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Monday, 16 October 2017 16:29

Provisional GCSE Results for Medway 2017

Last year the long established 5 A*-C GCSE league table including English and maths was scrapped, being replaced by two new assessments, Progress 8 and Attainment 8. Both these are measured by an arcane formula combining results in eight curriculum subjects to produce numbers whose meaning and spread is very difficult to comprehend, but enable schools to be placed in an order. Government has made amendments to further reflect policy, which has the unintended effect in Kent and Medway of further rewarding the top performing grammar schools and diminishing those with a higher proportion with lower abilities.  

These Provisional results are issued at this time to enable families to be better informed when making secondary school choices. Last year a number of schools saw a small improvement in results in the final version to be published  in January.Unfortunately, once again, there has been such little publicity given to them that most families are not even aware of their existence. 

The key measure is Progress 8 (full table here) which looks at progress from the end of primary school to the end of Year 11, comparing pupils to others nationally, who begin from the same starting point, with Medway above average at 0.04, against a National average of -0.03. Victory Academy is the only non-selective school to split the six grammars at the top, with Greenacre next.   

Attainment 8 (full table here) simply measures what it says, with Medway just below the National average of  46 at 45.5, although there is a variety of other statistics to choose from to suit your case. 

Further information below, including the performance of individual schools, and a look at another measure, the English Baccalaureate ......

Progress 8
The key measure is Progress 8 (full table here) which looks at progress from the end of primary school to the end of Year 11, comparing pupils to others nationally, who begin from the same starting point, with Medway above average at 0.05, against a National average of -0.03. There is a single floor standard which schools are expected to achieve, of -0.5, and all secondary schools have exceeded this. Both measures have had their methodology changed to suit government priorities and the new grading system for English and maths. As a result, numbers are not directly comparable, but grammar schools appear to have been further advantaged.  
 
Schools are divided into a number of groups: well above average; above average; average; below average; and well below average and below floor level. Schools placed in the last category can expect government intervention.
 
Grammar Schools
I am not sure that in Medway, with the grammar schools dominating the top of the table, this proves they necessarily offer better teaching; rather, there is a strong element of – ‘brighter pupils can be stretched further’.

The table is led by Rochester Grammar, the only Medway school to score 'Well above Average' for progress from Key Stage 2 to GCSE.  Chatham Grammar Girls is only making average progress.

Grammar School Progress 8
Scores for 2017
School Score
Well Above Average 
 Rochester Grammar 0.89 
Sir Joseph Williamson's 0.85
Above Average
 Holcombe Grammar 0.49
Fort Pitt Grammar

0.42

Rainham Mark Grammar 0.24
Average
Chatham Grammar Girls 0.02
 
Non-Selective Schools
Government classifies  schools into groups, with just Victory Academy achieving 'above average' level, with all schools but Medway UTC achieving the floor standard. It is difficult to asses the UTCs poor performance as this is its first GCSE Year, and recruiting in Year 11, the Progress 8 could be regarded as down in part to the student's previous schools. All are volunteers, with no requirement for technology aptitude or interest. However, it appears that the UTC has not re-vitalised their education. 
 
Non-Selective Progress 8
Scores for 2017
 School  Score School  Score 
Above Average   Robert Napier
-0.09
 Victory Academy  0.32  Howard School  -0.12
 Average 
Brompton Academy -0.13 
Greenacre 0 Below Average  
Thomas Aveling

0

Strood Academy -0.27
 Rainham Girls -0.02 Walderslade Girls  -0.34
Hundred of Hoo -0.04 Well Below Average 
and below Floor Level of -0.5
St John Fisher Catholic  -0.06 Medway UTC -0.9
 
Attainment  8
Here, scores come out looking somewhat like a GCSE league table, but flattened at the top, far fewer schools with lower ability children have reached the score of 40 than last year, when I made a working comparison with the floor level of the previous Floor Level of 40% of a school's pupils achieving 5 GCSE A-Cs.
 
Grammar Schools 
Not surprisingly, here the grammar schools sweep the table completely. 
 
Grammar School Attainment 8 Scores for 2016
School Score
 Rochester Grammar 70.8 
Sir Joseph Williamson's  69.7
 Rainham Mark Grammar 63.9
Holcombe Grammar 62.2
Fort Pitt Grammar 60.5
Chatham Grammar Girls 57.1
 
Non-Selective Schools 
The popularity or otherwise of Non-Selective schools is heavily polarised, with Brompton Academy one of the most oversubscribed in the whole of Kent and Medway. It is followed at some length by Thomas Aveling, Strood Academy and the Howard School. At the other end are three schools with a large number of vacancies, Robert Napier, Victory Academy and St John Fisher.  The recent 'Good' OFSTED for Victory Academy reflects this data, with Robert Napier at long last also appearing on the turn for the good.  Walderslade Girls is struggling, its recent OFSTED also recording a pattern of decline. The previous headteacher has now moved on to a new headship.   
  
Non-Selective Attainment 8
Scores for 2016
 School  Score School  Score 
Rainham Girls  42.5  St John Fisher 37.9
Hundred of Hoo 41.3 Brompton Academy 37.4
Thomas Aveling 40.8 Strood Academy
37.3
Greenacre 40.2 Walderslade Girls 35.6
Howard School 39.6 Robert Napier 35.2
Victory Academy 38.2 Medway UTC 29.5
 
English Baccalaureate
This is a third measure towards which the government was trying to nudge schools, by measuring the percentage of pupils achieving a Grade C or better in five specific subject areas: English, maths, a science, a language, and history or geography. It is designed to encourage schools towards more academic subjects and away from those thought intellectually easier, which government considers is an easy way to score, although Progress 8 and Attainment 8 already go some way towards that.
 
Rochester Grammar School is unsurprisingly at the top of the lists, with 90% of its pupils passing the required subjects. It is followed by Sir Joseph Williamson with 82% and then Rainham Mark with 53%. All three schools have seen a fall in percentages, although I am not sure what this means, except that perhaps schools are seeing it as less important than when it was introduced. Top non-selective school is Rainham School for Girls with 20%, followed by Hundred of Hoo with 14%. At the bottom are the Robert Napier and Victory Academy with no students meeting this standard. 
Last modified on Friday, 20 October 2017 10:35

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