College in UK's top five for maths and computing
A TORQUAY specialist school is one of the best in the country for maths and computing.
Westlands Mathematics and Computing College was recognised nationally by the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust as one of the top five maths and computing colleges and one of the top five schools in the South West with improved five or more A*-C GCSE pass rates between 2005 and 2008.
According to figures from the Department for Children, Schools and Families, the number of students obtaining five high GCSE results at Westlands went from 38 per cent three years ago to 54 per cent in 2007 and an impressive 70 per cent in 2008.
Mike Stewart, the school's headteacher, recently received an award during an exclusive dinner in London to receive the accolade on the school's behalf.
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He said: "I am delighted to receive this award on behalf of the students and staff at Westlands.
"It is a testament to their hard work that we have been recognised at a national level. This represents a year on year improvement in GCSE results which means Westlands is becoming a very special place to be a student."
The evening was attended by Sir Mike Tomlinson, who is the chair of the Working Group for 14–19 Reform, the former chief inspector of schools and the author of the Tomlinson Enquiry, an investigation into the grading of A-Levels.
Westlands student, Shaun Quaintance, 16, who has been at the school since he started secondary school, was one of the students who enjoyed exam success last year.
He said: "Westlands has just got better and better and I really enjoyed the courses I did. It has a friendly environment which really helped me learn."
There were 2,800 secondary schools in England and Wales eligible for this award.
Elizabeth Reid, chief executive of the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust, which organised the awards, praised the Torquay school for its efforts.
She said: "I would like to congratulate these specialist schools and academies for their continued success in raising GCSE results. Their efforts and achievements will mean more young people will have received good qualifications and had their opportunities widened.
"If every young person is to receive a world class education then we must set world class standards which challenge every school to improve year on year."