GCSE results: Celebration time at Thomas Clarkson Academy as number of students achieving top grades increases

Thomas Clarkson Academy's top achieving student, Alicia Baghdouyan.

Thomas Clarkson Academy's top achieving student, Alicia Baghdouyan. - Credit: Archant

Outgoing principal Clare Claxton signed off her tenure as head of Thomas Clarkson Academy, Wisbech, with the best set of GCSE results for years.

“They are the highest for years – they exceeded my expectations and I am delighted,” she said.

But Ms Claxton, removed earlier this summer by college sponsors the Brooke Weston Trust (BWT), said: “These are really good results but would I look people in the eye as say it is good enough? No, we have got to get better.”

Thomas Clarkson did have cause for celebration today however as the total number of students achieving five A* to C grades (including maths and English) increased, with 38 per cent getting top grades in comparison to 27 per cent last year.

The Government’s recent measure of two A to C grades in English and Maths saw this achieved by 45 per cent of TCA students – compared to 28 per cent last year. 77 per cent of students made the expected progress in English and 52 per cent in maths.

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Student Alicia Baghdouyan gained all A* and A grades with A*s in maths, French, History, Spanish and Business studies.

She now intends to stay on at the academy’s sixth form to study A-Levels in biology, chemistry, psychology and maths.

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She said: “I have worked really hard but could not have done it without my teachers. I am just so happy and can’t wait to start my A-Levels. I want to go on to have a career in research or medicine.”

Charlotte Cameron gained two A*s, five A grades and three C grades. George Boreham gained an A* in maths and an A in Geography and will stay on at the sixth form.

Kaya Kilby is going to college to study uniformed services and Connor Atkins will stay on at TCA Sixth form after gaining impressive results including an A in maths.

Courtney Beckett achieved an A* in drama and A grades in geography, maths and English.

She said: “I didn’t think that I would do so well and I am delighted. I did put in a lot of work and stayed at school until 5pm most days in order to revise.”

Ms Claxton said: “The staff at TCA are very proud of the students for the progress they have made. There is still a long way to go until TCA is a truly great place to learn however there is a plan in place to make this happen as well as a strong will.

“I would like to send my best wishes to Anne Hill as she assumes the role of Principal at TCA.”

After news of Ms Claxton’s removal spread around the academy earlier this year, more than 1,000 students signed a petition calling for her re-instatement.

That was followed by teaching representatives who issued a statement saying more than three quarters of them signed a petition in school on a single day asking Brooke Weston Trust (BWT) to reconsider their decision to replace Ms Claxton.

A teachers’ statement said: “Ms Claxton is regarded as an exemplary role model to both staff and students.

“She has successfully implemented many improvements at the school during her tenure.

“Staff believes that replacing her is unfair and will have a detrimental effect on the progress of students and the academy.”

BWT Chief Executive Andrew Campbell said: “Thomas Clarkson Academy has improved in many ways over the last few years and that is testament to the leadership of Ms Claxton as well as the hard work of staff and students who are rightly proud of the strides the school has made.”

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