Two outstanding highlights are: High Weald Academy at 58%, eighth best non-selective in Kent, still suffering from unpopularity dating back to its pre academy status as an OFSTED failed school; and Chatham Grammar School for Boys, joint top school in Medway with 99% 5 A-Cs, after two disappointing years as it recovered from being placed in Special Measures, recently achieving an OFSTED Good assessment,
My rule of thumb is that all grammar schools should average at least 98% 5 GCSEs A-C, with an occasional dip as low as 96%, allowing for issues with individual children such as illness. At the top come Dartford Grammar and Folkestone School for Girls with 100%, followed by another ten with 99%: Chatham Boys; Cranbrook; Dartford Girls; Invicta; Judd; Rochester Grammar; Skinners; Tonbridge; Tunbridge Wells Girls; and Weald of Kent. Shockingly, six grammar schools have achieved less than 94%: Dane Court Grammar (second consecutive year) and Dover Grammar School for Boys (not above 94% for at least the past five years), both on 93%; Sir Roger Manwood’s (for the past three years) and Sir Joseph Williamson’s Mathematical School, Rochester, 92%; Oakwood Park Grammar 91%; and Chatham Grammar Girls 88%.
Kent Non-Selective Schools
As usual the table is dominated by three faith schools: Bennett Memorial Diocesan 70%, (although on a steady decline over the past four years from 86%; St Simon Stock Catholic, 65%; and St Gregory’s Catholic, also down from an average in the 70s over the previous four years, at 64%. Next is a much improved Hayesbrook School at 60%; followed by three schools on 59% - Hillview, Valley Park and Westlands.
As well as High Weald on 58%, other schools with good improvement are: Dartford Science and Technology College, 55%; Ebbsfleet Academy, a school I have previously been highly critical of, and Skinners Kent Academy, both on 53%.
The struggling schools nearly all show a sharp decline over the past few years: Marlowe Academy, 6% (now closed); St George’s CofE Foundation, Thanet, one of the most oversubscribed schools in the county, 12%; Pent Valley Technology College, head removed last Easter, one of the least popular schools in Kent struggling for numbers, 15%; Spires Academy 17%; Ellington and Hereson, and the North, placed in Special Measures two years ago when at 42%, declining ever since, both 23%; Oasis Isle of Sheppey Academy, actually an improvement over the previous year when it was second worst in the county at 19%, 24%; Oasis Hextable Academy, now closed, and Swadelands school, 26%; Astor College, recent controversial OSFTED, received warning letter form the DfE over poor performance, 27%; Community College Whitstable, 28%; and Aylesford, Charles Dickens in Special Measures, Holmesdale Technology College and Malling all on 29%.
Another school in sharp decline is Duke of York’s Royal Military School, its final selective intake achieving 53%, down from 81% two years ago. 2016 will see its first all ability intake as an Academy take GCSE.
Medway Non-Selective Schools
These are led by two schools, both showing good improvement: Thomas Aveling at 58%; and Hundred of Hoo at 54%. Then come four schools, all slipping over the past three years: Howard at 52%; Rainham Girls, 49%; Greenacre 48%; and Walderslade Girls at 41%. Finally, on the government floor standard of 40% is Strood Academy, recovering from being bottom school in Medway on 28% in 2014. The only school under 30% is Robert Napier, on a steady decline with 26%.