Sleaford area school pupils’ progress rated ‘average’ in new Government figures released today (Thursday)

Education news
Education news

All secondary schools in Sleaford and district have been branded as “average” in terms of getting their pupils to progress through their first five years after leaving primary education.

Provisional 2017 data has been released by the Department for Education for key stage 4 results at secondary schools in the county.

Primary school (key stage 2) results will be released in December and then revised secondary and 16-18 results in January.

Pupil progress has been measured in the Progress 8 scoring system which shows how much progress pupils at a school have made since leaving primary school aged 11 and finishing key stage 4 aged 16.

It is then compared to pupils at schools across England who got similar results at the end of key stage 2 (primary school). This is based on results in up to eight qualifications, which include English, maths, three ‘English Baccalaureate’ qualifications including sciences, computer science, history, geography and languages, and three other additional approved qualifications.

A score above zero means pupils made more progress, on average, than pupils across England who got similar results at the end of key stage 2.

A score below zero means pupils made less progress than average, while a negative progress score means pupils in the school made less progress than other pupils across England with similar results at the end of key stage 2.

Although all classed as ‘average, Kesteven and Sleaford High School rated as marginally the best locally with a score of 0.14.

St George’s Academy scored 0.04, Carre’s Grammar School rated -0.02 and Sir William Robertson Academy at Welbourn was deemed average with -0.21.

However, Lincolnshire as a whole rated as ‘below average’ with an accumulated Progress 8 score of -0.15.

A Carre’s spokesman said that a score of -0.02 “is not significant.” He said: “The students made average progress and the data is unvalidated.

“Progress is measured against higher starting points for grammar school boys. The whole point of P8 (Progress 8) is to allow comparison between different types of school and the idea that we should be higher just because we are a grammar school is flawed.”

Wayne Birks, Principal of St George’s Academy commented: “The Key Stage 4 progress 8 performance data is a measure that has been used for the last two years to compare school outcomes and my governors are delighted that for the second year in a row, St George’s Academy has scored a positive progress 8 outcome. A positive score means that St George’s students are making better progress than other students nationally with similar starting points. Furthermore, students at St George’s make significantly better progress when compared to students at similar schools which is a credit to the hard work and dedication of both our staff and students.”

Kesteven and Sleaford High School Head of School, Josephine Smith said: “We are delighted that the Government’s latest data shows that students at the High School continue to make better than expected progress by the time they reach the end of Key Stage 4. Government measures are tougher than they have ever been. Last year students and their teachers tackled more rigorous syllabuses with very little guidance from Ofqual regarding the scores students would need to achieve to meet the new 9-1 grades. Students rose to the challenge, achieved highly and most are now six weeks into level 3 courses within the Sleaford Joint Sixth Form.”

Also revealed was the Attainment 8 score for schools based on how well pupils have performed in up to eight qualifications, which include English, maths, three English Baccalaureate qualifications including sciences, computer science, history, geography and languages, and three other additional approved qualifications.

This time Kesteven and Sleaford High School again figured best with a score of 62.2, compared to Carre’s with 61, St George’s with 44.4 and Sir William Robertson Academy with 42.8.

These compared with a Lincolnshire wide average of 46.1.

Finally the English baccalaureate shows the percentage of pupils who achieved grade 5 or above in English and Maths and at a grade C or above in sciences, a language and either history or geography.

The English Baccalaureate is a measure used to provide information about a particular range of qualifications. The grading of English and maths GCSEs changed in the 2017 GCSEs reforms. Reformed GCSEs are graded 1 (low) to 9 (high). Grade 5 in the new grading is a similar level of achievement to a high grade C or low grade B in the old grading.

In this case, Carre’s was just out in front with 56 per cent, ahead of Kesteven and Sleaford High School with 55 per cent, Sir William Robertson with 16 per cent and St George’s with nine per cent.

The Lincolnshire average score was 21.1 per cent.

Heather Sandy, Assistant Director of Children’s Services for Lincolnshire County Council, said: “Secondary schools in Sleaford are all graded at least ‘good’ by Ofsted. The Progress 8 measure is about pupils’ progress from starting point when they entered secondary school – an ‘average’ rating, close to 0, is what we would expect and what schools would be happy with. It shows pupils are making as much progress as other schools with those of a similar ability range. Leaders and teachers from schools in the Sleaford area are working hard to deliver the best for the children in their care.”