League tables prompt call for more progress

THE latest league tables for secondary schools have been released this week, prompting a call for more progress in North Somerset.

For the first time, this year’s tables include information on the performance of deprived pupils as part of the Government’s drive for more transparency.

The tables are based on GCSE and A-level exams taken by pupils in the summer of 2011 before any of the schools registered their results under academy status, which has since been taken on by Backwell and Gordano schools.

St Katherine’s School in Pill boasts the highest percentage of pupils achieving five or more A*-C grades for GCSEs or equivalent qualifications, with 90 per cent. However, this figure dramatically dips to 50 per cent when including English and maths GCSEs.

Both Backwell School and Gordano School see the figure dip from 83 per cent to 70 per cent when including English and maths GCSEs.


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For Nailsea School it reduces from 72 to 56 per cent and for Clevedon School it goes from 81 to 65 per cent.

Among the data, figures representing the progress being made in English and maths sometimes shows a marked difference between the progress being made by disadvantaged pupils, defined as those who have received free school meals or been in local authority care for at least six months, and other pupils.

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At Backwell School, the percentage of disadvantaged pupils making the expected progress in English is 27 per cent compared to 82 per cent of other pupils.

At Gordano School, the percentage of disadvantaged pupils making the expected progress in maths is just 17 per cent compared with 76 per cent of other pupils.

However, also at Gordano School, the percentage of disadvantaged and other pupils making the expected progress in English is exactly the same, at 86 per cent.

North Somerset Council’s executive member for children and young people’s services Jeremy Blatchford said: “The new league table format is a massive improvement despite statistical overload. However, looking at English Baccalaureate data and five pure GCSEs ignoring the ‘equivalents’ there is a need for progress.

“We can see some startling progress over recent years but a number of schools appear to be treading water. We can expect some startling improvements because of the academies but they are not the magic bullet, just a different way.”

* To view more data from the secondary school league tables click on the link at the top right of this page.

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