Anger over changes to school results table

Brune Park head Richard Kelly is unhappy about how GCSE tables were worked out
Brune Park head Richard Kelly is unhappy about how GCSE tables were worked out
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HEADTEACHERS have spoken of their anger at the way the school performance tables were worked out by the Department for Education.

The government revealed the results yesterday, but some independent schools have criticised the tables because they don’t count the IGCSE qualification.

It is sat by candidates overseas and has long been favoured by private schools as a more rigorous assessment.

It meant that some local schools appeared at the bottom of the tables because the IGCSE has been discounted.

They included Portsmouth Grammar School, Portsmouth High School and St John’s College.

The government says it changed a system that had rewarded the wrong outcomes.

Principal of St John’s in Southsea Graham Best said: ‘It’s regrettable that the Department for Education doesn’t currently recognise IGCSEs in the league tables.

‘I believe IGCSEs have greater rigour and they offer the best preparation for A-level and this is why we, along with many other independent schools, offer them alongside other GCSE subjects.’

James Priory, headteacher at Portsmouth Grammar School, said: ‘It’s right that the data is publicly available, but the way it has been interpreted will only confuse parents trying to compare the performance of their child’s school with others in the region.

‘We’re very happy with IGCSE as a preparation for higher levels of study and will be continuing to offer it across the curriculum here at PGS.’

The DfE has also changed the way it records results by only accepting a pupil’s first attempt at a qualification.

At Brune Park School in Gosport, according to the league tables, 40 per cent of students achieved five or more A*-C grades including English and maths.

But in the summer, the school’s official figure was 50 per cent, after students resat exams. This change was introduced part-way through the academic year, meaning it was too late for schools to prepare for the change.

Headteacher Richard Kelly said: ‘Last year the tables measured the best result that each child got. But the government then decided it would only be the first entry that counted. So if the standard does improve, it doesn’t count on the school league tables.

‘The problem was that it happened in the academic year so nobody understood what the implications were.

‘It shouldn’t be about the school’s figures – it should be about the individual students’ results.’