Pupils at an East Lancashire high school are said to be 'relieved' to receive GCSE results that were determined by their teachers rather than an algorithm.

Alder Grange School in Rawtenstall, which has seen high grades in recent years, were celebrating positive results once again after the school achieved a good pass rate and an increase in the number of pupils gaining the top grades.

Headteacher, Joanna Griffiths said this years' results indicated the success of a recent change introduced by the school, whereby those picking up results this year were the first year group to have completed their GCSEs after being offered the opportunity to select their course options a year earlier than usual, in year eight.

Ms Griffiths said: “As a school we’re so pleased that our pupils have been awarded the grades they truly deserve.

“It’s been an incredibly challenging time for these young people, during such an important phase of their school life.

“I’m hugely relieved that they’re not having to suffer further by having their grades and immediate plans decided by a computerised system, which seemed to disadvantage too many.

“The additional year of preparation enables our pupils to develop the practical skills they need to study for their GCSEs, so that they can learn more effectively when starting the formal course content in year ten.”

Two Alder Grange pupils particularly pleased with their GCSE grades are Iqra Hussain and Nicole Swift, who both achieved top grades: four nines.

Deputy head girl, Iqra, who also achieved five eights, intends to progress on to study biology, chemistry and maths A-levels at Alder Grange Sixth Form with the view to forging a career in medicinal research or pharmacology.

Nicole, who gained four nines, one eight, two sevens and two sixes, also intends to stay on at Alder Grange Sixth Form and has ambitions to develop a career in criminology.

Nicole said: “I chose to stay on at Alder Grange Sixth Form as the teachers make learning so much fun.

"They also really care about you here, which makes a huge difference.”

Last week students at Alder Grange Sixth Form picked up A-level results based on a combination of grades awarded by schools and exam board calculations based on historical data for each school.

However, earlier this week many students discovered their grades had changed favourably, when the government decided to allow A-level and GCSE students to use the centre-assessed grades awarded by schools.

Ms Griffiths, added: “Our school put significant time and effort into ensuring the centre-assessed grades we provided were as accurate and reflective of the potential of our students as possible.

“The recent U-turn seems fairer than the earlier alternative – after all, no algorithm can know our young people as well as we do.”