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Friday, 20 January 2017 11:53

Kent 2016 Final GCSE Tables

This article updates and replaces an earlier one covering provisional results published in October

This year the long established 5 A*-C GCSE league table including English and maths has been 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. 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 Kent slightly below average at -0.04, in 80th place out of 152 Local Authorities, against a National average of -0.03.

Meopham 2

Attainment 8 (full table here) simply measures what it says, with Kent doing better than average with 50.4, against a National score of 49.9, ranked 60th out of all Local Authorities, although there is a variety of other statistics to choose from to suit your case.

NTC5   Copy

Headlines: Grammar School progress dominated by West Kent and super-selectives; Oakwood comes below the national average. Top non-selective school is St Simon Stock, but remarkable performance by Meopham, Orchards Academy and Northfleet Technology College. Half the lowest performers are in the Maidstone area. Seven schools failed the government floor level requirement and will face government intervention. Top Grammar School attainment similar pattern to Progress, all five lowest performers are boys' schools, worst performance again Oakwood Park. Non-selective tale is led by three church schools and Duke of York's Boarding Academy, Bennett Memorial leading the way. Five non-selective schools are at the foot of both Progress and Attainment Tables: Hartsdown; Royal Harbour; Oasis Sheppey; Swadelands; and New Line Learning. 

Orchards 1


Further information below. including the performance of individual schools......

There is a single floor standard which schools are expected to achieve, which turns out to be -0.5, and eight Kent secondary schools fail to meet this. There are further details of the outcomes below, along with a look at another measure the English Baccalaureate. 

Both Progress 8 and Attainment 8 are measured across eight subjects, English maths, 3 qualifications including sciences, computer science, history, geography and languages, and 3 other additional approved qualifications.  for Progress 8 there is a target national average score of 0, with most schools being between +1 and -1. The government floor standard, or expectation is to be above -0.5, in which case “the school may come under increased scrutiny and receive additional support”.

Progress 8
Grammar Schools
I am not sure that in Kent, 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’. I think it no coincidence that the table is dominated by super-selective and West Kent grammar schools, with highest rated school by this measures being Tunbridge Wells Girls’ Grammar (not super-selective). Other high performers just below those in the list are: Folkestone Girls; Dartford Girls; Simon Langton Boys; and Maidstone Girls.
Grammar School Progress 8 Scores for 2016
Highest Lowest
All "Well Above Average"
Close to National Average
School Score School Score
Tunbridge Wells Girls 0.82 Oakwood Park -0.09
Tonbridge 0.75 Dane Court 0.03
Skinners 0.66 Queen Elizabeth's 0.06
Invicta 0.62 Wilmington Boys 0.06
Judd 0.58 Mayfield 0.07
Dartford 0.63 Sir Roger Manwood's 0.09
Weald of Kent  0.54 Dover Boys 0.11
Non-Selective Schools
The highest non-selective schools are St Simon Stock, eighth and Bennett Memorial tenth in the table of all schools including grammars, followed by Meopham ((currently the subject of the controversial new grammar school proposal)  and Orchards Academy,  with a better result than twenty four grammar schools. These last two, with next in the list Skinners Kent Academy and Northfleet Technology College - with no obvious advantages or headlines as high performers clearly stand out as schools with good teaching and learning. I am sure it is no coincidence that Skinners’ Kent Academy was recently found ‘Outstanding’ by OFSTED.

Other non-selective schools with ‘above average’ progress are: St Anselm's, St George’s CofE Foundation (Broadstairs), St Gregory’s Catholic, King Ethelbert, St George’s CofE (Gravesham), and Valley Park. These all have a higher Progress 8 Measure than fifteen of the grammar schools.  

At the foot of the table, are seven non-selectives who are below the government floor standard and must be concerned at their performance (Pent Valley has closed), which may well reflect on teaching and learning. These will be picked up by OFSTED on their next Inspection which will be brought forward, using this measure as a new key standard.  At the foot of the table is Royal Harbour Academy (also at the foot of the Attainment 8 table). Partially this can be blamed on its current situation, having only last year taken in the pupils of the disgraced and now closed Marlowe Academy, for it will still take some time to achieve a single student body. Five other schools also share the bottom end of both tables: Hartsdown, currently making the news with its change of regime tightening up on standards, but with a very high proportion of socially disadvantaged pupils; Pent Valley, now closed because of poor standards; Oasis Academy Isle of Sheppey, whose disastrous leadership I have written about frequently, the most recent Principal having jumped ship after a less than glorious reign; New Line Learning Academy, whose Principal left mid-term last October, possibly pushed out by yet another poor set of results; and poor old Swadelands, at the other end of Maidstone, which rarely appears to have anything good to say, and is now being swallowed up by Valley Invicta Academy Trust. Holmesdale once a good school can have only its self to blame, having not so long ago been a 'Good' school, the Principal unsurprisingly departing suddenly at Christmas.  

Non-Selective Progress 8 Scores for 2016
Highest   Lowest
School Score School Score
"Well Above Average"
"Well Below Average" and
below Floor Level of -0.5
St Simon Stock  0.53 Royal Harbour -1.14
Bennett Memorial 0.51 Hartsdown -1.00
"Above Average" Holmesdale  -0.78
Meopham School 0.48 Swadelands -0.69
Orchards Academy 0.44 Pent Valley -0.62
Skinners Kent Academy 0.35 Aylesford -0.56
Northfleet Technology 0.34 Oasis Isle of Sheppey -0.55
Westlands 0.29

New Line Learning

Attainment 8

Here Tonbridge Grammar School leads the way, followed by Judd, and Tunbridge Wells Girls. Highest non selective scorers are Bennett,, Duke of York’s and St Simon Stock. At the other end of the scale there are ten schools below 40.0, which may (but shouldn’t) be compared with the previous government floor standard of 40%.

Here, scores come out as looking somewhat like a GCSE league table, but flattened at the top, with the score of 40 looking very similar in terms of number of schools reaching it as last year’s Floor Level of 5 GCSE A-Cs.
Grammar Schools
Not surprisingly, here the grammar schools sweep the table completely, the top five being pretty predictable. Of special note is Tunbridge Wells Girls’ Grammar, the only school of the five to admit most of their intake with no element of super-selection, and of course top in the Progress table. Other high performers are Dartford Girls; Invicta; Weald of Kent and Highworth. At the foot of both tables are Oakwood Park, Dover Boys and Wilmington Boys, three boys’ grammar schools. As it is not clear what the numbers mean, all one can say is that the students of other grammar schools perform better by this measure.
Grammar School Attainment 8 Scores 2016
Highest Lowest
School Score School Score
Tonbridge 76.7  Oakwood Park  61.1
Judd  74.9  Dover Boys  61.7
Tonbridge Wells Girls  73.5  Wilmington Boys  62.2
 Dartford  72.3  Harvey 63.5 
 Skinners 71.7   Borden   63.9
Non-Selective Schools
The highly selective Bennett Memorial Diocesan again tops the non-selective table, with St Simon Stock third. In between is Duke of York’s Military School, a boarding academy mainly offering places to children of the military from across the country. Next is St Gregory’s Catholic, meaning the two tables as so often are dominated by church schools.
However, I am considerably surprised, but pleased with the next four schools in the list, none having the advantages of many other schools. It is clear that Meopham, in fifth place, also third in the Progress table, and Northfleet Technology College, equal sixth in Attainment, and fifth in the Progress table, both schools in Gravesham, owe their Attainment place by seeing great improvement over KS2 results at admission. In particular, NTC’s success is all the more pleasing because of its catchment area which contains considerable areas of social deprivation and shows what outstanding leadership can achieve in such areas.   
All four of these top performers, including Maplesden Noakes and Leigh Academy, were average in the GCSE list last year, perhaps suggesting that Attainment 8 is measuring something different, but no less praiseworthy for that. Other high scorers are: Dartford Science & Technology College; St John's Catholic Comprehensive; Valley Park; and Hillview.
 At the foot of the table apart from the six schools also at the bottom of the Progress 8 table, are Hadlow Rural Community School and Folkestone Academy. This is the first year that Hadlow has seen a GCSE group through, their having transferred to this new school two years ago, Hadlow students having made average progress from their KS2 starting points. Folkestone Academy has made below average progress for its students, hopefully not shaping up to be another Marlowe under the same leadership. 
Non-Selective Attainment 8 Scores 2016
Highest Lowest
School Score School Score
Bennett Memorial 56.7 Hartsdown 28.7
Duke of York's Military 54.7 Royal Harbour 31.8
St Simon Stock Catholic 53.5 New Line Learning 37.4
St Gregory's Catholic 50.5 Oasis Sheppey 37.4
Meopham  49.8 Pent Valley 38.0
Northfleet Technology 49.6 Swadelands 38.0
Maplesdon Noakes 49.6 Hadlow Rural 39.0
Leigh Academy 49.4 Folkestone Academy 39.6
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. Kent was ranked 33rd out of all Local Authorities on this scale. 
Two of the top three schools, Dartford Grammar School, 99% and Tonbridge Grammar 95%, are both geared specifically to this measure as their students are already following the International Baccalaureate which has similar constraints. Tunbridge Wells Girl’s Grammar splits them with 96%, then a dip to Maidstone Girls 89% and Weald of Kent 88%. Once again Bennett Memorial is top non-selective school, with 43%, but this time above two grammar schools: Oakwood Park 39% and Dover Boys 26%.
Other high performing non-selective schools are Valley Park and St Gregory’s Catholic 27%, and Dartford Science and Technology 24%. Lowest are Leigh UTC, Royal Harbour Academy, Hadlow Rural Community and Hartsdown all with no qualifying students; Aylesford School 1%; Oasis Academy Isle of Sheppey, SchoolsCompany The Goodwin Academy, Astor College and Dover Christ Church Academy all on 2%. 
Last modified on Thursday, 29 March 2018 11:52

1 comment

  • Comment Link Wednesday, 08 February 2017 22:54 posted by Grves

    gravesend grammar is not included under the table for kent grammar. PETER: As you can see I have provided the top seven and the bottom seven performers out of the 32 Kent grammar schools. I have also provided a link to the full table where the performance of all the other 83 Kent secondary schools can be found.

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