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Maths triumph sparks economy count-down, says schools chief

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Students and teachers are celebrating an extraordinary turn-around in maths GCSE exam results on St Helena.

Education director Colin Moore said: “Two years ago, no students achieved a C grade in maths. This year almost half of the year group achieved a C grade or better.

“This highly impressive performance reflects the hard work of the students and their teachers.”

Every single student who took the English language GCSE scored at least the benchmark C grade.

Prince Andrew School also met a challenging target for 30% of students to gain five GCSEs at grade C or above, including English and maths.

Colin also praised students who had succeeded in vocational courses.

“This year’s achievements are just what the island’s developing economy needs,” he said. “In some respects this represents ‘lift off’.

“We now have the evidence that our young people really can take advantage of the opportunities they have ahead of them.

“I am sure all the island’s community will want to join me in saying a very big ‘well done’ to all of the young people and their teachers.”

Councillor Christine Scipio-O’Dean, chair of the island’s education committee, said: “This represents real progress for the island and means that any future investors can have confidence that St Helena has young people with the talent, skills and qualifications to succeed.”

Paul Starkie, headteacher of Prince Andrew School, said staff were proud of “each and every one of our students” and wished future success to school leavers.

He added: “We are also absolutely delighted by the number of students returning to Prince Andrew School to continue their journey with us.”

Primary Schools on the island have seen a slight dip in results for year 6 assessments. However, changes to the tests, including new assessments of spelling and grammar, meant comparisons would be difficult until later in the year. Schools in England may have had the same experience, said Colin Moore.

He said: The year 6 children worked very hard throughout the year and there are some examples of really high achievement.”

He said work still needed to be done to improve standards in primary education, but staff were rising to the challenge with specialist support.

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