West Sussex schools have performed well in the new GCSE league tables.
The tables, which were published today (January 25) included data showing how well teenagers coped with the new, tougher English and maths exams.
Last year's English and maths exams were the first to be graded under the new 9-1 system, with 9 being the top grade, while all other GCSEs were graded under the old A-G system.
Among the top-performing maintained schools and academies in West Sussex, Horsham's Millais School saw 70 per cent of its students earn grade 5 or above in English and maths - similar to achieving a high grade C or low grade B in the old grading. Some 88 per cent earned grade 4 or above, which the Department of Education said was similar to a grade C or above.
Chichester Free School saw 86 per cent of students earn grade 4 or above and 52 per cent earn grade 5 or above.
The figures for Downlands School, in Hassocks, were 82 per cent at grade 4 and 65 per cent at grade 5.
St Paul's Catholic College, in Burgess Hill, saw 82 per cent of its 151 Key Stage 4 pupils earn grade 4 or above and 62 per cent earn grade 5 or above.
West Sussex schools performed well when compared to the national data.
Nationally, 42.6 per cent of state-funded school (39.6 per cent of all schools) achieved grade 5 or above in English and maths.
In West Sussex, the figure was 45.3 per cent.
Some 63.9 per cent of state-funded schools (59.1 per cent of all a schools) achieved grade 4 or above in English and maths.
In West Sussex, the figure was 66 per cent.
When it came to the all-important Progress 8 scores, Millais and the Weald School, in Billingshurst, led the way, scoring well above average.
Davison School (Worthing), St Philip Howard and Felpham Community College (Bognor), Hazelwick (Crawley), Shoreham Academy, Tanbridge House (Horsham), Bishop Luffa (Chichester), Steyning Grammar, Downlands, St Paul's Catholic College (Burgess Hill) and Imberhorne (East Grinstead) all scored above average.
So what is Progress 8?
To put it simply, it’s a way of measuring the progress made by pupils from the end of primary school to the end of secondary school.
Each child’s progress is measured across a selected set of eight subjects and then compared to children all over the country who started with the same attainment level.
So, if ‘Anna’ started secondary school with high Key Stage 2 SATs results, her progress at the end of Year 11 would be judged against children who started from an equally high point.
If she entered secondary school with low SATs results, her progress would be measured against others who had an equally low starting point.
The Key Stage 2 scores are used to predict children’s ‘expected’ results in eight subject areas.
At the end of Year 11, a score of zero means the student made the expected progress. Anything above zero means they made better than expected progress – good news for the school – while anything below zero means their progress was not as high as expected.
The school’s Progress 8 score is calculated using the mean average of all its pupils’ scores. The expected standard for schools to achieve is a Progress 8 score of -0.5.
The average Progress 8 score for West Sussex was 0.03.
A spokesman for West Sussex County Council said: "We are pleased to see the hard work of our secondary schools and our West Sussex children has been demonstrated in these latest GCSE results.
"We would like to congratulate our headteachers and their teams as, despite the current funding issues and challenges with recruitment and staffing, they have ensured that Key Stage 4 students in West Sussex are securing results in excess of the national average.
"All our schools work hard to make sure our young people get the best start in life. We maintain our high aspirations for all our children and young people to get the best outcomes throughout their education career.
"We know we must continue our drive to secure the best possible results and our School Effectiveness Team actively works in schools to challenge and support our continued drive to secure inclusion and raise standards."