Islington schools finally catching up after record A-level year

ISLINGTON students are finally catching up with the rest of the country after a record A-level year.

ISLINGTON students are finally catching up with the rest of the country after a record A-level year.

The Islington Consortium - made up of Highbury Grove, Highbury Fields and Central Foundation schools - is celebrating a massive improvement in results.

Of all the A-levels taken, 99 per cent were passed - 61 per cent at grade A* to C. This means pupils are fast catching up with the national average of 75.1 per cent.

In 2009, only 49 per cent of A-levels at Islington Consortium were passed at grade A to C.

There was similar good news with the number of A-levels gaining the new A* grade - which is only awarded when pupils get at least 90 per cent in their final exams.

In total, 13.8 per cent of A-levels taken at the Islington Consortium gained an elite A* grade - way above the national average of 8.1 per cent.

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Councillor Richard Watts, executive member for children at the Labour-controlled Islington Council, was thrilled because Islington exam results have historically lagged behind the rest of the country. He said: "I'm really pleased with Islington's A-level results - congratulations to those students and staff who worked so hard to achieve them.

"The education on offer in Islington - from nursery age to sixth form, is continuing to improve all the time, helping young people to get the best start in life."

At Highbury Fields School, Wai Fun Lam gained an A* in maths and A grades in biology, chemistry and physics.

At Central Foundation School, Yusuf Ali gained an A* in design and technology, an A in economics and business and a B in ICT. He is planning to study animation at Middlesex University.

And at Highbury Grove, Annmarie McGann was celebrating two As and two Bs in economics, Polish, biology and chemistry. Annmarie, who will be studying economics at Glasgow University, said: "I'm very happy with the results today. My sister, mum and dad have all called me. Nobody in my family has ever been to university so it's a big deal for us."

But the opposition Liberal Democrats, who ran Islington Council until the May 6 elections, have warned that cost-cutting may undo the good work.

Councillor Paula Belford, the Islington Lib-Dem spokeswoman for children, said: "The Lib-Dems made education a priority when we ran Islington Council and that led to results improving year on year.

"However, the new Labour administration seems to be more concerned about their pet projects than local children's education.

"It's hard to see how results will continue to improve when Labour have just cut 49 jobs in children's services.