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Displaying items by tag: A Level

Update evening of 20th August: Cancellation of those BTec results which have been published and those which haven't even been released. See below in blue. 

It had not been my intention to comment on the A-Level chaos this year, because I had nothing extra to say given the complete dominance of this story across the media since last Thursday, but it is now quite simply too big to ignore.  Like many others, I have listened and watched with amazement as the Department for Education twisted and turned in its feeble and unsuccessful attempts to correct the initial blunder. This was caused, I believe, because the algorithm used to allocate results had not been properly tested, if at all, in the months leading up to their publication. As a result, the large scale anomalies which have featured in so many news stories and distressed and angered so many young people were not picked up. This is not the first such revolt by young people in this country bringing about change (Greta Thunberg, Black Lives Matter) but the first to be directly brought about by the incompetence shown by government. And make no mistake, it is this which has brought about the U-Turn. I suspect that, as a direct result of the government's ineptitude, it will not be the last such insurrection. 

We now have the inevitable cancellation of the BTec results, Level three of which needs to be upgraded so that results are compatible with A Level grades. When these are revised they will produce more students qualified for University places, although the places on many of the courses for which they are entitled to places will now be full. This is surely now spiralling out of control and one can only speculate what happens next. See next sentence for what should happen. 

I believe that in any decent society Gavin Williamson, the Secretary of State for Education, and Nick Gibbs the Schools Minister,  would and should have resigned without delay. Have they no shame?

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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. 

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Tuesday, 28 January 2020 22:45

Kent Schools A Level Performance Summer 2019

This article looks at A Level outcomes for Kent schools in the summer of 2019, following the release of performance data last week, Medway to follow. Kent schools outperform national outcomes in Attainment; summary data for Progress from GCSE to A Level not yet available. For individual schools I consider that the Progress score is the most important measure, as schools start from such different positions depending on their entry requirements for entry to the Sixth Form.
The school with the standout performance is Valley Park in Maidstone, top of the non-selective (n/s) Progress table for the second year running. It is the best school overall at progressing it A Level students; ahead of every grammar school; and second highest n/s on its A Level point score. 
Valley Park 2
It is followed by Herne Bay High in terms of Progress, both classified as Well Above Average, as in 2018. Both come ahead of Skinners School, the leading grammar. Altogether there are just six grammar schools with Above Average Progress, compared with nine Below Average, and Mayfield Grammar Well Below Average. There are another five n/s schools classified as Above Average on Progress: St Simon Stock; Homewood; St Anselm's; Knole and Hillview. 
As usual, The Judd School heads the list of high attainment measured in A Level point scores, ahead of Skinners, Cranbrook, Weald of Kent and Tunbridge Wells Girls, all from West Kent, and Highworth in Ashford. Altogether there are nine n/s schools above the lowest grammar school point scorers, Chatham and Clarendon and Mayfield.  They are as usual headed by Bennett Memorial Diocesan School, together with: Valley Park; Hillview; St Simon Stock; and Knole. 
Kent has a large number of excellent n/s schools offering large Sixth Forms that compete academically with grammar schools. Students should in any case look around at the different offerings before choosing to remain in their home school, or else to change to a good alternative.  I provide extensive tables of performance and commentary below.
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Thursday, 21 January 2016 15:50

2015 GCSE & A Level Results in Kent and Medway

Updated 25th January

State school educated children in Kent and Medway both maintain their above average performance at GCSE and A Level. Nationally, 57.1% of children achieved five GCSEs Grades A-C, including English and maths, up from 56.6% last year. However, both have slipped this year, Kent from 58.1% down to 57.3%, whilst Medway has declined from 58.8% to 57.8%.

At A Level, a range of measures is available each of limited value, with Kent above national average  on point score per A Level entry, and below on percentage of students achieving three A Levels. In Medway, measures are generally slightly below national averages. 

The Government twist on the GCSE story that any school below the government floor target of 40% of children gaining 5 Grades A-C including English and maths is failing, is simply not valid in a selective county such as Kent. This is because on average 25 children out of every hundred, all of whom should have reached the floor target, are taken away from our non-selective schools as they are attending grammar schools. Simple arithmetic shows that removing these should bring the floor target for non-selective schools down to 20% and by that measure, just four in Kent are Failing. My bigger concern is that too many selective schools are under achieving.

For me, the outstanding highlights are: High Weald Academy in Cranbrook, at 59% five A--Cs, up from 31% in 2014, to be seventh best non-selective in Kent, but still suffering from unfair lack of popularity with parents, dating back to its pre academy status as an OFSTED failed school; Bennett Memorial in Tunbridge Wells, at 72% still regularly highest performing non-selective school in Kent; Folkestone School for Girls, one of just two grammar schools with 100%; with Chatham Grammar School for Boys, on 99%, best performing Medway grammar, but in Special Measures just two years previously; and  Dover Grammar School for Girls, the highest performing school in Kent at A Level, by average point score per student coming above all the prestigious and super-selective grammar schools. ...
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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:.....

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