Must do better: 200 secondary schools on Government 'hit list' after failing to reach target for GCSE passes

 

Nearly 200 secondary schools are on a Government “hit list” after failing to reach its minimum target for GCSE passes, exam league tables showed today.

The figures revealed 195 schools had failed to get 40 per cent of their pupils to obtain five A* to C grade passes at GCSE including maths and English.

In addition, around one in four state secondary schools failed to get any of their pupils to obtain two A grade and a B grade passes in the A-level subjects most sought after by universities, according to a new measure included in this year’s tables.

Publication of this year’s league tables led to a “health warning” from leaders of the country’s secondary schools.

Brian Lightman, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said a number of schools had only failed to reach the target as a result of last year’s GCSE English grading fiasco, where the boundary for a C grade pass was raised between the January and June sittings.

“This year’s performance data has been skewed by the issues with GCSE grading, particularly English,” he said.  The High Court is set to rule later this month on whether there should be a judicial review of last year’s grades.

Schools below the floor target - which was raised from 35 per cent to 40 per cent this year - can face closure or been forced to be academies with the headteacher facing the sack. If the figure had been raised to 40 per cent last year, a further 51 schools would have been on the list.

Meanwhile, a list of the bottom 200 schools with the worst GCSE results includes around 60 of the Government’s academies, even though, overall, academies saw a 3.1 percentage point improvement in their results - five times as much as the average improvement.

“Michael Gove (the Education Secretary) will be facing a dilemma as to how he addresses the number of academies that are failing his imposed floor targets,” said Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers.

“Local authorities no longer have the right to step in and address issues in academies such as falling standards. This is now the responsibility of the Secretary of State who, it would appear, is going to be kept quite busy.”

On the question of schools failing to get pupils to obtain two A’s and a B grade at A-level in “facilitating” subjects for top universities, Dr Wendy Piatt, director general of the Russell Group, which represents 24 of the most research intensive higher education institutions, said: “We agree A-level choices really matter.

“Too few students realise that some subjects and subject combinations can keep open wider degree course options at leading universities.”

Stephen Twigg, Labour’s education spokesman, said: The fact that many A-level pupils do not get the top grades for university is worrying.”

The “facilitating” subjects include English Literature, maths, physics, biology, chemistry, geography, history and languages.

The league tables also show that fewer than one in six state school pupils qualify for the Government’s new English Baccalaureate, exam league.

The results tables show only 16 per cent obtained top grade A* to C grades in the five subjects covered by the EBacc; English, maths, the sciences, a foreign language and a humanities subject - history or geography.

The figure is only a one percentage point increase on last year’s league tables despite tremendous pressure on headteachers to put pupils in for the five subjects.

The top performing school in GCSE exams was Colyton Grammar School in Devon with the 117 pupils who sat the exam all obtaining at least five top grade passes.

The bottom school, though, was also a selective state grammar school - Pate’s in Cheltenham - but this was because it refused to enter pupils for the GCSE English exam on the grounds it did not stretch them enough.

“We decided to move our English curriculum to an IGCSE (available internationally and based on old O-level lines), not currently counted in the league tables, because we decided that particular curriculum included a greater depth of learning - having fewer texts but students looking at them in greater detail,” said headteacher Russel Ellicott.

“We are secure in the knowledge that we have chosen the right curriculum.”

The figures also show a growing number of academies are offering the EBacc, 88 per cent, an increase of six percentage points on the previous year.

Arts and Entertainment
Banksy's 'The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' in Bristol
art'Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' followed hoax reports artist had been arrested and unveiled
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

Voices
Stephanie first after her public appearance as a woman at Rad Fest 2014
voices

Arts and Entertainment
James Blunt's debut album Back to Bedlam shot him to fame in 2004
music

Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
peopleJust weeks after he created dress for Alamuddin-Clooney wedding
Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010
films

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

Sport
football West Brom vs Man Utd match report: Blind grabs point, but away form a problem for Van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
Bloom Time: Mira Sorvino
tvMira Sorvino on leaving movie roles for 'The Intruders'
Arts and Entertainment
Leonardo DiCaprio talks during the press conference for the film
films

Film follows park rangers in the Congo

Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
News
i100
Sport
Adel Taraabt in action for QPR against West Ham earlier this month
footballQPR boss says midfielder is 'not fit to play football'
News
First woman: Valentina Tereshkova
peopleNASA guinea pig Kate Greene thinks it might fly
Voices
Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary: 'There are pressures which we are facing but there is not a crisis'
voices

Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

Nursery assistants required in Cambridgeshire

£10000 - £15000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Nursery assistants re...

History Teacher

£60 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Liverpool: Job opportunities for Seconda...

** Female PE Teacher Urgently Required In Liverpool **

£120 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Liverpool: Job opportunities for Secon...

** Cover Supervisors Urgently Required In Knowsley **

£60 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Liverpool: Job opportunities for Seconda...

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album