Oxford's GCSE results among worst, Experian study finds

Oxford is in the bottom five areas of England for GCSE results, research commissioned for the BBC has revealed.

Burnley in Lancashire was found to have the lowest achieving schools out of all of England's 324 local authority areas.

The towns or cities whose schools were the next lowest achieving were Gosport in Hampshire, Norwich, Mansfield in Nottinghamshire and Oxford.

Experian researchers calculated the proportion of students achieving five or more A* to C grades.

The findings are part of a study which looks at how resilient each area of England is to economic shocks. Researchers have analysed 33 factors, including how qualified each area's working-age population is.

Labour councillor for social inclusion at Oxford City Council, Antonia Bance, said: "It's appalling that a city which has educated the world is so far behind in educating our children."

Ms Bance said special education programmes had improved performance in some troubled areas of major cities.

She added: "That kind of effort has not been replicated in Oxford, or the other towns on your list. That's why they are lagging behind."

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Oxfordshire County Council is the education authority for Oxford.

Spokesman Paul Smith said: "Provisional GCSE results in Oxford's schools for 2010 show overall improvements on the previous year."

South Today will be debating the issues raised in the spending review tonight at 2235 BST.

BBC Oxford 95.2FM will be discussing the research from 0700 BST.

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