Havering Sixth Form College is focused entirely on Advanced (A) level studies. It has over 2,000 students and is the principal route to ‘A’ levels in Havering. There are six school sixth forms with outcomes below the national and London average.1 But how does the Sixth Form College do?
Havering Sixth Form College doesn’t make a full presentation of examination results.2 The College’s sole function is teaching ‘A’ level and yet the principal stakeholders are denied critical information.
What is that critical information? If you look at the Addendum you’ll see that the Principal has specifically identified certain subject areas as being especially strong in terms of ‘A’ level outcomes.
What he doesn’t do is specifically identify those subjects which have poor or mediocre examination results. Yet that’s information which prospective students absolutely need if they’re to make informed choices.
“Although most students on A-level courses make the progress expected of them, the variation between different subjects is too great. Leaders and managers recognise the areas of weaker performance and are taking appropriate action to remedy them.”3 (my emphasis)
Avoiding scrutiny of examination results means prospective students are deliberately misled. They deserve better. Six schools provide ‘A’ levels and students who chose the College need to know that it’s superior to their school. This is impossible as there’s no relevant data readily accessible to the students. The transformative significance of choosing an ‘A’ level course means that students should have transparent information. The PR approach to the presentation of examination results by the College is almost criminal.
Addendum: ‘A’ level examination results
“I am delighted to announce fantastic outcomes for our students at Havering Sixth Form in 2019. The A Level pass rate, passes at A* and A, high grades A*-B and grades A-C are all excellent.
- 95% overall pass rate
- 117 students achieved A*-A
- 419 students achieved A*-B
- 876 students achieved A*-C
In addition, 100% pass rates were achieved in many courses with almost all attaining pass rates in excess of 93%.
Students achieved fantastic results on many courses, including facilitating subjects favoured by the Russell Group Universities: Chemistry, Computer Science, English Literature, Spanish, and the arts – Textiles, Photography, Graphics, Architecture & Interior Design and Fine Art.” (my emphasis – is ‘fantastic’ really appropriate in the presentation of examination results remembering it has two meanings?)
Paul Wakeling, Principal
1 See (Public Pack)Agenda Document for Children & Learning Overview & Scrutiny Sub-Committee, 04/03/2021 19:00 (havering.gov.uk) especially p23, Table 10a The chair of the Children’s committee, Judith Holt, was shocked to find out that school sixth forms are mediocre. She’s been chair for three years. What’s she been doing apart from picking up £44,000 in allowances?
2 Only three out of eighteen academy secondary schools publish their GCSE results in full
3 See OFSTED Report Ofsted_2018.200747139 (6).PDF p8