High grades on the up at Northampton College as students celebrate GCSE success

Tatiana Lomakina, Northampton College
Tatiana Lomakina, Northampton College

The number of Northampton College students achieving high grades at GCSE is on the up.

More than one in three students (34 per cent) taking their English GCSE achieved a high grade (grade 4-9) while 27 per cent did so in maths (up from 24 per cent last year) - well above national averages for FE colleges.

Harry Heaphy, Northampton College

Harry Heaphy, Northampton College

The results build on last year’s Ofsted inspection, which rated the college as ‘good’ with ‘outstanding features’.

Having turned 17 on Tuesday, Harry Heaphy celebrated his birthday in style by earning a grade 7 in English - the equivalent to an A grade. The result has given him the chance to study A Levels and he hopes to progress onto university and a potential career in journalism.

He said: "I'm absolutely over the moon. I needed a grade 5 and that was what I was hoping to get so to actually get a grade 7 is amazing. I'm buzzing."

Tatiana Lomakina, originally from Russia, wasn’t confident about using the qualifications achieved in her homeland when applying for jobs in Northampton. Having studied at Booth Lane she now has a grade 8 in maths and will study accountancy from September.

Phillip Ratcliffe, Northampton College

Phillip Ratcliffe, Northampton College

She said: “I’m very grateful to everyone at Northampton College, I had a brilliant tutor and it’s a brilliant place to learn. I’d recommend it to anyone.”

Overall, GCSE results at the College remained strong, with an overall pass rate of 97 per cent.

Principal of Northampton College, Pat Brennan-Barrett, said: “We are thrilled to see so many people now able to progress and move on in their lives having achieved the grades they need at GCSE.

“The increase in the number of students achieving high grades is particularly pleasing. We set high expectations of our students, making sure that they always attended their classes regularly and punctually and instilling a culture of hard work and determination. I am thrilled to see our students reap the rewards of months of dedication.

“I am proud of our staff who have worked so hard to support their students throughout the year. They have made a real difference.”

Phillip Ratcliffe, aged 39, has been working in finance for 22 years having left school without any qualifications. Currently working as finance manager at Cosworth, and inspired by the fact his son starts school this September, he finally took his GCSE maths and English - and passed with flying colours.

He said: "I've worked in finance ever since I left school and can use maths in real-world situations but I've never had the formal academic qualifications, until now. I'm looking forward to being able to help my son with his maths homework and I'm considering getting a degree further down the line."