August 20 In the Press PR Northern Ireland

Markethill High School students achieve best GCSE results in the school’s history

By Eleanor McGillie

GCSE students at Markethill High School have set a new school record with more than 80 per cent achieving five or more GCSEs and a record 68 per cent achieving 5 or more A*-C including English and Maths.

Students jumped in the air and celebrated with their teachers as 12 students achieved 7 A*-A grades or more while pupil Jack McMahon celebrated 10 A* grades.

Over 80 per cent of pupils passed their GCSE Maths exams setting another record for the school while the pass rate for English now sits at over 70 per cent.

James Maxwell, Principal of Markethill High School said: “Last year 63.4 per cent of pupils attained five or more GCSE grades including English and Maths and as a result we were placed in the top 15 of all non-selective schools in Northern Ireland and the third top non-selective Controlled School in the country. This year, the pupils have exceeded that by achieving 68 per cent A*-C including English and Maths.

“This is the best result in the school’s history and has the potential to place Markethill High School in the top ten non-selective schools in the province.

“We are absolutely delighted and I would pay tribute to the dedication, hard work and sheer professionalism of the staff at Markethill High who always go above and beyond to ensure our pupils are exceptionally well catered for, both academically and pastorally.

“The results are also a clear vindication of this school’s unrelenting priority on the development of pupils’ literacy and numeracy skills.”

Mr Maxwell added: “Behind every single grade is a story. A number of our pupils had many challenges during the course of their GCSE studies including ill health. I would want to convey my pride and admiration at how those pupils have achieved.

“I would to say a very special ‘well done’ to Lesley-Ann Dempsey, who missed seven months of Year 12 due to severe illness. Despite this, Lesley-Ann achieved straight A/A* grades in all her subjects and she is a complete inspiration to us all.

“Markethill High School pupils continue to demonstrate that self-belief, hard work and commitment will bring success.

“Today’s results consolidate Markethill High School’s position as a leading non-selective Controlled school in Northern Ireland.”



  • Markethill High School is a co-educational 11-16 Comprehensive School situated on a spacious site adjacent to the town. Since 1959 the school has been educating pupils of all abilities drawn from a wide geographical area. The school’s ethos is ‘Believe To Achieve’.
  • Markethill High School is the Best School in Northern Ireland for Modern Languages
  • In September 2013, The Minister for Education John O’Dowd congratulates Markethill High School for being one of 11 schools in Northern Ireland which successfully bridges the gap between social disadvantage and educational attainment
  • In October 2013 the ETI report that Markethill High School is a school of ‘very good practice’ and commends all aspects of school life
  • In November 2013 Harper Adams University in Ireland announces a collaboration with Markethill High School to lead the way in education in Northern Ireland by encouraging pupils to take up careers in agriculture
  • For further information or interview requests contact Eleanor McGillie of MGMPR Ltd on 028 3756 96 | 07709805379| Brand Journalism UK | Brand Journalism Northern Ireland | Brand Journalism Experts | PR Northern Ireland | Public Relations UK | Education PR Northern Ireland | Education PR Armagh

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