You may be aware that the press are currently featuring school performance tables for the examination results achieved in 2014. Firstly, we would like to congratulate all our students on the commitment they displayed and the results they achieved. Secondly, we would like to clarify some points about which you may be concerned:

When the new English GCSE specifications were published, we took the decision to enter students for both the combined English GCSE and also for a further English Literature GCSE. This decision was based on what we thought was right for the students in the cohort and was in line with what had been studied previously. Both examinations were sat in the summer of 2014 and no early-entry examinations were taken.

More than a year after our students had started these courses, the government decided to change the rules on how GCSE results are reported in performance tables. The new rules mean that only the first time that a student is entered for a GCSE examination counts in schools’ performance tables. This was essentially put in place to penalise schools that entered students early, particularly in English and Maths, in order to give them the opportunity to re-sit these subjects on several occasions and thereby boost the schools’ position in the performance tables. Under the new rules, if the same subject was sat in both Winter 2013 and Summer 2014 only the first result (Winter 2013) would count.

It has now transpired that the Department for Education has decided to apply this ‘first-entry’ rule to examinations taken in the same series. This means that, because the English Literature GCSE exam was taken a few days before the English GCSE exam and because the two subjects had overlapping content, the results of the English GCSE exam taken by S.Peter’s year 11 students in 2014 are discounted and do not contribute to the school’s performance tables. Therefore, only the English Literature results have been counted in the performance tables. This means that the tables show the 5A*to C including English and Mathematics measure and the English Baccalaureate measure as 0% for S.Peter’s. We would like to reassure parents and students that individual results are not affected; only the school league tables are affected. Students in the current Years 10 and 11 are following a different pathway and the performance-table figures for subsequent years will not be affected in the same way.

This has had an impact for a significant number of schools throughout the country, including ours, in that, in the performance tables it looks as though GCSE results were significantly worse in 2014 than they had previously been. However, we want to reassure you that this is not the case. Furthermore, despite strong and prolonged discussion with the Association of School and College Leaders, the Department for Education has refused to reverse its decision.

We are happy to share our own data with you in order to better explain how the government’s new rules impacted on our position in the performance tables. They will give you a more accurate picture of students’ overall achievement. A summary of the results that students attained is shown below:

Percentage of students attaining A* to C grades in English 69%
Percentage of students attaining A* to C grades in Mathematics 84%
Percentage of students attaining 5 or more A* to C grades including English and Mathematics 65%
Percentage of students attaining the English Baccalaureate 27%
Percentage of students making expected progress in English 62%
Percentage of students making expected progress in Mathematics 79%

If you have any further concerns or queries please do not hesitate to contact us.

 

Rev’d S Walters – Acting Principal

Mr D Cooke – Acting Associate Principal

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