HEAD teachers from around York and North Yorkshire have been analysing the latest GCSE attainment tables and what they mean.

The results were released by the Department for Children, Schools and Families, with many of the area’s schools performing well.

For York High School, which was formed in 2007 when Lowfield and Oaklands combined, its first set of results showed 51 per cent of pupils gained GCSE grade C or above, with 35 per cent of those including both maths and English.

The head of the Dijon Avenue school, David Ellis, said: “If you take the 2007 results and combine Lowfield and Oaklands, it was exactly 50 per cent of pupils who got five GCSEs at C or above and this year it was 51 per cent – a moderate increase.

“But that proves that worries about combining the two schools were unfounded.”

Mr Ellis said the 35 per cent figure was low because of a weakness at the school with English.

He highlighted that 62 per cent attained a C or above in maths but only 37 per cent attained similar grades in English.

The school has now implemented a new strategy for English, with exams taken earlier, in November. This has already seen a 36 per cent pass rate in results released this week and Mr Ellis said he expects more success in summer re-takes.

In the East Riding of Yorkshire, most school’s results remained steady, though Market Weighton School enjoyed a 12 per cent rise in the number of children obtaining five GCSEs, including maths and English.

The same category for Pocklington School, however, showed a steep decline over the past four years, with the number of pupils attaining five GCSEs including maths and English, dropping from 94 per cent in 2005 to 14 per cent last year. Explaining the apparent drop, director of studies Rob Smith said: “It’s because of the maths GCSE – the one we do, in common with a lot of independent schools, is an international GCSE (IGCSE). It’s a lot more traditional and doesn’t include course work.

“Roughly, 80 per cent of the pupils do IGCSE maths, but in terms of league tables the Government doesn’t recognise them.”

Mr Smith explained that as the number of pupils taking the maths IGCSE had increased over the years, it appeared on the tables that fewer pupils were taking exams, which was not the case.

Throughout North Yorkshire, many schools enjoyed an upturn in the category, with Barlby High, Esingwold School and Read School in Selby all seeing an increase.

Norton College saw a dip, down from 58 per cent last year to 52 per cent this year, while Selby High School saw a drop from 64 per cent to 39 per cent.