HEADTEACHER Phil Poulton was given the best possible send-off by students who sustained the successes of recent years when the GCSE examination results were released.

He is moving on to a role with the Bishop Anthony Academy which the school joined earlier this year and has left new headteacher Paula Hearle with a tough act to follow.

But the garlands were all for the students who with the help of their teachers have had to deal with major changes to the way in which English and Maths exams are graded.

The headline figures for the school are that 65 per cent of students achieved grade four or better in English and Maths.

Phil Poulton, along with other head teachers, stress that direct comparisons cannot be made with previous years but a grade four pass is generally regarded as equivalent to a ‘C’ under the old regime.

In English it was even higher with 76 per cent achieving a grade four or above with the figure at 70 per cent for Maths.

“We are delighted with how our students have risen to the challenge of the new GCSEs in English Language, English Literature and Maths this year and they should be delighted with their results with many students exceeding their aspiration targets,” said Phil Poulton.

Aspirational targets are the results that individual students are predicted to achieve.

“After two years of national speculation and concern about the new grading system of nine to one, our students, their parents and teachers can celebrate together an excellent set of results,” added Phil Poulton.

“Our students should be congratulated for their hard work and we thank our parents and teachers for their tremendous support of our young people.

“Though not directly comparable, the percentage of our students achieving the old five passes including English and Maths has risen considerably.

“Our girls have done particularly well this year, with the highest grades awarded across a range of subjects to Ebony Clent, Katy Holman and Poppy May. Our senior prefects Aaron Layton, Daisy Harmer, Jonny Rogers and Ellie Graham have also gathered together a strong set of results.”

Ludlow School has more than 600 students aged between 11 and 16 years.

The school had excellent results last year and so the pressure to perform was added to by the changes in the grading of English and Maths.

It is intended that the new grading system in which students are allocated graded between nine, the best, and one, was introduced with the idea that it would stretch students.

The intention is that the new grading system will be rolled out to cover other subjects.

Many of the students from Ludlow School will go to Ludlow College to study subjects at A levels but there will also be the option for some of other forms of vocational training including apprenticeships.

Traditionally associated with trades, apprenticeships are now available in a range of subjects and can be undertaken at up to degree level.