School league tables show divide in Comet country

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LEAGUE tables published by the Government have revealed a divide between secondary schools in Comet country.

Secondary schools in Stevenage faired lower than any other schools in the area in terms of GCSE results in 2012.

The lowest-performing school in Comet country, with 41 per cent of pupils achieving grades A*-C in five GCSE – or equivalent qualifications – including maths and English, was Thomas Alleyne School in Stevenage. Five of the six secondary schools in the town came out with less than 50 per cent of pupils achieving these grades.

The top school in the area was independent St Francis College in Letchworth GC with 96 per cent, with all schools outside of Stevenage achieving at least 56 per cent.

Marriotts School in Stevenage faired the lowest in the average number of points per pupil taking AS/A-level or equivalent qualifications with 599.5, while St Francis College came out top with 1001.8. An A-level grade A* scores 300 points, for instance, and a grade C scores 210 points.

Stevenage MP, Stephen McPartland, said: “There’s been a real problem in the town and that’s resulted in five of the six secondary school heads moving on. They have to change some of the ways the lessons are taught.”

He added: “There are good and outstanding primary schools and we have got to make sure that the secondary schools get up to good and outstanding.”

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Richard Westergreen-Thorne, development officer for the Stevenage Educational Trust, said: “League tables give a good indication of school performances, but what people should keep in mind is that they do not give a full picture of a school and its achievements.”

He said factors such as socio-economic backgrounds, education before a pupil gets to the school, and A-level entry levels all contribute to the final league table result.

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