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Sunday, 02 February 2020 17:41

Medway Schools A Level Performance 2019

 This article looks at A Level outcomes for Medway schools in the summer of 2019, following the release of performance data last week; you will find an equivalent article for Kent schools here.  Medway schools perform slightly lower than the national outcomes in Attainment; summary data for Progress from GCSE to A Level not available.

In terms of Progress Grades, there are no schools that have performed at an Above Average Level; in 2018 there was one. There are six schools with Average Progress: Sir Joseph Williamson's Mathematical School; Rainham Mark Grammar; Brompton Academy: St John Fisher Catholic Comprehensive; Rainham School for Girls; and Walderslade Girls School. Every other school has below average progress.   

 Two grammar schools, Rochester Grammar and Rochester Maths have performed highly in the A Level attainment categories as usual. Highest attainment amongst the non-selective schools are again Thomas Aveling and Rainham Girls.

Chatham Grammar (previously called Chatham Grammar School for Girls) appears to have had a disaster on all counts, see tables below.

Also noteworthy is the very high fallout rate at three of the six grammar schools between Years 11 and Year 12, and for Holcombe Grammar from 12 to 13 for the third year running, which suggests illegal off-rolling to inflate performance. 

 Whilst I do not normally mention private schools, one of my main advertisers is Rochester Independent College, the only Medway School with Above Average Progress at A Level, with a specialisation in picking up students who have underperformed elsewhere at GCSE. It has the second highest Grade per entry in Medway, with the largest Sixth Form of 114 students taking three A Levels. 

RIC Masthead June 2018   3


Waterfront UTC (previously Medway UTC) had none of its 36 Year 13 students taking any A Levels, as they would all have taken vocational courses. I have also omitted Greenacre as its three A Level cohort is too small to report on. It shares a sixth form with Walderslade Girls School.

It is not easy to make comparative judgements in Attainment at this level as schools vary so much in the pattern of their intake into Year 12. I therefore consider that the Progress score is the more important measure. The two measures may be a useful contribution to decisions on where to follow one's studies, taking into account the other factors that impinge upon performance.

Medway A Level Progress
The key outcome here is that students at four non-selective schools make better progress than half of Medway’s six grammar schools. Both Holcombe and Chatham grammars have plunged in terms of performance from 2018, with Holcombe the only Above Average School. Most improved school is Walderslade Girls School.
Medway A Level Attainment
For most of the Individual school pages, I have provided a range of outcomes: number of pupils taking at least one A Level; average grade per entry; number of students taking at least three A Levels and average point score for three best A Levels. Most results are as one would expect, but Chatham Grammar still comes below four non-selective schools on average grade per entry and also four slightly different ones for best three A Level scores.
Medway Schools A Level Performance 2019      
 See below for
Term Definition
Av Grade
per entry
3 A Level
3 A Level
Average Progress      
Rainham Mark 129 0.03 B- 113 37.2
Math 181 0.01 B 178 40.0
Brompton 47 -0.05 C- 10 28.7
St John Fisher 37 -0.05 D+ 27 15.2
Rainham Girls 123 -0.06 C- 56 27.7
Walderslade 37 -0.12 C- 6 20.1
Below Average Progress
Fort Pitt 93 -0.15 C+ 92 31.8
Thomas Aveling 78 -0.19 C- 36 29.9
Rochester 117 -0.22 B- 104 38.0
Holcombe 100 -0.22  C  100 30.4
Howard 95 -0.28 D+ 27 25.3
Hundred of Hoo 48 -0.32 C- 22 26.1
Strood 54 -0.44 D 16 22.9
Chatham 63 -0.47  D+  55 23.5
Victory 36 -0.53 D+ 29 22.53
 'Num': the number of students in the school who took at least one A Level, used to measure progress level and average A Level Grade.
'Prog': short for Progress. These figures tell you how much progress students who studied A levels at the school made between the end of key stage 4 and the end of their A level studies, compared to similar students across England. A score above zero means students made more progress, on average, than students across England who got similar results at the end of key stage 4.
'Av Grade': This tells you the average A Level grade and average points that students achieved per A level entry. 
3 A Level Number: The Number of students who took 3 A Levels
3 A Level Points: The average score of the best 3 A levels for each student who qualifies for this measure. This can also be expressed as an average A Level grade for the school as in this table.
 Medway Grammar School Drop out Rates
For Kent grammar schools, on average, there is little change from Year 11 to Year 12 and also from Year 12 to Year 13.

However, in Medway, there is an average loss of 14% across the six schools from Year 11 to Year 12, with Chatham Grammar losing an astonishing 34% of its Year 11 pupils, arguably  a less poor performance than 2018’s 37%. However, not for the first time the failure to hold on to its students into the Sixth Form will raise questions about the school's viability. Holcombe lost 22%, and surprisingly Rainham Mark 20%, up from 16% in 2018. It is not possible to identify non-selective schools with similar problems because of the range of one and two year courses they may offer.

The big question is where do all these students go, as they are clearly not transferring to other local grammar schools?

Three years ago, I exposed the national scandal of schools forcing students out at the end of Year 12, to improve A Level performance. This began with Invicta Grammar in Maidstone, and went nationwide, as the practice was established to be illegal, and numbers dropped dramatically. Invicta saw 26 students leave during Year 12 in the first half of 2017, 15% of the total, but just one student left in 2019, reason unknown.

In 2017, Holcombe Grammar lost an astonishing 22% of its Year 12 roll in 2017, rising to 30% in 2018, but still appears not to have noticed the rules with 15% of its 101 Year 12s departing in 2019, nearly 50% of its total roll not finishing the course. Perhaps they were all disillusioned with what was on offer and simply withdrew from the school and their A  Level course, so there was no encouragement from the school. Rainham Mark lost 9%, but travelling in the reverse direction Chatham Grammar actually picked up two students, its one bright spot.   

Medway Grammar Schools: Losses Years 11-12 and 12-13

Yr 11
Oct 18
Yr 12
Oct 19
% Loss Years
Year 12
Oct 18
Yr 13
Oct 19
% Loss Years
Chatham 110 75 32% 59 61 -3%
Fort Pitt 118 122 -3% 93 88 5%
Holcombe 111 102 22% 101 86 15%
Rainham Mark 216 182 20% 173 157 9%
Rochester 168 167 13% 149 147 1%
Sir Joseph
185 181 2% 172 167 3%
TOTAL 908 783 14% 747 706 5%


Last modified on Wednesday, 11 March 2020 00:17

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