So how did Croydon’s pupils do in their GCSEs this year? Our education correspondent GENE BRODIE gives Croydon Council an “F” for its efforts in failing to release full results for local schools, when Sutton and other boroughs provided that information immediately
This year’s GCSE results were handed out to pupils at schools across the country last Thursday, including pupils in Croydon, and headline statistics were announced to the world. Here in Croydon, we witnessed a schools equivalent of Young Mr Grace from the old sit-com Are You Being Served, having no real idea what is going on, but nevertheless reassuringly announcing, “You’re all doing very well.”
Except instead of Young Mr Grace, Croydon has Tim Pollard, the deputy leader of the Conservative group which controls the Town Hall.
For while boroughs all around Croydon were releasing real and detailed figures for how their local schools had fared with their latest generation of 16+ pupils, here last week, as the pliant local newspaper dutifully hailed Croydon schools’ “success” with “remarkable” results, Pollard, the Tory cabinet member for children and learning, was suggesting that Croydon was “bucking” national trends and that we only had to wait another 24 hours before all the results were in… That was last Thursday. If you held your breath you are probably dead by now.
By the time that the Bank Holiday weekend arrived, there had been no release of overall figures for Croydon from that mighty educational powerhouse at Taberner House. Just silence.
If you want to know Sutton’s schools’ results, that is easy. They were made available immediately last Thursday. They are: 83.9 per cent of students got five or more A* to C grades in subjects including maths and English. Individually, the schools have reported:
- Stanley Park High School – 55 per cent five or more A* to C grades in subjects including maths and English (compared with 35 per cent in 2012)
- Overton Grange – 71 per cent five or more A* to C grades in subjects including maths and English (66 per cent 2012)
- Greenshaw – 76 per cent five or more A* to C grades in subjects including maths and English (76 per cent 2012)
- Wallington High School for Girls – 100 per cent got five or more A* to C grades; 83 per cent got A* and A grades ( 100 per cent 2012)
- Nonsuch High School for Girls – 100 per cent five or more A* to C grades in subjects including maths and English; 79 per cent got A* and A grades (99 per cent 2012)
- Cheam High School – 75 per cent got five or more A* to C grades in subjects including maths and English (72 per cent 2012)
- Sutton High School – 96 per cent five or more A* to C grades in subjects including maths and English; 65 per cent got A* to A grades (100 per cent 2012)
- Wallington County Grammar School – 100 per cent five or more A* to C grades in subjects including maths and English; 71 per cent got A* and A grades (99 per cent 2012)
- John Fisher School – 87 per cent five or more A* to C grades in subjects including maths and English (80 per cent 2012)
- Carshalton Boys Sports College – 58 per cent five or more A* to C grades in subjects including maths and English (46 per cent 2012)
- Wilson’s School 100 per cent five or more A* to C grades with 50 per cent getting A*; 93.79 per cent got five or more A* to A grades
- St Philomena’s Catholic High School for Girls – 91.6 per cent five or more A* to C grades including maths and English ( 84 per cent 2012)
- Carshalton Girls – 57 per cent five or more A* to C grades in subjects including maths and English and 83 per cent got five or more A* to C grades in all subjects (60 per cent 2012)
- Glenthorne High School – 76 per cent A* to C grades in five or more subjects including Maths and English (83 per cent 2012)
Such detailed results from Croydon for 2013 remain something of a mystery.
By the weekend, individual Croydon school results were nowhere near complete.
There is a lot of vagueness around the whole business of exactly how well our schools, including several notable academies sponsored by the likes of the Harris Federation, have performed. Sutton schools transparently reported the widely recognised measure of pupils attaining five A* to C GCSE’s including maths and English, which makes it easy for parents to compare schools.
Before the weekend, some Croydon schools had not released any figure for results at all. Some that did release figures did so somewhat selectively, avoiding providing the percentage attaining the 5A* to C measure; instead, they just released the results for those getting five A* to C GCSE’s .
So, loyal reader, here’s your homework task for the coming week.
Your worksheet is in a pdf form, just click on the link below and print it out.
What you must do is take the figures for Croydon schools’ GCSE performance and fill in the blank spaces to provide a comparison between the 2012 and 2013 results, school by school.
It is risky for schools to fall below the government’s target of 40 per cent of pupils getting five A* to C grades including maths and English. Falling below the target triggers the threat of re-inspection and school closures. The Education secretary, Michael Gove, who has his bags carried for him by Croydon Central’s MP, has been particularly keen to trigger such inspections on what he often refers to as “failing schools”.
In our table, we have included the 2012 data for the percentage of pupils in each year group that have special educational needs, and the percentage who have English as their second language. This should help to make better sense of the data in terms of giving an indication of how big a challenge each school faces. These figures for the private schools have been estimated, based on inspection reports.
Given the Sutton average was 83.9 per cent achieving five A* to C GCSE passes for each school, it is worth noting that few Croydon schools have managed to achieve that level of performance. None of the Harris Academy group, schools run by Michael Gove’s department’s favoured private academy operators, have achieved the Sutton average.
The flagship Harris Academy at Crystal Palace ought to have results comparable with Sutton’s selective grammar schools, given how few students they have with special educational needs or English as a second language, and how good their students are on entry at 11 years old. You’d almost think that Harris Crystal Palace is somehow allowed to hand-pick the pupils it wants to attend; but that would suggest some sort of selection going on, and that obviously cannot be the case.
Your completed work sheets need to be handed in by last period on Thursday. Leave them, with your name at the top of the sheet, in our email pigeon hole. Anyone getting less than 40 per cent will be asked to report to Mr Gove’s office, where they will be expected to recite the top 10 hits of pop star Gary Barwell.
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- GCSE results: ‘perverse’ league tables damaging pupils (telegraph.co.uk)
- Pupils entered for GCSE exams a year early are likely to get lower grades, Ofqual chief warns (independent.co.uk)
- ‘Toughened up’ GCSEs suffer biggest fall in grades for 25 years (standard.co.uk)