Controversial Progress 8 system seems to be the new way to evaluate the progress of students in secondary school since it takes into account the improvement made from the moment primary school was left behind. The new system GCSE has also been used for the first time and number 1 to 9 appeared to substitute the traditional A to G grade qualification.
Although ten secondary schools in St Albans were rated below the average performance of the schools in the area, an important group of head teachers believe that Progress 8 system, which is the responsible for giving the schools a position in the tables, does not have the final word about the good results students could finally achieve a GCSE. The only case in which it can be irrefutable evidence of their progress is when the results are considerably better than the marks obtained at leaving primary school.
Results in Maths and other subjects speak for themselves
Grades 1 to 5 have come to replace the A Cone and school authorities find it more useful to provide an average number to reflect real progress at St Albans schools.
Several schools in the obtained a rank above average, group in which St Albans Girls’ School, St George’s School in Harpenden, Loreto School on Hatfield Road and Sandringham School are included after having obtained an average of 0.51, 0.65, 0.72 and 0.85 according to the score provided by Progress 8 system.
Math and English were two of the best-ranked subjects in the evaluation: Loreto School had 65 percent of their students with a grade 5 according to the new system and Sandringham School had a seventy-six percent of grade 5 in English and Math.
Alan Gray claims it has been the well-qualified staff which, working in teams, has helped students to achieve this level of results in their GCSE subjects, such as Math and English.
Not as high as the previous schools, but also have obtained a rating above average are the St Albans schools Verulam, Beaumont, Nicholas Breakspear and Samuel Ryder, as well as Sir John Lawes School and St Albans and Roundwood Park in Harpenden, which have shown that the GCSE can rank highly among their students.
Not all schools in St Albans performed so well
Bad results struck the school of Townsend in High Oaks, which obtained below average results in the GCSE, with only forty-one percent of their students achieving grade 5 in English and Math.
The positive fact about Townsend School is that a ninety-eight of their students continue with the university education or go directly into employment when they finish their secondary school studies.
Andrew Wellbeloved, Townsend’ headmaster, claimed to be aware of the disappointing results, especially after having obtained very good ones in the past years. However, he assures they celebrated optimal results in the area of school withdrawal since only one student of each Year 11 and 13, withdrew school to start working. Nevertheless, he admits the results of his school in the tables are disappointing, although education is not only a matter of high results in exams.