Specialist schools show biggest gain in results

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Specialist schools are improving at nearly twice the rate of all schools, according to the Government's education league tables published yesterday.The schools, set up by the previous government and expanded by the current one, improved by 2.5 percentage points on average for the proportion of pupils achieving five good grades, compared with 1.5 percentage points for of all schools.Teacher's leaders expressed little surprise at the schools' performance. Specialist schools receive extra funding and are permitted to select a proportion of their pupils by "aptitude".Fifteen specialist comprehensives have doubled the proportion of children gaining at least five good GCSEs since 1995. Technology and languages schools make up 16 of the official list of 112 most improved schools since 1996.Nigel de Gruchy, general secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, claimed specialist schools were becoming the new élite - "they are semi-grammar schools"."They are better resourced and be

Specialist schools are improving at nearly twice the rate of all schools, according to the Government's education league tables published yesterday.The schools, set up by the previous government and expanded by the current one, improved by 2.5 percentage points on average for the proportion of pupils achieving five good grades, compared with 1.5 percentage points for of all schools.Teacher's leaders expressed little surprise at the schools' performance. Specialist schools receive extra funding and are permitted to select a proportion of their pupils by "aptitude".Fifteen specialist comprehensives have doubled the proportion of children gaining at least five good GCSEs since 1995. Technology and languages schools make up 16 of the official list of 112 most improved schools since 1996.Nigel de Gruchy, general secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, claimed specialist schools were becoming the new élite - "they are semi-grammar schools"."They are better resourced and because they are over-subscribed, they do end up selecting youngsters," he said. "It is not surprising they do well."John Dunford, general secretary of the Secondary Heads 'Association, said: "The connection between additional resources and a faster rate of improvement in results will not be lost on other schools."But David Hart, the general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said: "If you can offer pupils high quality teaching in specialist subject areas there is a spin-off right across the curriculum."Thomas Telford School, a city technology college (CTC), is the best performing comprehensive at GCSE, with 99 per cent of GCSE students gaining five or more good GCSEs, while Brooke Weston CTC in Corby, Northamptonshire, notched up the highest GCSE point score. The school showing the most consistent improvement over four years is St Clement's High School in King's Lynn, Norfolk where 58 per cent of pupils got five good grades this year, up from 27 per cent four years ago. The best performing state school at A-level was Colchester Royal Grammar School. The best performing independent school was Twycross House in Warwickshire.Today Estelle Morris, an Education minister, will announce the next group of schools to achieve "specialist school" status. The Government aims to have one in four secondaries declared specialist schools by 2003.

Comments