Half of Barnsley makes the grade

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Students in Barnsley have given the town a welcome boost – with more than 50 per cent of them making the grade at GCSE for the first time.

Last year’s pass rate was just over 45 per cent, the third worst in England.

The class of 2013 has boosted that figure by more than five per cent, maintaining a steady five-year trend of improvement.

Standards in English and maths have shown the biggest improvement, with a 12 per cent rise in maths over the five-year period.

Last year’s dip in English, when grade boundaries were toughened, has also been reversed with scores up by three per cent.

Other achievements include an increased number of pupils attaining the highest grades of A* or A, and a rise in children reaching the EBacc standard.

Coun Margaret Bruff, council spokeswoman for children, young people and families, said: “I’m impressed with the overall improvements, for English and mathematics in particular.

“I would like to congratulate all those young people and their teachers, who can feel proud of their commitment in delivering these results. I wish the pupils every success for the future.”

Success stories this year include Penistone Grammar, which has recorded its best GCSE results ever with significant improvements in languages, science and English literature.

At Darton more pupils passed at A and A* than ever before, while there was a 10 per cent increase in the number of students reaching the EBacc standard.

In its first year Horizon School achieved a pass rate above the 59 per cent national average, while Carlton Community College achieved its best results to date.