English Baccalaureate slammed in latest league tables

PUBLISHED: 15:00 20 January 2011

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A NEW assessment has been added in an attempt to measure the success of secondary schools in the latest league tables to be released.

Based on the grades achieved by teenagers who sat GCSE exams during the 2009/10 academic year, the tables include data on the results gained and the progress made by pupils.

For the first time, the tables also show the percentage of a school’s pupils that achieved the Coalition Government’s new English Baccalaureate.

This was introduced after the exams last summer to encourage schools to concentrate more on traditional subjects including English and science, rather than modern topics, such as media studies or sport science.

To gain an English Baccalaureate, a pupil has to achieve GCSEs at grade C or above in English, maths, a science, a foreign language and a humanity, such as history or geography.

Nationally, an average of 15.6 per cent of pupils reached this standard. In North Somerset, 38 per cent of pupils at the private Sidcot School in Winscombe gained the award as did 17 per cent of pupils at Churchill Community Foundation School and Sixth Form Centre, five per cent of Wyvern Community School pupils in Weston, four per cent of the cohort at Broadoak Mathematics and Computing College in Weston, three per cent of students at Worle Community School and two per cent of Priory Community School pupils.

In Somerset, 16 per cent of youngsters at The Kings of Wessex School in Cheddar gained the baccalaureate as did 13 per cent of students at The King Alfred School in Highbridge.

When the English Baccalaureate was hastily introduced many teachers criticised the move due to the fact it was not compulsory for students to take exams in all of the required subjects, leaving them ill prepared for this assessment.

Chairman of governors at Priory Community School Gary Leece said: “This English Baccalaureate table is disgracefully retrospective.

“Any competition or league you enter you surely must know the rules before you start.

“No school knew that this particular combination of subjects for the English Baccalaureate would be reported in a league table in 2011 or it even was a desired combination of subjects.

“This new measure will only confuse and is not helpful.”

In the other measurements, topping the table in the Mercury coverage area for the most pupils gaining five or more GCSEs at grade C or above, including English and maths, was Sidcot School with 100 per cent. The top state school was The Kings of Wessex School in Cheddar with 70 per cent.

How each school faired: (Categories from left to right read: percentage of pupils gaining five or more A*-C grades including English and maths, percentage of pupils making expected progress in English, percentage of pupils making expected progress in maths and average pupil point score.)

Broadoak Mathematics and Computing College, Weston: 40% 49% 53% 414.1

Churchill Community Foundation School & Sixth Form Centre: 66% 74% 70% 481.1

Priory Community School, Worle: 54% 71% 56% 415.3

Sidcot School, Winscombe: 100% Not published Not published 526.2

The King Alfred School, Highbridge: 49% 54% 64% 462.4

The Kings of Wessex School, Cheddar: 70% 84% 73% 470.0

Worle Community School: 44% 79% 42% 410.6

Wyvern Community School, Weston: 35% 58% 39% 392.4

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