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David Finch 

Leader of Essex County Council


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Guest blog - Cllr Ray Gooding

GCSE results round off an excellent year for education in Essex

Schools in Essex have done themselves proud again this year, capped off with some excellent GCSE results.

Despite significant changes to the way subjects are graded, today’s provisional data shows 66.2% per cent achieved at least level 4 (a pass at grade C under the old system) in English and maths – above standards for 2016 A* to C English and Mathematics.

Having already achieved some very positive A-Level and Key Stage 2 SATs results this summer, the county’s strong GCSE showing rounds off another fantastic year for education in Essex.

We continue to support and challenge schools to improve, including though the championing of a school-led improvement system, and Ofsted ratings were again incredibly positive this year.

92 per cent of Essex schools are now rated as good or outstanding by Ofsted, compared with 70 per cent in 2013 – the year I first took over responsibility for Education at Essex County Council.

That is a tremendous achievement and testament to the hard work of schools and our teams here at the council.

Among the other key highlights this year was the record percentages of pupils offered their parents’ preferred primary and secondary school places for September.

We have a strong track record of investment in schools and the £74million spent creating 2,535 new school places across the county for the new academic year undoubtedly played a big part.

There has been a particularly big focus on improving the education of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) this year and we have also celebrated some excellent achievements in that area.

Plans to spend up to £115million on creating new special school places have been approved, a new network of autism support centres have opened and there has been some good progress in improving outcomes for pupils with SEND.

Despite the significant challenges faced by both schools and the council, it has been another very successful year and I would like to congratulate pupils, teachers and colleagues on their achievements.

Although our role with schools is evolving, I look forward to continuing to work closely with them during the years ahead and remain as committed as ever to ensuring pupils receive the best possible education and have the skills they and the county need to prosper.

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