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100% pass rate for borough's A-level students

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Hammersmith and Fulham students have achieved the best-ever A-level exam results this year.

Lady Margaret School, William Morris Sixth Form and London Oratory School, none of which are in W12, all achieved an unprecedented 100 percent pass rate, while the national pass rate stood at 97.5 percent.

At William Morris in Hammersmith, new principal Kevin Gilmartin said he was thrilled with the sixth form’s results: “We are absolutely delighted,” he said. “Our pass rate greatly exceeds the national rate and is a testament to all the hard work of our students and the dedication and expertise of our staff.”

At Lady Margaret School in Parsons Green the percentage of passes at grades A and B was 85.5 per cent, compared to 82.7 per cent last year.

Head teacher, Sally Whyte, said: “We’re delighted with this year's results which are the best ever at Lady Margaret. All the students did incredibly well and everybody is happy with the places that they’ve got.”

At the London Oratory School, also in Fulham, the percentage of passes at grade A to C was 86 per cent, compared to 86.6 per cent last year.

In Shepherd's Bush, a new Sixth Form is due to open its doors for the first time at the Burlington Danes Academy in Wood Lane this September, while the Phoenix High School in The Curve will be offering post-16 education from September 2010, beginning with 130 places. This will be followed by an additional 130 places in September 2011.

Also in Shepherd's Bush, the new Hammersmith Academy currently being built in Melina Road is due to open in September 2011 with its first intake of 120 Year 7 and 100 Year 12 students. It is envisaged that the school will be operating at full capacity by 2016, when it will cater for 780 students, including a Sixth Form of 180 students.

On this year's A-level results, the Department for Children, Schools and Families says the national picture shows that overall pass rates at both A-level and AS-level have remained broadly steady, with 97.5 per cent obtaining grades A-E at A-level this year (97.2 per cent in 2008) and 88.1 per cent obtaining grades A-E at AS-level (88.2 per cent in 2008).

What is significant is that there has been a 12.2 percent increase in the numbers taking mathematics A-levels – up to 72,475 from 64,593 last year, the Department says.

Commenting on the results, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, Europe's largest teaching union said: "These are wonderful results and a testament to the commitment of young people and the skills of teachers.

"For all those critics who can't bear the idea that the improvement in A-Level results is attributable to the hard work of young people and their teachers, they should have a look at the trend in improvement in the so called 'hard' subjects of Mathematics and Science. It is quite clear that irrespective of the subject, there is no difference in the quality of the examinations and there can be no question mark about the effort put in by young people."

20 August 2009