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Last Updated: Friday, 29 August, 2003, 10:23 GMT 11:23 UK
Eton tops private school GCSE table
Eton College
Eton regained its place at the top of the table

Eton College has come top in this year's private schools GCSE results league table - just weeks after its head teacher questioned whether the exams were worth taking.

It regained its number one position, while last year's winner, St Paul's School in London, dropped to third.

Pupils at all-male Eton, where annual boarding fees are 19,098, gained an average points score of 80 , the equivalent of 10 A* grades. This is a rise of 1.5 points on last year.

Head teacher Tony Little recently said he was considering allowing pupils to miss GCSEs and go straight on to AS-levels.

'Fundamental questions'

After the table was unveiled, he said: "Our boys have worked hard and we are very pleased for them.

"However, a good curriculum is about more than public examinations, which is why we will continue to look at ways to ensure that all boys have a broad, rigorous and rounded education."

According to the Independent Schools Council (ISC), The Abbey School in Reading, came second, with pupils gaining an average of 78.9 points each.

St Paul's School managed 78.7 points, compared with 78.8 last year.

An A* grade is worth eight points, an A seven and so on down to a G, which is worth one.

The ISC said 54.6% of entries from its candidates had been awarded A* or A-grades this year, up 1.5% from 2002.

More than a third of ISC schools saw all their pupils achieve at least five A* to C-grades.

ISC general secretary Alistair Cooke said: "Take any measure of success for schools today and ISC schools will be found to be making a disproportionate contribution.

"It is right that fundamental questions should be asked about the future of the GCSE, but it forms part of our national system of examinations and independent schools as a whole work within it.

"This year's outstanding results reflect the individual achievements of several thousand young people who deserve the congratulations of us all."


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