IT was a mixed story for schools in South Essex as the latest secondary league tables were released yesterday.
Southend saw its four grammar schools top the tables again, with Westcliff High School for Girls registering the second best GCSE results in the country.
Basildon headlines were made by the schools’ struggle to get more than 50% achieving five A* to C grades, including maths and English, at GCSE level.
In Castle Point a specialist secondary saw a 13% drop in its A* to C graded GCSEs, but it still remained the best performing school in the borough.
Both Westcliff and Southend High Schools for Girls recorded 100% of pupils attaining five or more A* to C grades.
The corresponding boys’ schools scored 99% and 97% respectively, meaning all four schools registered among the top ten performing schools in the county.
Bottom of the table was Chase High School, where just 25% attained five or more A* to C grades, with Futures Community College scoring 27%.
James Coutenay, Southend councillor responsible for children and learning, said: “Overall Southend’s schools have done well.
“Obviously some of our schools’ results need to improve. We are already working with them to secure rapid improvement. In the budget the council is in the process of setting, I am proposing to spend an additional £200,000 a year to bolster our school improvement team.”
King John School, in Shipwrights Drive, Thundersley, saw 68% of its pupils achieve five A* to C grades, including maths and English in 2013. Although this was 4% higher than its nearest rival, the Appleton School, King John has seen scores drop steadily since 2011.
The under-threat Deanes School, in Thundersley, saw a decline in the number of students achieving five or more A* to C, including maths and English – 52% of pupils last year compared to 57% in 2012 and 51 per cent in 2011.
De La Salle Catholic School, in Basildon, did manage to score more than 50%, with 52% of students getting the five A* to C grades, although that was down two per cent on last year.
The James Hornsby School, in Laindon, scored just 26% and Woodlands School, in Basildon, which is having a £25million rebuild, scored the same as last year, at 39%.
The Basildon Academies also failed to hit its projected GCSE target, missing out by nine per cent to score 46%.
Despite the results, school governor Keith Bobbin believes head teacher Bev Bell is the right woman for the job.
He said: “It has been a very busy year at the academies and we have had to face a number of problems, so I think, all in all, the school can be pleased. It is a step in the right direction and I think Bev has done an excellent job.”
Elsewhere in the borough, the highest scoring school was Beauchamps High School, in Wickford, which secured a 76% pass rate.