How did north Northumberland schools fare in latest league tables?

The Duchess's Community High School in Alnwick
The Duchess's Community High School in Alnwick

The high schools in Alnwick and Amble are both rated as average via the Government’s new Progress 8 measure, as the secondary school league tables are released today.

The Progress 8 score shows how much progress pupils at a school made between the end of Key Stage 2 (aged 11) and the end of Key Stage 4 (GCSEs), compared to pupils across England who got similar results at the end of Key Stage 2. It is based on results in up to eight qualifications, which include English, maths, three English Baccalaureate qualifications, such as sciences, computer science, history, geography and languages, and three additional approved qualifications.

James Calvert Spence College building in Acklington Road, Amble.

James Calvert Spence College building in Acklington Road, Amble.

Both the Duchess’s Community High School and James Calvert Spence College (JCSC) were ranked in the average band (a school can also be below, well below, above or well above), with the Amble school securing the English average score of -0.03 and the Duchess’s just below this on -0.13.

The King Edward VI Academy (KEVI) in Morpeth was also in the average band with a score of 0.05, while Berwick Academy, at -0.46, was below average.

Schools are also ranked on their Attainment 8 score, which is based on how well pupils have performed in up to eight qualifications.

The average for English state-funded schools was 46.3 and the Duchess’s surpassed this (47.8), while JCSC was below (41.2). At KEVI, the score was 52.5, while at Berwick, it was 39.4.

More familiar from previous years is the percentage of pupils gaining a decent grade in GCSE English and maths, although under the new system introduced last year, this is a grade 5 – equivalent to a high grade C or low grade B in the old grading.

The Duchess’s and KEVI managed to beat the average for English state-funded schools of 42.6 per cent with 52 per cent and 57 per cent respectively, but JCSC and Berwick were some way below with 25 per cent and 24 per cent respectively.

All but KEVI fell below the English state school average (21.3 per cent) for the percentage of pupils who received the English Baccalaureate (EBacc), which is a grade 5 or above in English and maths and a grade C or above in sciences, a language and either history or geography. The rates were: KEVI – 30 per cent; Duchess’s – 19 per cent; JCSC – 13 per cent; Berwick Academy – four per cent.

However, it is worth noting the percentage of pupils at each school who were considered to have entered for the Ebacc: KEVI – 37 per cent; Duchess’s – 23 per cent; JCSC – 31 per cent; Berwick Academy – 18 per cent.

The EBacc is not a test or qualification in itself; it is a measure used to provide information about a particular range of qualifications.