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GIRLS' SCHOOL TOP OF LEAGUE.

Byline: Kat Keogh

A LEADING Birmingham girls' school has been named one of the UK's top independent schools following this summer's GCSE results.

King Edward VI High School for Girls (KEHS) in Edgbaston was ranked 25th overall in national league tables based on last month's GCSE results.

The independent school, which is unusual in that all students study eight compulsory subjects at GCSE, saw 89 per cent of all exams graded A* or A, and 97.7 per cent of exams graded A*-C. Topping the national table based on data from the Independent Schools Council was Magdalen College, Oxford, where 99.52 per cent of the school's GCSE entries scored an A* or A, and pupils notched up 656 A* grades alone.

Other top-scoring Midland schools included King Edward's School in Edgbaston, which was ranked 44th overall and recorded a A*-A pass rate of 83.8 per cent.

Also making it into the national top 100 was Solihull School, where 72 per cent of entries sat by 118 students achieved A* or A grades. KEHS' top ranking follows a successful year for its students, including identical twins Alexandra and Rebecca Morton from Harborne, who both notched up 11 A* grades.

KEHS principal Sarah Evans said: "Our core GCSE curriculum provides girls with a strong understanding of academic subjects. "The additional courses on offer give girls the opportunity to focus on their own interests, in whichever field they may lie. By offering subjects such as GCSE astronomy out of school curriculum time, girls are encouraged to develop their own understanding of a topic and decide whether these are areas they would like to develop beyond GCSE level.

"Once again, we are extremely proud of all of our GCSE pupils and feel confident that their broad curriculum will undoubtedly stand them in good stead for the next step in their education."

The results come as ministers announced plans to overhaul GCSEs in the future.

From September next year, pupils will sit all their exams at the end of the two-year courses, rather than taking them throughout the course.

Pupils will also be marked on their spelling, punctuation and grammar in subjects that have a high "written English" element, such as history, geography and religious studies as well as English literature.

But Dr Tim Hands, master of Magdalen College, Oxford, warned against "government interference".

He said: "Political meddling in academic matters has rarely been seen to be helpful."
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Sep 5, 2011
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