'Jobs at risk due to Welwyn Hatfield's poor exam results'
POOR exam results could put off companies thinking of relocating to Welwyn Hatfield. That was the fear voiced following a meeting between county education officers and members of the borough council's social overview and scrutiny committee. At the meeting
POOR exam results could put off companies thinking of relocating to Welwyn Hatfield.
That was the fear voiced following a meeting between county education officers and members of the borough council's social overview and scrutiny committee.
At the meeting pass rates for GCSEs in Times Territory were discussed.
The debate was instigated by Lib Dem group leader Tony Skottowe, who said he was hugely concerned about falling standards.
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He said: "In these difficult times anything that might put off companies from bringing more jobs here is worrying.
"We were hoping to see new figures that were better than we've had before.
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"This doesn't help the reputation of the borough.
"It's worrying news that there is such a large gap."
Tory councillor Darren Bennett, who represents the Panshanger ward and used to go to Sir Frederic Osborn school, on Herns Lane, said the results were "concerning".
"When I went there it was one of the best schools in Herts," he said.
"Now it's very concerning that it is in that position."
Keith Gould, area school improvement manager, said: "I'm working with them [Sir Frederic Osborn School] extensively and result levels for this year's GCSEs should be improved greatly."
* AT the meeting county council education chiefs outlined the situation in Welwyn Hatfield and compared figures with the rest of the county and with the national average.
The number of pupils achieving five A* to C grades (including English and maths) in 2008, at WGC's Sir Frederic Osborn School was 28 per cent and at Hatfield's Onslow St Audrey's, 31 per cent.
This compared with the county average of 58 per cent and a national rate of 48.
Stanborough School in WGC was also below the county level, with 52 per cent.