Society’s need for good schools with adequate resources and suitable premises was highlighted at Dunclug College’s annual prize giving ceremony.
Headmistress Ruth Wilson made her comments as she reflected on the increased enrolment at the school and how staff had dealt with the purely educational aspects of the challenge with ‘the minimum of fuss’.
But she was adamant that this effort should be matched by the Educational supremos in terms of an ‘adequate building’. She said: “Looking to the future, we recognise that the road is often difficult. The temptations faced by young people today, on-line and on the streets, is acute, the challenges for parents in protecting their children are increasing. Good schools are more important than ever before.
“Area Planning has demanded that we grow as a school – we have done it with the minimum of fuss and the maximum impact. Area Planning should now also dictate that we have an adequate building - and we would like it to be right here in the North of Ballymena, where our school has its roots. We look to the Education Minister to keep his promise to provide appropriate accommodation for schools which have proved their worth and proved themselves to be sustainable.
Turning to Results - the largest ever cohort of Year 12 pupils achieved a range of excellent GCSE results. 37 of these were new to the school at the beginning of Year 12, an increase of 25%. An outstanding 73% of all pupils achieved grades A - C in English and 80% in Science, continuing an upwards trend of improvement. 66% of all students achieved 5 or more grades in the A – C range, and Christopher Finlay achieved 3rd place in Northern Ireland in GCSE Business Studies. It was pleasing to note also that over 90% of students achieved 5 grades in the A – E range and that there was a significant increase in the number of star and A grades achieved. This year saw the largest cohort of A level pupils in the school’s history entered for A level, and standards of performance rising for the third consecutive year.
Overall there was a 4% increase in the number of students gaining 3 high A Level grades. 81% of all grades were Grade C or better while 97% were Grade D or better.