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GCSE results published today by Knowsley LEA illustrate that the Borough has once again improved upon last year's best ever achievement level with a 33.6 increase in pass rates at A*-C. Nationally exam results have improved by 0.2% (2002-2003) with Knowsley tipping the bill with a staggering improvement rate of 3.5%.

One school in particular, St Edmund Arrowsmith Catholic High in Whiston, is the highest performing school ever in the Borough's history. The school's GCSE pass rates at A*-C have risen by a phenomenal 20% - increasing from 34% last year to 54% in 2003. The results are set to make St Edmund Arrowsmith Catholic High School one of the most improved in the UK this year.

Individual results at this school are excellent; three pupils have attained 20 A* grades between them; they are Catherine Jones (8A* 3As), Daniel Pennington (6A* 4As) and Emma Jones (6A* 5As) who also achieved a grade A at AS level, one year early.

Councillor Larry Nolan, Knowsley's Cabinet member for Education and Lifelong Learning, commented: "This year Knowsley is a beacon council for transforming secondary education and we are worthwhile holders of this accolade."

"We have many initiatives in place to raise attainment including Easter revision schools. One initiative in particular, an online exam practice website called SAM Learning, has paid dividends. Results, when analysed last year, showed that pupils who spent more than six hours using this site, achieved five GCSE points higher than those who did not; in effect more than ½ a GCSE grade higher per subject. This year's results still need to be analysed but we are confident that the revision website, paid for by our own education department, has again made a difference.

"I am also particularly pleased to see the exceptional results of individuals and congratulate all Knowsley’s teaching staff for their high calibre of teaching and hard work."

Several schools achieved some excellent individual results:
Knowsley Hey in Huyton:
Sean Cousins (3A*, 7As), Rebecca Cardwell (6A*, 2As) and Ben Mitchell (6A*, 1A)
Prescot School:
Heather Riley (5A*, 2As), Jeanette Dooley (1A*, 5As) and Glynn Hunter, (2A*, 7As)

To arrange an interview with SAM Learning or Knowsley Council, or for further information please contact:

Sarah Scott
Livewire Public Relations
Tel: 020 8339 7440

Heather Vaughan
Senior Media Officer
Tel: 0151 443 3675
24 Hr: 07699 717 455

Issued: 21.08.03
Ref: sam81.doc

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