Some dreadful, others outstanding


There has been some controversy over Academy exam results,  with allegations that they have not come clean over how many A*-C Grades at GCSE,  including maths and English, they have achieved, (the governments key performance benchmark) opting for softer options instead , to give the impression of higher attainment.Academies have not been subject to the Freedom of Information Act, so information on what exams their pupils take has been hard to come by., a fact revelaed last year by think tank Civitas.  A PQ on 24 June gives us the answer .  33% of Academies reached the five good GCSE  benchmark.

But there are some pretty grim results in amongst them. Sheffield Park Academy 2%; Marlowe Academy 5% ; John Madejski Academy 6%; New Line Learning 7%;Barnsley Academy 7% and Excelsior Academy 10%. But there are also some  outstanding results too- Priory Academy LSST 96%; Belverdere Academy 96%;Haberdashers Askes, Hatcham College 86%; Dixons City Academy 86%  Harris City Academy Crystal Palace 81%  William Hulme’s Grammar School 85%; Colston Girls School 85% Mossbourne Community 82%

But all is perhaps not as it  first seems. Take the Priory Academy. This was a highly successful comprehensive before it ever  became an Academy.

If you look at its admissions policy it is selective, in that it  takes the top performing children from about 50 Primary schools. Its intake is 270 children each year and theoretically it  has a  comprehensive intake from a mixed social area . But take a look at  the percentage of special needs pupils  on its roll. Just 1.6%.  That tells you quite a lot. The local authority average is close to 13% .

Source and Full  Table; Hansard 24 June

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