How did your school do? GCSE and A-level league tables for 2013-14 published
- Credit: Matthew Usher
The government has published GCSE and A-level school league tables for 2013-14.
Nationally, the number of secondary schools considered to be under-performing has doubled. Locally, a number of schools saw a large fall in their GCSE results, while a number of others posted noticeable improvements.
However, two reforms to the GCSE league table system caused a large amount of volatility, making direct comparisons between the 2013 and 2014 figures difficult.
In 2014, only a pupil's first attempt at an exam, rather than the best result they achieved when any re-sits are considered, count towards league tables.
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Also, the government has stripped out thousands of vocational qualifications that were previously considered equivalent of up to four GCSEs.
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The local picture - GCSE gold standard
Among the region's state-funded schools, Sheringham High School topped the table with 77pc of pupils gaining the government's gold standard of at least five GCSEs at A*-C, including English and maths. This represented a 5 percentage point increase on 2013.
A total of 11 state-funded, mainstream schools fell below the government minimum floor standard of 40pc of pupils gaining the gold standard.
Those recording the lowest figures were Ormiston Denes Academy in Lowestoft, with 28pc, City Academy Norwich on 29pc, and Thomas Clarkson Academy in Wisbech on 31pc.
While a direct comparison between 2013 and 2014's results is difficult, today's league table does confirm some significant movements for individual schools - with some posting large increases, and others significant falls.
Of state-funded schools in the region, Old Buckenham High School saw the biggest jump in pupils gaining the GCSE gold standard, with a 18 percentage point rise from 47pc to 65pc.
Cliff Park High School in Gorleston saw its headline GCSE figure increase by 16 percentage points, Archbishop Sancroft High School in Harleston posted a 13 percentage point rise, while Thetford Academy's gold standard figure rose by 10 percentage points.
At the other end of the table, Ormiston Victory Academy in Costessey saw the proportion of pupils gaining the gold standard plunge by 32 percentage points, Framlingham College's GCSE results fell 16 percentage points, and Marshland High and Ormiston Venture Academy both saw 15 percentage point drops.
The local picture - value added
The league tables also include a 'value added' score, which attempts to measure how much value schools have added to a pupil's performance since they left primary school.
The higher the number, the more value was added.
Cliff Park High School recorded the highest value added score, followed by Sheringham High School, Ormiston Venture Academy - in contrast to the double digit-fall in its headline GCSE result - and Hartismere School.
Why some school's results different those given in August
Brian Conway, chairman of Norfolk Secondary Education Leaders (NSEL), said: 'On GCSE results day last August, most members of NSEL who chose to release their results to the media published the figures that reflected actual achievement at the end of Year 11, in response to the fact that the changes to GCSE first entry were made part way through the year and the general belief amongst NSEL members that the 'best' results, which possibly included resits, reflect the genuine achievements of our individual pupils in last summer's GCSE results.
'The figures published by the Department for Education on January 29 reflect only the 'first' entry results and as such we would encourage interested members of the public to look also at individual school websites to see the 'best' figures which reflect the results students actually attained overall.'
Zero rating for many independent schools
The league table also shows a number of independent schools as achieving a 0pc pass rate at GCSEs - largely due to other changes to the league table system.
The Norwich School released the following statement: 'The Norwich School entry for pupils achieving five grades A*-C in 2014, including maths and English, is given as 0pc.
'I should like to make it clear that 100pc of our year 11 pupils in 2014 passed five GCSEs at grades A*-C, including Maths and English.
'The figures reported by the Department for Education on Thursday, January 29, are incorrect because the government no longer acknowledges the English iGCSE taken by the school.'
The national picture
The number of secondary schools considered to be under-performing has doubled in the wake of the major overhaul of the exams system.
More than 300 schools fell beneath the Government's floor target this year after failing to ensure that enough pupils gained five good GCSE grades and made decent progress in the basics, according to an analysis of new league tables.
The Department for Education (DfE) insisted that the rise is down to two key reforms - a decision that only a teenager's first attempt at a GCSE would count in the annual performance tables, and a move to strip poor quality vocational qualifications out of the rankings.
But the increase is likely to cause concerns among school leaders, who have voiced fears that schools will be considered failing not just due to changes in the system but also'volatility' in last summer's GCSE results.
State secondaries are considered to be below the Government's floor target if fewer than 40pc of their pupils gain at least five C grades at GCSE, including English and maths, and students are not making good enough progress in these two core subjects.
In total, 330 schools fell below the benchmark this year, up from 154 last year.
Schools that fall below the threshold could face action, including being closed down and turned into an academy, or being taken over by a new sponsor.
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