DUDLEY’S boss of children’s services has congratulated students across the borough on their GCSE results today (Thursday).

Overall figures for this year have yet to be verified, a spokesman for Dudley Council said, but early indications show there have been improvements in some schools despite the national downward trend.

Results known at this time show percentage improvements at Kingswinford Academy and Summerhill School in the Stourbridge area.

At Kingswinford Academy 72 per cent of students walked away with five or more A* to C grades GCSEs in subjects including English and Maths - up 70 per cent on 2012’s results; while at Summerhill 78 per cent of youngsters gained five or more A* to C grades including English and maths - up 75 per cent on 2012’s results.

Pedmore Technology College in Lye has also celebrated its best-ever results this year.

The percentage of students gaining five or more top grades, including English and maths, has shot up from 43 per cent last year to 60 per cent this time.

News headteacher Gareth Lloyd said: “We are very proud of these fantastic results this year and are determined to keep improving. Students and staff have worked extremely hard to achieve these grades this year.”

Ridgewood High School and The Wordsley School have also noted slight improvements on last year.

Ridgewood’s results, including English and maths, have gone up from 52 per cent last year to 60 per cent.

Headteacher Clive Nutting praised all the students for their hard work and added: “There were many superb individual performances, most notably from Rosie Hierons, Rhiannon Deniffe, James Thomas, Christopher Edwards and Ben Phillips who all achieved 12 or more A*/A grades.”

Meanwhile The Wordsley School saw 52 per cent of youngsters gain the obligatory five or more top grades, including English and maths, compared to last year’s 51 per cent.

Councillor Tim Crumpton, Dudley’s cabinet member for children’s services, said: “I would like to congratulate all pupils who have received their results today and wish them every success for the future.

“I would also like to thank our dedicated teachers and parents and carers who together have worked extremely hard to support young people in achieving the best possible results.”

However results, including English and maths, at traditionally high achieving Old Swinford Hospital School have fallen by ten per cent from 81.3 per cent to 71.11 per cent.

The Heath Lane school, however, has celebrated some outstanding individual results.

George Hadfield from Belbroughton, Bradley Bush from Redditch and Blake Lewis from Stourbridge all gained eight grade A*s and two grade As; while Sam Russell from Kinver achieved six A*s and three As.

Headteacher Peter Jones said: "We are delighted that in a very tough year, our brightest students have achieved exceptional results.

“These results reward a good deal of hard work and dedication from students and staff alike.

“However, we are disappointed with what appears to be a downward trend nationally.”

Similarly Redhill School in Stourbridge has seen results, including English and maths, fall from 77 per cent last year to 69 per cent this time.

Headteacher Stephen Dunster acknowledged results were “slightly lower than last year” but praised students, staff and supportive parents for their efforts - adding: “The pupils rose to the challenge of tougher exam standards and supported one another magnificently throughout their final year at Redhill.”

He also added that he thought it was “exceptional” that 60 per cent of pupils gained at least a grade C in one or more languages.

Grades have also fallen at Thorns Community College which has seen just 49 per cent of students gaining five or more top grades, including English and maths, compared to 54 per cent in 2012.

Results at Edgecliff High School in Kinver also fell slightly. A total of 66 per cent of students gained the top grades, with English and maths, compared to 68 per cent last year.

Headteacher Chris Rogers, however, said “students worked extremely hard and deserve their success”.

Meanwhile - there were lots of smiling faces at Hagley RC High School when students ripped open envelopes to discover they had achieved “brilliant” GCSE results.

A total of 83.5 per cent got five or more passes at grades A* to C, including English and maths, a 3.5 per cent increase on last year.

Headteacher Ted Hammond said: “The results are absolutely brilliant, better than last year. I’m delighted to see an improvement, I suppose given the forecast we were given and everything that has been in the press, I feared the students wouldn’t do as well as we believed they could but they have realised their potential.”

There were also lots of celebrations at Elmfield School in Oldswinford, Stourbridge, where a whopping 89 per cent of final year students picked up five or more A*s to C grades.

Students at the school in Love Lane follow the internationally renowned Steiner Waldorf curriculum.
They don’t do SATs and they sit their GCSEs over a two-year-period rather than at the end of a two-year GCSE course.

The school says it does not believe in “hot-housing” youngsters to achieve top results.

Instead it believes in “prolonging childhood” and education is “age-appropriate” with regular homework not introduced until pupils are 11.

Crestwood School in Kingswinford has also celebrated “fantastic” results going up from 65 per cent, including grades in English and maths, to 68 per cent this year.

Headteacher Tony Bowles said: “It’s the fourth year running that we’ve gone up.

“Three years ago we were on 43 per cent so we’ve gone up 25 per cent in three years. These are fantastic results.

“It’s all about setting very, very high expectations and targets - and the students step up.”

He said one star student Waabis Mohammed walked away with 12 A*s.

The News has been unable to obtain the percentage pass rate for A* to C grades, including English and maths, from Haybridge High School in Hagley but the school has reported a pass rate for A* to C grades, without English and maths, of 97 per cent.

Headteacher Caroline Hoddinott said: “We are delighted that so many of our students have excelled at GCSE despite the degree of uncertainty currently surrounding the examination process.”

Outstanding individual successes at the school included sisters Ellie and Martha Payne, who both achieved 11 A*s and Daniel Starks, who also gained 11 A*s