School league tables: Under-performing schools claim analysis is ‘limited’

League tables published for secondary schools.

League tables published for secondary schools. - Credit: Archant

Two North Somerset schools which have scored ‘well below average’ in the new performance tables are calling for parents to look beyond the figures.

The government has released the GCSE league tables in which Nailsea School scored -0.53 and St Katherine’s School, in Ham Green, scored -0.51 in the Progress 8 score.

It is the second year the government has used the Progress 8 score to measure a school’s exam performance, but headteachers say the figures only tell a ‘limited story’ about the schools and do not show how they support students.

Nailsea headteacher Dee Elliott said: “These performance measures only tell a limited story about any school. Nailsea is a school that has a clear sense of its own values and core purpose – students come first. Results are important but are not and will never be the defining feature.

“As a school we have not made it compulsory for students to take the eight subjects that count in this new progress measure – students are given choice and although this works positively for the students, this has impacted negatively on our overall outcome.

“The Nailsea community deserves a school that provides an education that is broad, enriching, stimulating and supportive for our young people and our families.

“I am proud to work with staff and in a school that invests in the whole child, giving all of our students the confidence to excel and succeed.”

Most Read

Justin Humphreys, headteacher at St Katherine’s School, said: “While we recognise the new Progress 8 measure is one factor to assess how a school is performing, it’s important to remember it is a blanket national measure and doesn’t give a real insight of how each school supports their students.

“At St Katherine’s School we treat our students as individuals and support them to fulfil their potential, nurturing their skills in academic, creative and vocational subjects.

“Rather than forcing all students to take the eight subjects that count in the new progress measure, we focus on guiding them through pathways that suit their individual strengths, enthusiasm and ambitions to help them succeed in whichever route they take in their future lives.

“This may impact on our Progress 8 measure but it is only one part of the picture. St Katherine’s is a thriving and diverse school community where we promote excellence, acceptance, resilience, aspiration and respect to our young people. In our view, these values coupled with our improving track record of academic and vocational success, give a more accurate reflection of St Katherine’s.”