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A third of pupils facing compulsory resits as top performing schools revealed

PUBLISHED: 07:00 25 October 2018

Students celebrating their GCSE results at the Harris Academy in Rainham. Picture: Ken Mears

Students celebrating their GCSE results at the Harris Academy in Rainham. Picture: Ken Mears

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Almost a third of 16-year-olds in Havering failed to pass their English and maths GCSEs this year.

Department for Education igures for the 2017-18 academic year show that 32 per cent of pupils didn’t reach the required passing grade in the two core subjects.

Those 896 students are now facing compulsory resits in June next year.

A total of 2,774 pupils in the borough took their GCSEs this year. Most of the exams are now graded on a 1-9 scale under the new system.

A pass grade, previously a C, is now a 4, with the top score of 9 reflecting the need for a grade higher than the previous A*.

The Government has defined a grade 5 as a ‘strong pass’, which would fall between a B and a C in the old system.

Girls in Havering were slightly more successful than boys, with 71pc of girls achieving a grade 4 or above in English and maths compared with 65pc of boys.

The gap narrowed at grade 5 and above, with 46pc of girls getting a ‘strong pass’ compared with 42pc of boys.

The Association of School and College Leaders, an education union, said that publishing how many pupils achieved a ‘strong pass’ is “an extremely confusing message for young people, their parents and employers”.

General secretary Geoff Barton said: “The result is that many young people will have felt deflated and uncertain after taking this summer’s exams, despite having worked their hardest.”

Pupil attainment at GCSE level and individual pupils’ progress since starting secondary schools also form part of the school ranking system.

GCSE students in Havering had overall attainment scores that were slightly worse than the scores of other students in London, and in line with the national average.

Progress scores show that a typical GCSE student from the area did about as well as other pupils in England who started secondary school with similar results at Key Stage 2.

A Progress 8 score of 0 means that pupils are on par with their peers, while a score of +1 means pupils at a school achieve one grade higher than similar pupils nationally, and a score of -1 means they score one grade lower.

Sacred Heart of Mary Girls’ School saw pupils make the best progress of all secondary schools in Havering, with a score of 0.91 being considered ‘well above average’.

The only other school to be in the top category for progress was The Campion School, with a score of 0.58.

Four other schools - The Coopers’ Company and Coborn School, Harris Academy Rainham, St Edward’s Church of England School and Frances Bardsley Academy for Girls - were ranked as making above average progress.

Five schools were deemed to be making below average progress - Abbs Cross Academy and Arts College, Hornchurch High School, Emerson Park Academy, Marshalls Park Academy and Bower Park Academy.

Both Drapers’ Academy and The Brittons Academy were deemed to be making ‘well below average’ progress.

A spokeswoman for Havering Council said: “Because of the importance of achieving good grades in English or maths, the government requires pupils who don’t achieve a good pass mark the opportunity to retake their exam.

“In Havering, our performance in the GCSEs was equal to the London average, and significantly above the English average, as well as other boroughs, including Essex and Thurrock.

“However, English and maths have been earmarked as key areas for improvement in the coming year to ensure local pupils continue to achieve the best results possible.”

The DfE said that its reforms were ensuring rising standards, including more pupils taking the EBacc subjects that “best keep their options open”.

School standards minister Nick Gibb said: “This is a testament to the hard work of pupils and our teachers, who rose to the challenge of our reformed GCSEs and A-levels this summer.

“These new qualifications will ensure pupils have the knowledge and skills they need for future success, and that every child is able to realise their full potential.”

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