Search

GCSE league tables: Tears for some, but Drapers’ Academy, Harold Hill, is UK’s 18th fastest improver

16:00 24 January 2013

Drapers

Drapers' principal Matthew Slater

Archant

Drapers’ Academy saw the borough’s biggest increase in good GCSE grades last year, and was among the country’s 20 fastest improving schools, figures released today show.

Sixty-three per cent of GCSE students at the Harold Hill school, which opened in 2010, gained five or more GCSEs – including English and maths – at grades A* to C.

The figure compares with 36 per cent in 2011 – that’s a three-quarters increase, or an extra 27 per cent of year 11 achieving the top grades.

Just 17 of the UK’s 6,592 schools reported an upward trend on the same scale, making Drapers’ the country’s 18th fastest improving school.

Principal Matthew Slater said he was “delighted” with the news.

“There’s no easy route to school improvement – it’s about hard work, commitment and a focus on study,” he said.

“We’re delighted for the pupils that their hard work and dedication has paid off with such superb results.”

But it’s less good news elsewhere, with half Havering’s 24 mainstream secondaries seeing a drop in results.

Some, like St Edward’s C of E in Romford, believe they were hit by the controversial government-led change in English grade boundaries between January and June.

The shift, which prompted national uproar, saw exams taken in the summer attracting significantly lower grades than those taken just months earlier.

Head Alan Perry slammed the Department for Education for “moving the goalposts” and said the situation had hit St Edward’s particularly badly because of its decision to enter no students in the January exams.

Overall, St Edward’s reported a 19 per cent drop in the English-and-maths-inclusive five A*-to-C figure – the borough’s biggest decrease.

“We got 59 per cent A* to C grades in English, but 75 per cent in maths,” he told the Recorder. “Normally those results are comparable.”

He added a change in information from exam boards about grading coursework had also affected the figure – but said the school was “optimistic” about next year’s results.

Overall, Havering’s A* to C rate has dropped 2.4 per cent to its lowest since 2009 – 61.5 per cent compared with 63.9 in 2011.

That still places it 2.1 per cent above the national average, but the gap – which was 10 per cent in 2009 – is closing steadily.

One reason for that could be the controversial change in English exam marking between January and June that saw pupils all over the country missing out on expected grades.

Council leader Cllr Michael White said: “Our students and teachers worked extremely hard to achieve the best GCSE results possible. In many subjects, there was an improvement on previous years. We remain above the national average, with none of our schools or academies below the government’s minimum standard.

“Our English A* to C pass rate did fall but this was part of national marking issue which has yet to be fully resolved. We will continue to support all our schools and academies to achieve the best results possible.”

0 comments

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 18:38
Off-target: The A&E at Queen's

A worrying increase in people attending hospital A&E departments last month has led to patients facing longer and longer waits.

Yesterday, 12:04
The westbound A13 is closed at the junction with Ferry Lane [Photograph from Google StreetView]

The A13 was closed near Ferry Lane yesterday as police discovered a dead body in a car.

Yesterday, 11:47
myplace, Harold Hill, in April 2012, the last time the show came to Havering

Immigration, Facebook and class war were hotly debated in an episode of the BBC’s flagship debating programme from Harold Hill last night.

Yesterday, 10:00
Planned engineering work could affect your journey this weekend.

There is a relatively minor programme of planned closures on the Tube and Overground network this weekend - but they could still affect your journey. Read on for the lowdown.

Most read news

WW100

Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.

News from your area

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Romford Recorder e-edition today E-edition

The comedian returned to his home town for the prestigious award ceremony.

The helicopter crashed through the roof of the Clutha pub.

Twitter sat back and watched as the world went bargain-hunting crazy on Black Friday.

There was definitely something buzzing at JCB when he delivered his immigration speech.