Essex grammars dominate East Anglian secondary school rankings in The Sunday Times Parent Power list

ALL but one of the best state secondary schools in East Anglia can be found in Essex according to the latest edition of The Sunday Times Parent Power, published in The Sunday Times and online this Sunday (November 14).

The definitive online guide – which can be found at from Sunday - contains 2000 top state and independent schools, searchable by postcode, town, local authority and name of school.

According to the latest edition of the list, Saffron Walden County High School is amongst the best performing state secondary schools in the region in terms of its academic results - much to the delight of headteacher John Hartley.

“2010 was an outstanding year for our A-Level results but was especially pleasing was the progression the students made from GSCE to A-Levels,” he said.

“At County High the A-Level students were getting a whole grade higher than the national average. At GCSE level, a record number obtained at least five grade C and above [86 per cent] and we also had the highest ever proportion of A and A* grades at 34 per cent. In science it was especially spectacular with a 20 per cent increase in the number of students getting a C or above.”

As well as assessment of all academic results on a school-by-school basis, Parent Power, now in its 20th publication, enables parents to compare performances of schools in the same town, local authority or nationally.

The survey – which is widely acknowledged as the most authoritative survey of the country’s best schools – is determined by the percentage of entries gaining A* to B grades at A-level in 2010 and that of entries returning A* and A grades at GCSE.

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County High had an impressve haul of results which saw 64.4 per cent of A- Level entries being awarded A* and B grades and 34.2 per cent of GSCE papers gaining A* or A grades, ranking it 10th in the region and 195th in the UK (up from 218th in 2009).

Colchester Royal Grammar School takes the honours as top ranking school in the region, with 91.5 per cent and 86.6 per cent scores respectively, ranking it ninth in the UK.

Asked whether exams are getting easier, Mr Hartley added: “I don’t think so; they’re just different. I agree with the past two governments in saying that we have the best teachers in schools now, so that is the main reason the results have improved.”

The Sunday Times Parent Power online guide can be found from Sunday at