GCSE Results: Academy 360 doubles its success rate

Estelle Stubbs with Head Teacher Rachel Donohue
Estelle Stubbs with Head Teacher Rachel Donohue
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Academy 360 is celebrating after doubling its GCSE success rate.

Although John McGuinness, executive principal at Academy 360, is delighted with his school’s results, he stressed further improvements will be made in the years to come.

Speaking after the Pennywell-based school revealed it had increased its GCSE A*-C grade passes from 16% to 32%, Mr McGuinness said: “These are a great set of results and a testament to the hard work of both students and staff.

“Collectively and individually the students have done brilliantly. A 5% increase would have been significant, a 10% increase excellent, but a 16% increase is just fantastic.

“I’ve said before that we’re on a journey of improvement, and these results are a big step on this journey. But we’re nowhere near finished yet – we’re still hugely ambitious for our students and their futures. There is so much more to come from Academy 360.”

Mr McGuinness was particularly proud of the school’s maths results, which showed 50% of pupils passing grade A*-C, compared to only 23.5% last year. It’s the school’s best Maths performance on record. Academy 360’s French GCSE results were even more impressive – with 91 per cent of GCSEs being in the A*-C band.

Earlier in the summer, Government inspectors from Oftsed said the school was ‘inadequate’ due to historic GCSE outcomes.

“We told the inspectors that we were confident of getting our grades up to 32% and they didn’t believe our in-house data; they didn’t believe we could change things around so quickly.

“But we have done so, we had a plan in place that everyone, from the teaching staff, to the pupils and governors, bought into and all of the hard work has paid off.

“I think if those inspectors had visited the school today, the outcome would have been very different.

“What we’ve seen here is genuine transformational change. Our students and staff are proud to be from Academy 360 now,” added Mr McGuiness.

The school has also recorded its best ever performance at Grades A* and A. Among those celebrating A* and A grades were Academy 360 pupils Henry Wagner and

Estelle Stubbs.

Henry gained six As and two Bs, while Estelle gained three A*s, one A, five Bs and two Cs.

Henry, 16 was the school’s top-performing boy and is planning to study business, maths and physics A-levels at Sunderland College before going on to university.

Estelle, also 16, and the school’s top performing girl, plans to be a prison officer and is considering studying four A-levels at Sunderland College.

“I’m delighted with my results and would like to thank the great teachers at Academy 360 who have helped me,” said Henry.