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Friday, 19 November, 1999, 09:08 GMT
Specialist schools' results triumph
Specialist schools receive extra government money

Specialist schools have improved their GCSE results at twice the rate of other comprehensives, according to new figures.

This year, 53% of pupils in England's 400 technology, arts, language and sports colleges achieved five GCSEs at grades A* to C, compared with 44% in all state comprehensives.

Results in specialist schools have improved by 23% since 1994. The improvement rate for all comprehensives over the same period is 12%.

Under the specialist school scheme, selected schools receive extra government money to pay for specialist facilities, which they must now share with other local schools.

The government has said that by 2003, 800 secondary schools will have specialist status.

'Tough targets'

Sir Cyril Taylor, chairman of the Technology Colleges Trust, who announced the GCSE improvement figures, said he was "absolutely delighted that they are all doing so well".

He said he was optimistic that enough good schools would be found among candidates applying for specialist school status to meet the government's target.

The success of specialist schools could be put down to the steps taken to identify and rectify poor literacy and numeracy skills among new pupils, and tough targets set for improvement.

Since 1994, specialist status had been taken away from 20 schools which failed to hit their targets.

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See also:
15 Jun 99 |  Education
Special needs schools raise status
16 Jun 98 |  Education
Specialist schools set for big expansion

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