Markethill High School has welcomed the newly published area profiles on schools, claiming they place Markethill as the top non-selective, controlled school in the province.
The province’s five education boards were asked by the Department of Education to complete the profiles, “to give parents and schools full access to factual information” as part of the process of area planning.
Both the department and a spokesman for the Southern Education and Library Board (SELB) told the Portadown Times the profiles are not league tables and schools are not rated in order and, as such, they could not comment on any school’s position.
According to the tables, 89 per cent of pupils at Markethill High School achieved five or more A*-C grades at GCSE level.
Figures from other non-selective, controlled schools include Newtownhamilton High School (85.7 per cent), City of Armagh High (57.5 per cent) and Cookstown High School (66.9 per cent).
The statistics, also show Markethill High School having a year-on-year increase in numbers since 2009 as well as a budget surplus of £60,937.
The school is campaigning to keep its school on the current site and have a new sixth form college built so it can cater for pupils post 16.
Principal of Markethill High School, James Maxwell, said the latest statistics reflect the hard work and achievement by staff and pupils at the school.
He said, “Markethill High School continues to flourish. Our pupils live by our ethos, Believe to Achieve, and these results reflect this. The new annual area profiles are testament to the success of Markethill High School in terms of exam results, demand for places and healthy finances.
“I greatly welcome this new transparent approach being adopted by the Department of Education as it gives parents the clarity they need when choosing the right school for their children.”
The tables reveal a decreasing number of pupils attending the City of Armagh School with 317 Year 8-12 pupils in 2009 compared to 240 in 2013. Slightly over half (57.5 per cent) of the 240 Year 12s are achieving five or more GCSEs at grades A*- C. The school is operating at a financial loss of -£174,677.
In contrast, St Catherine’s College has a steady increase in the numbers of pupils attending in Year 8-12 with a total enrolment of 1,138. The figures also show that 96.8 per cent of pupils achieved five or more GCSEs at grades A*-C. The school is also operating on a surplus budget of £155,763.