Thursday, 30 August 2012

Exam results...

The anxious wait that teenagers have to endure for their A Level and GCSE results is finally over and many young people locally have cause to celebrate. I was at Redruth School on the day their A Level results came in and they had achieved a 99.3 percent pass rate, with results that were significantly above both the national and the county average, with a couple of students on course for Oxford and Cambridge.

Redruth has made rapid progress in the last few years and is recognised by the Department for Education as one of the top 100 performing schools in the country based on sustained improvement in academic achievement. Camborne Science and International Academy also had another good year with all their students intending to go to university securing their places.

I have been really impressed by all of the secondary schools in this area. Hayle does good work on languages, Camborne has cut out a niche on international exchanges, Pool is consistently rated highly by Ofsted and Redruth has a strong sports department. There is a healthy but friendly competition that exists between all of our schools and they learn from one another. Three of the four schools have introduced new, smarter school uniforms in the last couple of years and all are doing more on science and languages, looking at international exchanges and trying new methods of intervention to support children falling behind. Most important of all, when you visit our schools, there is a real sense of pride and aspiration which is great to see.

There is also good work being done in primary schools. On a visit to Pool Academy last year with Michael Gove, we saw Year 8 pupils at Pool helping year 6 children from one of the local primaries learn to read. Quality primary education is vital because, unless you get the basics right by the time children start secondary school, they are in danger of falling behind and losing interest.

I think it is important to create a culture of excellence in the education system where schools are constantly striving to achieve more for all children, whether by stretching the most academic children so that they can go to university or giving additional support to help inspire those falling behind. The government has made a number of changes aimed at raising standards still further from making the inspection regime more demanding to creating a new “English Baccalaureate” to recognise schools who achieve good results in difficult subjects. Many schools have become independent academies and now control their own budget. Next term, there will be a new catholic school opening in Camborne under the “free schools” policy, giving local parents even more choice. You only get one education, so we must do all we can to make it a success.

George Eustice can be contacted at george.eustice.mp@parliament.uk or 1 Trevenson Street, Camborne, Cornwall TR14 8JD or by telephone on 020 72197032.