Havering’s Academies, their Students and GCSE

The majority of Havering’s academies publish their GCSE results in a severely edited fashion. Only three* of the eighteen publish results in full. This makes it difficult for parents to make informed decisions. This discussion is focused on the missed opportunity of using the results as a diagnostic tool. Reference will be made to the fifteen academies which don’t publish results informatively.

Abbs Cross Academy make this remark about the 2020 results:-

“Results in core subjects were particularly strong with over 73% of students attaining a grade 4 or above in English and maths.

Some of the individual student performances are staggering in terms of the number of optimum grades attained. 11% of our students gained grades 7-9 in all subjects – a phenomenal achievement. Whilst acknowledging the enormous achievements of the most able is very important, what gives us the greatest pleasure is the consistent progress that many of our students make irrespective of their ability, personal circumstances or starting point.”

This statement focuses on two subjects, English and Maths, with an undifferentiated summary leaving the reader to consider the 27% of students who achieved Grades 1-3. Abbs Cross does however acknowledge the existence of those achieving grades 1-3, unlike many other schools.

Bower Park Academy Astonishingly there’s no information about GCSE outcomes for 2020 or any other year. They do however have 27 policy statements. The OFSTED report added nothing to the narrative.

Brittons Academy The 2019 results have 51% of the cohort achieving Grades 1-3 in English and Maths. Grade 4 is normally thought of as a ‘pass’ grade. There are no results for 2020.

Campion School They publish a detailed summary of ‘A’ levels and BTECH. For GCSE there are bald truncated information boxes. The key metric is the GCSE 5+ passes of 77.9%. The 5+ result is useful and shows consistent performances across the curriculum. There are no results for 2020.

Drapers Academy There are three years of comparative statistics laid out in a useful way with the number of entrants stated and the percentage outcome. Explanatory notes guide the reader through what could be a quite confusing set of results. There are no results for 2020.

Emerson Park Academy The website is excellent in its clarity. Not only is there a full display of the GCSE results, which includes 2020, but there’s an interpretation of those statistics. The only thing missing is the number of students for each subject. Maybe it’s overkill but a grade by grade statement would have been useful.

Gaynes School The website remarks, “These results reflect the dedication of the staff and students…[and] The fabulous support of our students from parents, especially over the last few months of their schooling is very much appreciated. It is not an easy time to live with a teenager; the support that has been shown through attendance at revision events and ensuring their children have the right working environment at home has enabled our students to flourish and subsequently celebrate these wonderful results.” This is a wonderful comment on the trauma of the pandemic for all concerned with the progress of the students.

The results statement is truncated and uninformative.

Hall Mead School Astonishingly there’s no information about GCSE outcomes for 2020 or any other year. They do however have 27 policy statements. The most recent GCSE examination results available were for 2017.

Harris Academy, Rainham The website remarks that, “67% of students achieved Grade 4 or above in English and Maths. Another way of putting this is that 33% didn’t pass the two principal subjects. The academy follows an Olympic Gold Medal style of reporting with five high achieving students. Between them they got 49 Grade 9s or 53% of all the Grade 9s the school achieved. There are no results for 2020.

Hornchurch High School Astonishingly there’s no information about GCSE outcomes for 2020 or any other year. Their website directs the reader to the government site which offers very bald summary statements. These are effectively useless to the parent.

Marshalls Park Academy There is a comprehensive list of subjects with the relevant percentage grade for each level apart from Grades 1-3. There is no explanatory note about what the grades mean. There isn’t an indication of how many students would have been entered for each subject. There are no results for 2020.

Redden Court School Astonishingly there’s no information about GCSE outcomes for 2020 or any other year. Their website directs the reader to the government site which offers very bald summary statements. These are effectively useless to the parent.

Royal Liberty School There is a comprehensive list of subjects with the relevant percentage grade for each level apart from Grades 1-3. There isn’t an indication of how many students sat each examination, which matters for Russian for example. They follow the Olympic Gold Medal approach of other schools identifying ten students with stellar achievements. The principal subjects are solid at Grade 4-9.

Sanders School The website is interesting. It has a series of comparators which doesn’t include any specific subject. At the bottom of the page there’s a gated access point where the reader has to request access. Presumably this can be denied. One wonders why access is gated and why, potentially, it can be denied. The gated section lists ten students who gained stellar results, so why they’re gated is incomprehensible. There are no results for 2020.

St Edward’s Church of England Academy They’ve embraced the Olympic Gold Medal approach. Five students had a stellar performance with one featuring in a large jubilant photograph. Examination results are summarised in an incoherent way without any attempt to indicate, for example, how many candidates for Mandarin there were. Mandarin achieved 100% grade 5 -9 but how many candidates: two? Or, a 100? There are no results for 2020.

Discussion Point One

GCSE results can be a diagnostic tool. Praising success is important but these schools are non-selective and significant numbers of students aren’t succeeding. Why? By not publishing results there’s a suggestion that students have failed the school as opposed to being failed by the school.** Schools praise success and claim credit. Who’s responsible for failure? To assist this diagnostic strategy, results should be published in full, grade by grade. This would drive home the results narrative. Being in denial about significant numbers of students is unprofessional.

Discussion Point Two

In 2020, examinations were abandoned and schools awarded their students GCSE grades. There is therefore no reason why any school shouldn’t publish results by October, 2020 (the time of writing). That schools awarded their students the 2020 GCSE grades is also a way of discovering how well teachers think they are doing. Teacher assessment is a matter of self-awareness of their performance giving them a classic opportunity to review the effectiveness of their classroom achievement.

Notes

* The three are Coopers’ Coburn, Frances Bardsley and Sacred Heart

** During the 9th September, 2020 Council meeting, the Leader of the Council, Damian White, blamed his poor education on the failures of both Primary and Secondary schools he attended. Not everyone is as resilient as White and some are permanently damaged by school experiences. See the council webcast at 1 hour 50 mins for his speech https://aisapps.sonicfoundry.com/AuditelScheduler/Player/Index/?id=980fc1ad-8bc8-4ed9-a60c-548e1f6c560b&presID=52e9140a88324a8fa193e7954f87df451d

Sources

All information and data was taken from the current websites of the named schools.

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