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  • I thought I'd keep you updated, as Amy had her taster day last Thursday at grammar school. She felt completely at home and throughly enjoyed her day. She is one happy bunny. Any reservation of her being the only one from her school were completed dispelled when her form teacher gave her a huge hug. I'm so pleased I persisted with the appeal and contacted you. I really couldn't have done it without you or your knowledge of the system. Thank you again

Thursday, 24 January 2013 22:07

Kent & Medway School League Table Results

For the second time this week, I have been on BBC SE and Radio Kent commenting on a Kent education story (also previous item below) as Government published the GCSE and A Level League tables.  Not only do I have my reservations about the tables as a whole, there are several different ways of presenting them, to make particular points, for high and low performers.  

Not surprisingly, in both Kent and Medway, the grammar schools dominate the top of each set of tables, with no non-selective school intruding on their positions. If one considers the % of students achieving 5 GCSE Grades A*-C or equivalent, including maths and English, just eight out of 39 grammar schools:.....

 

Chatham Grammar School for Boys, Folkestone School for Girls, Gravesend Grammar School, Invicta Grammar School, The Judd School, The Rochester Grammar School and Tonbridge Grammar School, Wilmington Grammar School for Boys  achieved 100% success. My own view is that every grammar school should average at least 98% (allowing for a small amount of student absence), falling to no further than 96% on rare occasion, and by this measure, a worrying nine grammar schools failed to ahieve the 96% benchmark: Borden Grammar School, Chatham Grammar School for Girls Chatham House Grammar School, Clarendon House Grammar School, Dane Court Grammar School, Dover Grammar School for Boys, The Norton Knatchbull School, Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys, and Wilmington Grammar School for Girls.

A more refined measure for schools at the top of the scale is to calculate the average GCSE points score for each pupil, across the top eight subjects, which produces a different pattern to other measures that reward schools who enter their students for ever larger numbers of subjects. On this measure, Tonbridge Grammar School comes top with a combined score of  445, closely followed by the Judd School, also Tonbridge, on 442, both ahead of all the top private schools in Kent. These two schools achieved 47% and 54% A* Grades respectively. Then come: Invicta Grammar School, Maidstone; Tunbridge Wells Girls' Grammar School;  Rochester Grammar School; The Skinners School, Tunbridge Wells; Cranbrook School; Dartford Grammar School; Weald of Kent Grammar School, Tonbridge; Dartford Grammar School for Girls; Maidstone Grammar School for Girls and Highworth Grammar School for Girls, Ashford. Second highest on Medway was Chatham Grammar School for Girls. 

Highest non-selective school on the 5 A-C scale was once again Bennet Memorial Diocesan School, closely followed by St Gregory's Catholic Comprehensive School, both of Tunbridge Wells. Other high scorers were: Duke of York's Royal Military School, Dover; Wrotham School; Leigh Academy, Dartford; and Valley Park School in Maidstone. 

At the other end of the scale, The Marlowe Academy again propped up the table with just 4% of students achieving 5 GCSEs A* - C, including English and maths, rising to 20% if equivalent qualifications are included, tenth lowest score inthe whole country. Other low scorers were: Aylesford School; New Line Learning Academy, Maidstone;  Isle of Sheppey Academy;  and Pent Valley School, Folkestone. However, David Day, Principal of Isle of Sheppey Academy, has rightly pointed out that these results are not up to date and a number of schools like his own should have higher scores as the recent re-sitting of the flawed English tests has seen many improved figures.  

Kent continues its record of achieving an above average GCSE and equivalent A-C pass rate of 61.2% compared with a national average of 58.8%, having been above average for many years, adding both selective and non-selective school pupils together. 

Government has laid down a 40% benchmark of 5 GCSEs or equivalent , including maths and English, which is especially unfair on Kent non-selective schools who have few students in the top 25% of the ability range, these having been siphoned off into grammar schools. It wishes to see these schools become academies where apparently they will achieve higher standards. There are 16 such Kent schools and two in Medway, although 6 of these are already old style sponsored academies. One of these schools, Chaucer Technology College has today announced it's headteacher is resigning with immediate effect. 

Again, at A Level, with a number of measures to choose from, The Judd School comes comfortably top of the tables at both the percentage of students scoring AAB Grades (44%,, next is Skinners at 33%), and the average point score per entry (258, second is Tunbridge Wells Girls' Grammar School with 252). Rainham Mark Grammar School and Sir Joseph Williamson's Mathematical School are top in Medway with 13% AAB Grades.

 In one sense it is more difficult to judge the quality of a school in its A Level results as many students change schools, often from non-selective to grammar schools,  to further their opportunities. Overall, I like most other commentators and the government, have chosen the scale to best suit my purposes, and a differnt choice would have seen other schools highlighted - hence part of the danger of league tables.  

Last modified on Tuesday, 04 March 2014 17:13

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