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EDITIONS
Thursday, 23 August, 2001, 16:56 GMT 17:56 UK
Comprehensive on top form
Jonathan Murphy
State pupil Jonathan Murphy hits the jackpot
Pupils at a high-achieving school in Shropshire have scored top grades in their GCSEs.

The Thomas Telford School, in Telford, was top of the state school league table last year for GCSEs.

This year all of the 167 pupils in year 11 who sat exams passed nine subjects with grades of A* to C - or their equivalent in vocational qualifications (GNVQs).

Last year every student achieved six or more passes between A* and C.

Kevin Satchwell and students at Thomas Telford
Head Sir Kevin Satchwell said the results were "fantastic news"
Head teacher Sir Kevin Satchwell, said the results were fantastic news.

"The year-on-year improvement here fills me with admiration for just how much young people can achieve with guidance from dedicated teachers," he said.

"I believe that the rich mix of academic and vocational courses which we have offered at the school for the last 10 years acts as a spur to motivate students of all abilities."

Mr Satchwell was knighted this year for services to education.

Celebrating

Among those celebrating at other state schools is Liverpool pupil Jonathan Murphy, who sat 14 GCSEs.

He achieved 13 grades of A* and one A grade.

His A grade was in design technology.

Jonathan, who attends Liverpool's Saint Francis Xavier school, was also ranked in the top five pupils in the country for English literature and religious education.

He said he was especially pleased to trump his brother Damien, who achieved 11 starred As and and two As at the same school seven years ago.

Jonathan said: "I'm made-up, I'm absolutely ecstatic.

"It's particularly pleasing to beat the big man over there, but there was never any pressure put on me to beat Damien and he has given me a lot of help.

"I will be going out tonight to celebrate with my friends."

Damien's parents said he had studied hard and made sacrifices - including missing the odd Liverpool match.

He is a season ticket holder at Anfield.


Jonathan is not a swot. He is one of the lads, a real character

Brother Francis, head of Saint Francis Xavier
His father, Jim Murphy, said: "We would have been happy for him to get seven or eight GCSEs but he really went for it and excelled himself.

"We are so proud of him."

The head of Saint Francis Xavier's, Brother Francis, said: "Jonathan is not a swot.

"He had thrown himself into all areas of school life and he really is one of the lads, a real character.

"We believe that pupils will aspire to what they are told they can do.

"If you tell them they can only get six GCSEs then that is what they will work towards.

"We do not put such limits on our students.

"We tell them to go for it and see what they can do, and Jonathan is a great example of what can be achieved if you aim high."

Another teenager with cause to celebrate is Vicky Harris, who notched up 12 A*s and one A grade in her GCSEs, at Emmanuel College in Gateshead, Tyneside.

Her 13th result was an A grade in history.

Her school has treated her to a revision aid as a prize.

See also:

23 Aug 01 | UK Education
16 Nov 00 | UK Education
23 Aug 01 | UK Education
22 Aug 01 | UK Education
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