The way that schools’ performance measures are now judged is very different to the way in which they have been judged previously.
The key figure that schools report on immediately after exam results are available is the percentage of students who have achieved both English and maths GCSEs at a grade C or above, the ‘basics’ or ‘threshold’ measure. The difference this year is that, rather than just English language results counting in this measure, now the best result for each student in either English language or English literature counts. There is no direct comparison between this figure and the results that we have previously published on our website.
For the year 11 cohort 2015 - 2016 our basics (threshold) figure was 51%. Our basics figure for 2014 – 2015 was 47% but that figure was the percentage of students gaining English language only combined with maths at GCSE grade C or above.
51% is a figure that was better than expected for the cohort and is likely to put us in, at least, the top 20% of schools in the country in terms of schools which surpass expectations. In addition to this, nearly 10% of our students last year gained 5 or more A or A* grades in their GCSEs; 5 achieved 9 A or A* grades.
For comparison purpose, we also calculated the expected progress and better than expected progress made for the 2015-16 year 11 cohort in best English (either language or literature) and maths. Our figures were as follows:
English expected progress 80% and better than expected progress 38%.
Maths expected progress 65% and better than expected progress 32%.
The EBacc is a measure that continues to be reported on. This year 14% students gained the EBacc. Again, this is a positive figure as we have a policy of not enforcing any particular option choices on students. Students who are capable of doing the EBacc are advised that this is a pathway that they should consider but they are not made to do this if their interests and abilities lie in other subjects. It is appropriate for the wide ranging cohort of children that we have at Babington that we adopt this policy.
A figure called Progress 8 will also be reported on in time. This figure is a calculation based on the achievement across 8 subjects for each student based on whether they met, exceeded or were below expectations in each subject that they took. A figure is then calculated for the whole school. A figure which is below -0.5 is considered to be below the ‘floor standard’ in other words, below the minimum expected standards set by the government. This figure is dependent on how students across the country have performed and therefore will not be released until all national data has been collated which may well not be until January. Our initial analysis of data is predicting a positive progress 8 figure which is good. However, there is a ‘health warning’ with the data from Babington. Only students who have prior attainment data count in a school’s progress 8 figures and out of 206 students in the 2015-16 year 11 cohort, only 93 contribute to our progress 8 figure. This is because of our high mobility and large numbers of mid-year admissions. It therefore means that our progress 8 figure is representative of less than half of our students. We do a fantastic job of ensuring that students who join us late make good and better progress but that will not be recognised in the progress 8 figure we will get.
There is a final measure that schools do not have to publish but will be available. This is the average grade that a student will get in a GCSE at a school. Unlike progress 8, all students at the school count for this figure. This is a particular challenge for Babington. For the 2015-16 year 11 cohort of 206, only 28% of them started at Babington at the start of year 7 and a further 28% of them started in year 10 whilst 5% started in year 11 and the rest started in year 8 or 9. Many of the late arrivals to the school come directly from abroad and a large number have had little or no formal education prior to their arrival. We also have a highly inclusive policy in terms of educating students with special needs, including those in our DSP (designated specialist provision) alongside their mainstream peers. But all of this means that if you look at all our children and all their exams, many will not get high grades in their GCSE exams. That doesn’t mean they haven’t done well – students at Babington make outstanding progress from their starting points – it’s just that some of their starting points may well be quite low and this will be reflected in our overall average GCSE grade when it is published.
More information about the schools performance is published here:
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