For many students and their families, as well as teachers, August can be the most nerve-racking of months as they await the news of exam results. Last week we had the results for A levels, AS’s and B-TEC’s and this week students will receive their GCSE results. I know how much hard work goes into preparing for and taking these exams, and how important is the support that the students receive from their school and family. I would like to congratulate everyone receiving their results for their efforts and wish them all the best for the future.
Qualifications are not just a mark for the work that has been put in, but are a stepping stone to the next level of study, or into the world of work. It is important that employers and institutions continue to respect the value of these qualifications, which is why the government has to uphold the rigour of the testing as well as marking the quality of the results.
Across the country, the pass rates for A levels were broadly consistent with the previous year, however locally many schools bucked the national trend and recorded some outstanding results. The Folkestone Academy had twice the number of A Level entries compared to previous years and saw the highest ever number, gaining the very highest grades of A*, A and B. The Year 13 students at the Academy are also the first group to have spent every year of their secondary education in the new school. Pent Valley School also received its best ever results and the results at the Harvey Grammar were better than the previous year. The Folkestone School for Girls and Brockhill Park Academy also posted, once again excellent results. Students at the Marsh Academy achieved some impressive results with some of the highest grades ever achieved. Christopher Johnson, a Year 13 student, achieved 2 A*s and an A grade in Maths, Economics and English Literature. These results mean that once again, more students from our area will be going on to study at University and in further education. There were also excellent results at the private Earlscliffe College in Folkestone, which were good enough to place it amongst the leading private sixth form colleges in the country.
These results are first and foremost due to the hard work of everyone involved, but we have also benefited from considerable investment in local education over the last few years. We have seen complete new schools like the Marsh and Folkestone Academies, the Folkestone Primary Academy and the Glassworks Sixth Form centre. The Harvey Grammar has recently received a grant of £2.4 million from the government for a new school building and Brockhill Park is also investing in its facilities. In addition to this there is also the multi million pound investment in the new East Kent College in Folkestone, replacing the former K College. There is no greater investment we can make than in education, and today the opportunities available in our area are better than ever.