new way of ranking schools is causing concern among headteachers.

The English Baccalaureate – announced two months ago in the government's education white paper – ranks schools on the number of pupils who get A* to C passes in five specific subject areas – English, maths, two sciences, history or geography, and a foreign language.

Mike Smith, head of City of Portsmouth Boys, in Hilsea, insists he will continue to celebrate his school's 48 per cent 'gold standard' GCSEs, despite achieving just four per cent in the English Bac.

He said: 'As far as I am concerned, the English Bac league table is completely arbitrary at this stage.

'It is not a requirement, and the reason we scored low is that most of our boys do not opt for a modern language at GCSE stage.'

Students at Springfield School, in Drayton, scored the highest GCSE gold standard pass rate of 63 per cent, and came second best with the English Bac on a relatively modest 23 per cent.

Their English Bac score was beaten only by Lord Admiral Nelson School who got 24 per cent.

Springfield headteacher Lynn Evans said: 'While I don't think the Bac is a bad thing, I do take issue with the government not accepting religious studies as a humanities subject.

'If this was the case, our Bac pass rates would be much higher, so the situation many of my pupils finds themselves in is absurd.

'Our head boy for example was awarded 12 A and A* GCSEs but because his humanities subject was religious studies he hasn't got his Bac.'

Students across Havant, Fareham, Gosport and Waterlooville were also celebrating best ever gold standard passes with Hampshire's average sitting comfortably above the England average on 58.4 per cent.

A full table of results is published in The News today