Schools celebrate ‘above average’ results in new secondary education league tables

Head of School for Kesteven and Sleaford High School, Josephine Smith. EMN-170119-140407001
Head of School for Kesteven and Sleaford High School, Josephine Smith. EMN-170119-140407001

Kesteven and Sleaford High School appears to be among the top performers in the education tables released by the Government with pupils making the most progress and getting the highest attainment under new national measures.

Analysing last summer’s results, the high school is the top performing school in this area although all four local schools are considered ‘above average’ under the Department for Education’s bandings under the ‘progress 8 measure’. The high school had a score of 0.45. Schools have to score above 0 to gain that grade.

The measure looks at the progress a pupil makes from the end of primary school to the end of secondary schools and compares results with the achievements of other pupils ‘that have the same prior attainment’.

The school also comes out on top locally and third in the county for the percentage of pupils achieving the English Baccalaureate with 79 per cent (at least a C in GCSE maths, English, science, history or geography and a language), while 99 per cent of students achieved A*-C grades in English and maths.

At A-level the average point score per pupil was calculated at 35.37 which is the equivalent of a B- grade.

Josephine Smith, headteacher at Kesteven and Sleaford High School, said: “The league tables are published several months after we celebrated the fantastic successes of last year with our students. We are very much focused now on students’ achievements this year helping them prepare for important exams as well as helping them plan the next stages of their lives.

“Naturally all the staff are extremely proud of what all our young people achieved last year. To have that recognised publically is great. Our students work hard, are fantastic at seeking and following advice and still manage to make the most of opportunities which make them rounded, generous and community-conscious members of society.

“In fact, last year our Year 11 students made more progress than at any other school in the county, bar one other comprehensive school, and the High School proved to be the top performing grammar school in Lincolnshire according to this new Government measure. Typically, it is not easy for a selective school to demonstrate a great deal of ‘progress’, because we already start from a high base with able, high performing pupils. So, given that the new measure scrutinizes progress across the whole of year 11 and across the five years they have been with us rather than just GCSE grades we value this accolade highly and feel proud that every student in the year, guided by our professional and dedicated staff, contributed to it.”

Carre’s Grammar school came just behind the high school, fourth in the county based on its English Baccalaureate score of 73 per cent and 98 per cent of students getting A*-C grades in GCSE English and maths. It progress 8 score was 0.39, while A level average score was 31.96 points or a grade C+.

Sir William Robertson Academy at Welbourn fare better than a number of schools in the county, with a progress 8 score of 0.16. It saw 58 per cent of pupils gain *A-C at GCSE English and maths, 30 per cent achieve the English Baccalaureate and the A-level student average was 25.57 points, equivalent to a C- grade.

Sir William Robertson Academy sees the newly published tables as confirming its status as one of the best performing non selective schools in the county and the region. The 0.16 Progress 8 score places the school in the top 40 per cent of schools nationally. The average for Lincolnshire schools is -0.11 which is below the national average for England.

The school outperformed the Lincolnshire and National Average on the government’s other new measure – Attainment 8 – which measures pupil performance across eight qualifications including maths and English and also in terms of the percentage of students achieving the English Baccalaureate, which indicates how many pupils get a grade C or above in the crucial core academic subjects.

The school went on in its statement that performance within the Sixth Form was extremely strong with 100% of students staying in education or employment after leaving Sir William Robertson – which compares to only 88 per cent nationally and 89 per cent in Lincolnshire.

Mark Guest – Sir William Robertson Academy’s headteacher - commented: “This is a fantastic accolade which affirms just how well our Post-16 provision prepares our students for life and success after school.”

There were strong A Level results across a broad range of subjects which led 68 per cent of students to go on to Higher Education compared to only 48 per cent nationally and 49 per cent in Lincolnshire. In addition, the average grade achieved in Vocational Qualifications was a Distinction Star – the highest grade that can be awarded.’

This compares to St George’s Academy in Sleaford and Ruskington which scored the lowest progress 8 figure locally with 0.06, although still classed as above average. Only 10 per cent of GCSE students achieved the English Baccalaureate but 56 per cent gained A*-C in maths and English. The average A level score was 26.87 which is a C- grade.

Across the rest of the county The Priory Ruskin Academy in Grantham has just missed out on the ‘well above average’ banding with a progress 8 score of 0.49 (the benchmark is 0.5 or higher). The Gainsborough Academy has come out looking worst with a well below average score of -1.05.