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Closing the gap in education services performance

Date: 15 Oct 2009

Strong improvements in provisional 2009 GCSE exam results were seen across all three local authorities where Serco is responsible for the management of education services, continuing the trend of closing the gap against average performance across English councils.   Using the national benchmark of 5 GCSEs including English and maths, rates of improvement in Bradford and Walsall are approximately double the national average since the measure was introduced in 2006.  Improvements also outstrip the national average in Stoke-on-Trent since Serco started working with the council in 2007.

Serco were originally introduced into each of these councils to improve education services and bring them closer to national performance standards. Provisional figures released today show that nationally 49.7% of pupils achieved 5 GCSEs including English and maths, an improvement of 3.9 percentage points since the measure was introduced in 2006. During the same period, Bradford and Walsall have seen total percentage points increases of 7.2 and 8.3 respectively, approximately double the national improvement levels.

Schools across the Bradford district are particularly pleased following record level results at GCSE for 5 A*-C grades including English and maths.   At 41%, this represents an impressive 4.3 percentage points rise on last year's results. MD for Education Bradford (Serco), Denise Faulconbridge said, "Children, their teachers, school staff, Governors and parent deserve to be congratulated for their hard work in bringing about such improvements.

Walsall was equally delighted with this year's results at 43.2%, which continue the year on year trend of outstripping national improvements, narrowing the gap from 10.9 percentage points in 2006 to 6.5 percentage points this year.  Tony Stainer, MD for Walsall Children's Services - Serco commented, "Performance for GCSEs with English and Mathematics has continued to improve and we will continue to work with all schools and most importantly work to provide the best education for children and young people in Walsall.  "

Stoke-on-Trent pupils made consistent improvements since Serco were brought in to work with the council.  Provisional figures for GCSEs including English and maths reach 40% for the first time, with the rate excluding English and maths (the national benchmark prior to 2006) at 70% now above the national average.    Said Serco's Ged Rowney, Director of Children's Services at Stoke-on-Trent, "This is another year of real progress and my congratulations go to the young people, their teachers and their families for these wonderful results. Education is going through a major transformation in the city and results like these are an encouraging sign that bodes well for the future".

Elaine Simpson, MD of Serco's Education and Children's Services business summed up, "Naturally we are delighted by these great results across all 3 of the authorities where we work in partnership.  Praise must of course go first and foremost to the pupils, their parents and teachers who have worked so hard to achieve these results.  However I am also delighted with the achievements of our staff and Council staff who work tirelessly in partnership with schools, governors and other partners to enable these children to achieve."

For notes and performance tables, see attached pdf document.

For further information please contact

Mark Vaughan, Strategic Marketing & Communications Manager, Education & Children's Services:
T +44 (0) 7834 801 415

Download PDF [PDF, 126 KB] (Please note: this link will open the page in a new browser window)

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Last Updated: 15 Oct 2009