Headteacher’s delight at exam performance

A headteacher has expressed delight at her school’s performance after the 2012 GCSE and A-Level results were published last week.

As reported on the Gazette website, the tables detailing the performance of Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 pupils were released last Thursday.

Alongside the percentage of pupils who gain five GCSEs from A* to C including maths and English, there are hundreds of different measures including the value added (VA) measure, which shows the improvement of pupils from the start of their secondary education (Key Stage Two) up to GCSEs (Key Stage Four), taking into account that pupils have different starting abilities.

The capped average points score per pupil incorporates all examinations while there is also an average points score per pupil for GCSEs alone.

Amble’s James Calvert Spence College (JCSC) saw a massive leap in its percentage of pupils gaining five GCSEs, jumping to 50 per cent, up from 38 per cent in 2011. Its value added score was 96 per cent while the capped average points score was 325.5. For GCSEs only, it was 215.6.

Executive headteacher Christine Graham said she was delighted, adding nothing else but to ‘let the figures speak for themselves’.

At the Duchess’s Community High School in Alnwick, the percentage of pupils with five GCSEs was down from the year before at 60 per cent, but this is above the county average of 58.2 per cent.

Its capped points score for GCSEs was 293.6 and the overall points score was 358.6, both well above the county average. The VA score was 98 per cent.

At A-Level, 100 per cent of students at the Duchess’s achieved two or more A* to E grades while 91 per cent achieved three or more, up from 88 per cent in 2011.

Its average points score per student was also up to 753.8.

JCSC saw an average points score of 589.9 with more students gaining two or more A* to E grades and three or more than the previous year – 93 per cent and 67 per cent respectively.

Duchess’s headteacher Maurice Hall said that the large amount of data is welcome to him as a headteacher, but only a small amount of this is published by the press, meaning it is ‘impossible to paint a fair and detailed picture as to how a school is performing’.

He also pointed out that some measures are based on the change from Key Stage 2 to Key Stage 4, which incorporates two years of middle school in the three-tier system.

“It is disappointing that many still call these tables league tables and insist on ranking without any attempt at contextualising the information that is available.

“My personal view is anyone interested in understanding how good a school is needs to come and talk directly to that school and learn much more about its ethos and its achievements over time.”

The tables are at http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/performance/