Havering’s schools will be judged this August as never before. GCSE results are dependent on previous performance, regardless of current individual achievement. But do students know what the previous performance is? Three schools opt for a ‘warts and all’ approach. Two schools have a decent half-way house. The other thirteen schools’ results are presented in an opaque manner, or not at all in three cases. Examination Boards will adjust schools’ assessment if they appear too severe or too generous. Adjustments will bring results into line with previous outcomes.
Coopers’ Company and Coburn, Frances Bardsley and Sacred Heart of Mary schools publish GCSE results in full. The 2020 results won’t be a straight ‘read through’ from 2019 but will be used in decision making. Coopers’ 2019 cohort achieved 26 grade 9s in Religious Studies. At Sacred Heart English Language, Mathematics and History all achieved six grade 9s. The same three subjects, in that order, at Frances Bardsley led to 6 grade 9s, five grade 9s and 10 grade 9s. All three schools have less successful subjects, which aren’t hidden.
Gaynes School said, “22% of our students gained Grades 7-9 (equivalent to a Grades A** – A) in five or more subjects.” The statement continued, “a phenomenal personal achievement for our students and incredibly rewarding for us as a non-selective local community school.”* This rather begs the question as to what the other 78% achieved. It shields weaker subjects from scrutiny. But in the Havering context this counts as a transparent statement.
Marshalls Park school says, “2019 saw Marshalls Park Academy students achieving amazing results, some of the best the school has ever had.”*** Their headline statement is, “Grade 5 and above in English and Maths: 46% (2018 = 33%)”. They’ve published a list of subjects with outcomes, which again is welcome whilst not hitting the gold standard of the virtuous three. Redden Court offers a different tactic as they make selected comparisons with national outcomes. Opaque but interesting.
Concealing examination results is reprehensible but that’s Hornchurch High school’s tactic. The head teacher’s introductory video presentation says she wants grammar school status. Looking at the government’s performance comparison site, this is delusional. They aren’t alone. Emerson Park and Sanders school join Hornchurch High in not publishing GCSE results at all, not even in the truncated way Brittons school adopts, “9-4 English and Maths… 49%”.
GCSE results should be published so stakeholders can readily understand the information offered. Transparency is important as a tool for critical analysis. Publishing GCSE results in full is the least that can be reasonably expected in a publicly funded education system.
Addendum: Raphael Independent School
Raphael’s don’t publish meaningful GCSE examination results either. They remark, “In 2019 70% of students obtained 8+ GCSE’s with a 92% pass rate in both English and Maths.” Quite what “a 92% pass rate” means depends on what’s meant by ‘pass’. GCSE grades run from 1-9. Most schools regard 1-3 as a fail even though it isn’t. GCSE’s measure achievement. Raphael’s don’t define ‘pass’ but the working assumption is ‘pass’ means grades 4-9.
For Coopers’ Coburn 2019 results see https://www.cooperscoborn.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/GCSE-results-PUBLICATION2.pdf
For Frances Bardsley’s 2019 results see https://fbaok.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Parents-Exam-booklet-2019.pdf
For Sacred Heart’s 2019 GCSE results see https://sacredheartofmary.net/wp-content/uploads/Exresult2019-1.pdf
For Gaynes 2019 GCSE results see http://www.gaynesschool.net/gcse-results/
For Redden Court’s 2019 GCSE results see https://www.reddencourtcloud.co.uk/information-for-parents/examination-results
For Marshalls Park 2019 GCSE results see http://marshallspark.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Subject-breakdown.pdf
For Hornchurch High’s 2019 GCSE results see https://www.compare-school-performance.service.gov.uk/school/143946/hornchurch-high-school/secondary
For Emerson Park 2019 GCSE results see http://www.emersonparkacademy.org/page/?title=Results&pid=29
For Sanders school see https://www.sandersschool.org.uk/information-for-parents/examination-information
For Brittons 2019 GCSE results see https://www.brittons.havering.sch.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Examination-Results-2019.pdf