NORTH Essex pupils’ hard work has paid off with GCSE grades surging to an all-time high after exams were cancelled again due to the pandemic.

Youngsters from across the area are celebrating their results after collecting them yesterday morning.

At Thomas, Lord Audley School, in Colchester, leaders said they were pleased to report some “outstanding achievements” by its pupils.

Leila Quinn managed to get four grade 9s, including English Language, English Literature and Maths.

Gazette: Results - students from Colchester Academy celebrating their gradesResults - students from Colchester Academy celebrating their grades

Headteacher Simon Essex said: “We are immensely proud of all the hard work and achievements of our students, especially after such a difficult and disrupted year.”

“Our teachers have worked tirelessly to ensure students are all able to progress onto further education and study, and we look forward to seeing what they will achieve in the future.”

Colne Community School and College has also reported some outstanding grades by its students.

Top performers include Martha Cole, who got nine grade 9s, one grade 8 and one grade 7, as well as Josh Davies who achieved eight grade 9s and three grade 8s.

Headteacher Steven Crane said: “We are incredibly proud of all the work and achievements of our students after such a difficult and disrupted final two years of education.”

“Our teachers have been highly committed to ensure students are all able to make progress and to enable students to access their choice of further education and study. We wish them every success in the future.”

Pupils from Colchester Academy have also been commended for their achievements.

Angel Akatobi was one of the academy’s top performers.

He gained ten qualifications at grade 7 and above, including six grade 9s or equivalent.

Principal Jenny Betts said the school was especially pleased with the number of students making fantastic progress, including Abivarshan Suventhirathas, Rumana Ferdushi, Jack Sturgess, Natasha Binns and Chloe Wilkinson.

Gazette: Congratulations - Abivarshan SuventhirathasCongratulations - Abivarshan Suventhirathas

She said: “We are very proud of all of our students’ achievements and acknowledge all of their hard work and dedication. Our thanks also go to the hard-working staff and the supportive parents who have been instrumental in helping our young people achieve their potential. “We are excited for the future of our young people as they now begin their next steps.”

Abivarsham said he is “beyond pleased” as he goes on to study Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Computer Science A-levels.

This year, following the cancellation of exams, grades were awarded through a process of teacher assessed grades, against a national standard and approved and awarded by the exam boards.

The Government is not publishing performance data for any schools or colleges this year due to the varying impact of the pandemic.