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In January the Department for Education published performance tables for secondary schools across the country. The tables show how every school and college in England performed at GCSE, A-level and other academic and vocational qualifications in summer 2015.
In terms of GCSE results, the tables show the percentage of pupils obtaining at least 5 A*-C grades (or equivalent) including English and maths at GCSE or equivalent. The results do not include IGCSE English which the school introduced for some students in 2014 and from last summer they stopped counting IGCSE science which all of our students take. The inevitable outcome of this is that the published results do not tell the whole story, and do not reflect the excellent achievements of our students.
“Including all valid qualifications, the percentage of students gaining 5+ A*-C including English and maths after re-marks last year was over 80%. The percentage gaining 5+ A*-C in any subjects was 86%. These actual results are clearly very different to those published based on the league table results.”
Ed Wright, Deputy Head (Academic).
Headmaster, Mr James Lockwood commented on the results:
“Unlike many Heads, I do not have a fundamental objection to the publication of academic league tables in national and regional newspapers.
Parents need to examine a whole range of criteria before making the right decision over where to send their son or daughter to school.
However, if these tables are to provide useful information to parents then the information they contain must be a true reflection of what is actually happening in the schools. Woodhouse Grove’s GCSE results do not reflect the quality of results our pupils achieve due to the fact that the Government statistics no longer count IGCSEs in English and science. The Grove’s published statistics suggest that only 63% of our pupils achieve 5 or more A*-C grades at GCSE (including maths and English) when in fact the actual figure after re-marks is over 80%.
The statistical tables provided by the Department of Education mask what is behind the data and I feel for the pupils whose achievements are under-represented.”
By contrast, the publication of A level results does allow for a more accurate feel for the achievements of our students, placing Woodhouse Grove top of the league table of Leeds schools on points scored per student.
The A-level tables show the average points score of students. This is calculated by assigning each grade a certain number of points: an A* grade scores 300 points, A 270, B 240, C 210, D 180, E 150. The figures also highlight the average points score per exam sat in the school and the percentage of students gaining at least two As and a B in ‘facilitating subjects’. For those not in the know, these are subjects preferred (often required) for entry to an elite Russell Group university.
Mr Lockwood concluded,
“Academic standards at Woodhouse Grove are high and our pupils achieve excellent results.
We are very proud of the fact that last year 7% of our Year 13 cohort gained Oxbridge places and the overall number of A*/A grades realised by our pupils at GCSE was the highest ever. The depth of our A Level successes in 2015 are also underlined by our 1st place ranking out of all Independent schools in Leeds and Bradford for Average points scored per sixth form pupil.”