Minister praises borough’s top performing high schools

Education minister David Laws
Education minister David Laws

WIGAN’S top performing high schools have been singled out for praise by the education minister.

In letters addressed to the head teachers of Standish Community High School, St Peter’s Catholic High and Hawkley Hall High, David Laws MP recognised their achievements after official league tables were published last month.

The borough’s schools put in their best ever GCSE performances last year with many achieving personal bests.

Standish saw 85 per cent of their pupils achieve five or more GCSEs at A*-C (including English and Maths), the highest in the borough. While St Peter’s in Orrell (84 per cent) and Hawkley Hall (83) were close behind.

Head Lynne Fox, said: “Mr Laws praised Standish for being among the top performing non-selective schools in the country.

“We’re delighted to see our results and success so recognised by the government, we work hard to make a difference for our students and families.

While Hawkley Hall head Roy Halford was particularly pleased with the recognition received for his students’ development throughout their school years. He said: “Our letter highlighted that we were fourth in the region in terms of value added results, in that our students are tested from years seven to 11 and achieve higher results than are predicted for them when they start.

“We also have no gap in terms of our children who receive free school meals perform just as well as their peers, and the letter recognised that.”

St Peter’s new head, Andy McGlown, said: “The letter recognises our place in the top performing schools in the country and that is something that we are proud to be in, and want to remain in, and that is our challenge for the future.

“It is nice to be praised though for our achievements.”

Wigan’s results meant the borough was classed as the fourth most improved local authority in the country and secured its place as the most improved in Greater Manchester.

And 20 schools in the region also received a letter from the minister for their high performance or for making sustained improvements in students’ work.

In his personalised letters, Mr Laws wrote: “I would like to congratulate your staff, governors and pupils for their hard work and success and thank you for your leadership in continuing the drive towards high standards of educational achievement.

“I am pleased to see the appalling attainment gap between the poorest pupils and their peers narrowing.

“But we must get rid of it completely.

“We are targeting more funding than ever before to help all children meet their full potential.”