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Secondary school league tables: Find out how Shropshire schools fared

By Dominic Robertson | Education | Published: | Last Updated:

Students in Shropshire scored above the national average for GSCE results, new figures have revealed.

But schools across the county are falling behind in a measure of the progress made by pupils through their life in secondary school.

Today’s results again reflect changes made to the way GSCEs are recorded.

One headteacher in Shropshire today warned against assumptions regarding the new government figures, with schools still adjusting to a number of changes in the way performance and attainment are calculated.

For the first time this year, the data includes English and maths GCSE results awarded under the new 9-1 grading system.

The figures show a large difference between schools across both Shropshire and Telford council areas but the overall Progress 8 figure – which measures how much improvement pupils have made between the end of Key Stage 2 (primary school) and Key Stage 4 (GCSEs) – is below average for both areas.

How Shropshire schools scored:

The Shropshire Council area had an overall Progress 8 score of -0.1 per cent, slightly below the English state funded school average of -0.03 per cent. In the Telford & Wrekin area Progress 8 came out at -0.12.

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However, overall Attainment 8 figures, which measure how well pupils have performed in eight qualifications including English and maths, were 46.4 for both authority areas, above the national state funded school average of 46.3

Sir Kevin Satchwell of Thomas Telford School said he was thrilled with their performance but issued a note of caution over judgements based on the new figures.

He said: “We are absolutely delighted but you also have to give a little bit of a warning sound over them because we are very much at a point in the outcomes of education results where because there has been so much change going on there is not the reliability we have had in previous years.

Radical changes

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“Last year outcomes were calculated with both letters and numbers and that has been difficult for schools to manage and for the government because the grading system and statistical information has gone through radical changes.”

He added: “You have got to be a little bit careful on how you interpret the figures and the conclusions people draw from them. We have got some tremendous schools across the region doing some great work for the benefit of all the children.”

For Shropshire the six schools with the highest average Attainment 8 score per pupil at GCSE were The Priory School, Mary Webb School and Science College, The Corbet School, Church Stretton School, William Brookes School and Belvidere School.

The six schools that had the highest Progress 8 average score per pupil at GCSE were Mary Webb School and Science College, Belvidere School, The Priory School, The Corbet School, Sir John Talbot’s Technology College and Oldbury Wells School.

Nick Bardsley, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for children’s services and education, said: “These results are a testament to the hard work and effort that students have put into their studies and we congratulate them on their achievements.

“It is also important to recognise the support that our school communities in Shropshire have given to the students. This includes our highly professional and dedicated teachers and headteachers, school governors, support staff, volunteers and, of course, parents and carers whose support is so vital to students’ success.”

In Telford & Wrekin Newport Girls School, Hadley Learning Community and Thomas Telford all led the way on Progress 8 at GCSE.

The Attainment 8 figures were topped by Newport Girls School, Adams Grammar School, and Thomas Telford.

Councillor Shirley Reynolds, Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for Education and Skills, said: “We are very pleased to see that overall Telford and Wrekin schools have performed in line with national averages at both KS2 and KS4.

“At Primary level, we have over half of our schools performing well above the national average in terms of the expected standards achieved in Reading Writing and Maths combined. At Secondary level, we have seen some outstanding results at individual school level and we are continuing to work with those schools who have not yet achieved national average scores.

“We are confident that all of our schools are working hard year on year to secure the best possible outcomes for their pupils. It is now the case that 94% of Primary pupils and 71% of Secondary pupils attend a good or outstanding school and we will continue to work with all of our partners such as Academy Trusts and the Regional Schools Commissioner to secure the improvements needed and to ensure that resources for school improvement are targeted at where they are most needed.”

The Grove School in Shrewsbury had the highest average grade of C+ at A-Level for a maintained school, while Newport Girls High was recorded at B, and Thomas Telford and Adams Grammar School were both B-.

Secondary school league tables: The national picture

Nationally, more than a quarter of a million children are being taught at under-performing secondary schools, official figures show.

One in eight of England’s mainstream secondaries – 365 in total – fell below the government’s minimum standards in 2017, according to new statistics.

This is up from 282 schools, just under one in 10, the year before.

According to analysis of the data, it means 260,783 schoolchildren are now being taught at under-performing secondaries – about one in 12 – compared to 206,991, or 6.8 per cent, in 2016.

Schools fall below the government’s performance threshold if pupils fail to make enough progress across eight subjects, with particular weight given to English and maths.

The Department for Education said the rise in under-performing schools is because of technical changes to the points system used by government statisticians to calculate a school’s performance.

Complicated

The rise comes amid major changes to England’s exams system, including the introduction of a new grading system, which has meant the data includes English and maths GCSE results awarded new 9-1 grades while other subjects received traditional A*-G grades.

School leaders said the new grading system affecting English and maths has complicated the way school performance is calculated, as it has to be worked out using a combination of old and new grading systems.

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “As the DfE itself says in today’s statistics, these changes are the main reason why there has been an increase in the number of schools which are deemed to be below the ‘floor standard’ for Progress 8.

“It is extremely unfair that more schools find themselves in this situation because of complex changes to the way in which this is calculated.

“Our message to the DfE, trust boards, governors and inspectors is to avoid leaping to judgement on the basis of these performance tables. They only tell us a limited amount about the true quality of a school.”

Schools are judged against a measure called Progress 8 which looks at the progress a pupil has made between the end of primary and the end of secondary school, and their results across eight GCSEs compared to their achievement of other youngsters with similar abilities.

A secondary is considered to be below the government’s floor standard if, on average, pupils score half a grade less (-0.5) across eight GCSEs than they would have been expected to compared to pupils of similar abilities nationally.

The DfE insisted that where schools have fallen below the floor standard, the data is “a starting point for a conversation about school improvement.”

The Press Association’s analysis shows that the North West has the highest proportion of pupils at under-performing schools at about one in seven (14.8%) while Eastern England has the lowest at 4.4 per cent.

Schools Minister Nick Gibb highlighted a narrowing gulf between the results of rich and poor pupils.

“The attainment gap between the most disadvantaged pupils and their peers has narrowed by 10 per cent since 2011 and more disadvantaged pupils are studying the core academic subjects, ensuring they have the knowledge and skills they need to make the most of their lives,” he said.

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