UK top boarding Schools

Newly-published league tables show 330 schools fall below Government targets

Eton (pictured) Harrow and Marlborough failed to get a single pupil to attain the Government's benchmark of five GCSEs at grades A*-C, including maths and EnglishEton (pictured) Harrow and Marlborough failed to get a single pupil to attain the Government's benchmark of five GCSEs at grades A*-C, including maths and English

Schools that fall below the threshold – the Government’s minimum acceptable standard – could face action, including being closed down and turned into an academy, or being taken over by a new sponsor.

The increase is because of new Government rules which ban schools from including results from re-sits and poor-quality vocational courses. They remove the incentive for schools to encourage students to re-sit exams and study easier subjects.

The league tables are based on data provided by the Department for Education and show how every school and college in England performed at GCSE, A-level and other academic and vocational qualifications in 2014.

The number of pupils entering the English Baccalaureate rose by 71 per cent compared with four years before, meaning that there are now 89, 874 more youngsters taking it than in 2010.

PRIVATE SCHOOLS 'SLUMP'

Britain's top private schools have plummeted to the bottom of the league tables because of new rules governing which qualifications count.

Around 335 schools – including Eton, Harrow and Winchester – registered 0 per cent for the proportion of pupils gaining at least five C grades at GCSE including English and maths.

Under the shake-up, some English GCSEs and some international GCSEs do not count in the rankings. Many private schools favour IGCSEs, saying they are more rigorous.

The Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference, which represents 270 independent schools, said the decision to drop IGCSEs means the tables ‘have become a nonsense’.

A DfE spokesman said: ‘We have stripped out qualifications that were of little value.’

More than 300 schools fell beneath the Government's minimum target to ensure that enough pupils get five good GCSEs following former Education Secretary Michael Gove's reforms

More than 300 schools fell beneath the Government's minimum target to ensure that enough pupils get five good GCSEs following former Education Secretary Michael Gove's reformsDeputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said some schools appear to have been 'caught out' by the change in the way standards were measured

BEST PERFORMING SCHOOLS IN UK
School GCSE pass rate
Pate's Grammar School, Gloucestershire 100%
The Tiffin Girls' School, Kingston upon Thames
Reading School, Reading
St Olave's and St Saviour's Grammar School, Bromley
Queen Elizabeth's School, Barnet
Kendrick School, Reading
King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Girls, Birmingham
The Henrietta Barnett School, Barnet
Colchester County High School for Girls, Essex
Colchester Royal Grammar School, Essex

The EBacc is a performance measure of core academic subjects that recognises students who achieve at least a C at GCSE in English, maths, two sciences, history or geography and a language. The changes to the exam criteria were criticised by the National Association of Head Teachers, which said they had ‘tripped up’ secondary schools.

General secretary Russell Hobby said: ‘Many of these changes disproportionately affected schools working with the most disadvantaged students.

‘It is now time for the Government to stop interfering in examinations on ministerial whim and let schools focus on teaching.’

But David Cameron told LBC Radio: ‘What we’ve done as a government is we’ve been more intolerant of failure in schools, and we’ve raised the bar.

‘That’s why the figures do show some results that are disappointing, because we’re being frank and saying look, let’s not hide problems, let’s identify schools that are not working properly and let’s turn them around.’

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said: ‘For too long pupils were offered courses of no value to them and schools felt pressured to enter young people for exams before they were ready.’

THE BEST AND WORST PERFORMING AREAS FOR GCSE RESULTS
Top five areas Bottom five areas
Kensington and Chelsea 73.80% Knowsley 35.40%
Trafford 72.20% Bradford 44%
Sutton 72.10% Blackpool
Kingston-upon-Thames 70% Nottingham 44.60%
Buckinghamshire 69.50% Kingston-upon-Hull 44.70%

SURGE IN NUMBER TAKING RIGOROUS A-LEVELS

Sixth-formers are now studying more A-levels in rigorous subjects favoured by leading universities.

In what will be seen as a vindication for Michael Gove, an increasing number of pupils appear to be shunning softer choices for ‘facilitating subjects’.

These subjects, which are required most often by Russell Group universities, include English literature, maths, physics, biology, chemistry, geography, history and languages. Figures from the Department for Education show that overall there were 407, 600 A-level entries in these subjects in 2014, up 20, 000 compared with four years before.

The figures also indicate a rise in the number of students – particularly girls – studying maths and the sciences.

There were just over 79, 000 entries for maths last year, up 9, 000 compared with 2010. Among girls alone, 6, 423 took physics A-level last year, up from 5, 689 in 2010, while the percentage of teenage girls taking maths was up 7.3 per cent on 2010.

The results come after a drive to encourage state school pupils to study more rigorous subjects, which was led by Mr Gove when he was education secretary.

Addressing his critics while still in post, he said: ‘Academic rigour is liberating, not limiting. Students with good passes, especially in traditional subjects, have more opportunities in life.’


Interesting facts:

St. Edward's School (also colloquially known as "Teddies") is a co-educational independent boarding school (sometimes referred to as a public school) located in Summer town, Oxford, England. The school is located on the Woodstock Road in the north of the city close...

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