Record Breaking A Levels for Local Schools

100% pass rate for fourth year for Lady Margaret

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More Hammersmith & Fulham students than ever before have gained A and B grades in their A-levels. The borough's overall pass rates at grades A - E, A - C and A - B were all up on last year and all above the national averages.

The overall pass rate in the borough's schools at grades A - E was 97.6 per cent - one percentage point above the national figure of 96.6. More than half of the passes (56.6 per cent) in Hammersmith & Fulham were at grades A and B - a record number of top grades.

The best performing local school was Lady Margaret School which managed 100 per cent pass rate. They have now achieved that 4 years running. T he percentage of passes at grades A and B at the school was 80.8 per cent compared with 80.2 last year. Headteacher Joan Olivier, who retired this summer after 22 years at the school, said: "I'm delighted that this, my last set of results as headteacher, are outstanding - an improvement even on last year's excellent results."

Students at the London Oratory School achieved higher percentage pass rates than last year at A - E, A - C and A - B and along with Lady Margaret was ranked by the Times as one of the top 500 state schools in the country on the basis of these results.

Meanwhile William Morris Academy (WMA) students have achieved excellent A-level results - with a higher percentage of A and B grades than last year. WMA students also excelled in their vocational A-levels - the Advanced Vocational Certificate of Education. The A - E pass rate for students on the AVCE combined courses, equivalent to two A-levels, was 98 per cent at WMA, compared with 94.4 last year. On the single AVCE courses, equivalent to one A-level, the pass rate was 90 per cent, compared with 85.8 last year.

Liz Walton, WMA principal, said: "We are very pleased to have a higher percentage of A and B grades this year. We cater for students from a wide range of abilities and backgrounds so it is very pleasing to see them achieving so well at A-level and AVCE. We have broadened the curriculum with a really wide choice of academic and vocational courses."

Among the individual success stories at the borough's sixth-forms were twins Georgina and Vanessa Bailey, both 18 and both students at Lady Margaret School. They each gained three As at A-level and are both going to Oxford University. Georgina, whose A-levels are biology, maths and chemistry, will study chemistry at Oxford and Vanessa, whose A-levels are Latin, English literature and history, will study classics at Oxford. Also going to Oxford is Lady Margaret student Katie Hadfield, 18, who will study biochemistry at the university after gaining As in biology, chemistry and history at A-level. * Another Lady Margaret success story is Sara Habachi, 18, who was the borough's Member of the Youth Parliament last year. She is going to Leeds University to study politics and philosophy and hopes to keep her public speaking skills up to scratch by joining a debating society and getting involved in student politics. Sara got A grades in religious studies, politics and history A-levels. She said: "I really didn't think I would do so well so it was a lovely surprise. I was so happy that I couldn't quite believe it - I had to get one of the teachers to tell me the grades were right."

The William Morris Academy's top student was Lisa Becker, 19, who passed six A-levels, including five at grade A. Her A grades were in biology, physics, chemistry, art and German and she gained a B in maths. She will study natural sciences at Bath University but is having a gap year to take part in volunteering projects in South America or Asia with BUNAC. Lisa wants to specialise in biology and physics in her natural sciences degree and would like to do what she can to protect the environment for future generations. "I want to save the world," she said. "I don't know exactly how yet but I want to do something with the help of technology to save animals and the environment." Lisa moved with her mother to Hammersmith from Germany three years ago and took her GCSEs at WMA before passing German A-level two years ago and her other five A-levels this year. WMA student Dalia Hamid, 18, gained three As in business, ICT and economics A-levels and will be studying economics at University College London's School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). She said she was "overwhelmed" with her results, which were better than she expected.

In the private sector Latymer Upper School achieved their best ever A Level results with a 100% pass rate. Over 12% of the pupils at the school are going on to Oxbridge.

Cllr Alexandra Robson, cabinet member for education, said, "Congratulations to all the students and teachers for their hard work and commitment. A record number of students have gained the top A and B grades and the pass rates at grades A to E and A to C are also up on last year's. Our overall A-level results show that Hammersmith & Fulham students are performing better than others nationally, which is great news."

Percentage pass rates at grades A to E (last year's figures in brackets):

Lady Margaret School 100 (100)
London Oratory School 98.3 (97.8)
William Morris Academy 95.5 (95.8)
Overall for H & F schools 97.6 (97.5)
National overall figure 96.6 (96.2)

Percentage pass rates at grades A to B (last year's figures in brackets):

Lady Margaret School 80.8 (80.2)
London Oratory School 61.5 (58.2)
William Morris Academy 37.7 (33.1)
Overall for H & F schools 56.6 (54)
National overall figure 48.1 (46.6)

Percentage pass rates at grades A to C (last year's figures in brackets):

Lady Margaret School 95.7 (97.3)
London Oratory School 83.8 (78.9)
William Morris Academy 65.3 (60.5)
Overall for H & F schools 79.4 (76.2)
National overall figure 70.8 (69.9)

August 21, 2006