Progress 8: How are schools faring in Stevenage and North Herts?
PUBLISHED: 08:25 27 October 2017 | UPDATED: 10:49 01 November 2017
The latest provisional secondary school performance results are a mixed bag in Stevenage and North Herts - so we've had a look at which scored top marks and which need to shape up.
The Department for Education results are provisional scores for the overall performance of pupils at the end of Key Stage 4, and the first figures released since pupils sat reformed GCSEs.
In the exams, which pupils sat at the end of the 2016-17 academic year, English language, English literature and maths were graded on a 9 to 1 scale instead of A*-G.
Progress 8 is a relative measure which aims to capture progress of each pupil from the end of primary school to the completion of their secondary school studies. It’s measured on a scale, with scores around 0 being considered average.
Schools get a score based on how well pupils have performed in up to eight qualifications, which include English, maths, three English Baccalaureate qualifications out of the sciences, computer science, history, geography and languages, and three other additional approved qualifications.
In the latest figures, Hitchin Girls’ School performed the third-best in the county for progress, with its students scoring the school a 0.8 – deemed ‘well above average’ by the Department for Education.
About 12 per cent of the schools in England have an above-average score, and about 40 per cent are ‘average’.
Hitchin Girls’ School headteacher Frances Manning said: “The Progress 8 score for the school shows that our students achieved outcomes on average of more than three quarters of a grade, in each of their subjects, above those nationally.
“I am exceptionally pleased that our students have achieved such great outcomes again this year and send congratulations to the students and sincere thanks to their teachers, supporting staff and you as parents who work so hard to provide the very best outcomes for all our students.”
John Henry Newman Catholic School in Stevenage also did better than average with 0.23. According to the DfE, this makes them one of about 18 per cent of schools to have an ‘above average’ score.
The Thomas Alleyne Academy’s results were ‘below average’ with -0.41. Headteacher Mark Lewis has praised his staff and students for adapting to the changes.
He said: “Thomas Alleyne Academy has seen improvements across the board in our GCSE results this year.
“Our results demonstrate how well the incredible staff, students and community at Thomas Alleyne’s have responded to the changes in the GCSE system this year.
“We’re particularly proud of our students’ performance in the newly reformed English and mathematics GCSEs. The number of students achieving a grade 5 and above in English and maths was above national average and reflects the huge progress we have made as a school in recent years.”
Nearing the bottom of the Herts schools list, Stevenage’s Barnwell and Barclay schools both scored -0.52, making them two of about 12 per cent of schools in England that are ‘well below average’.
On Barclay’s score, headteacher Mark Allchorn said he is very pleased with pupils’ results this year but may have to look at the types of subjects covered in the curriculum and how that affects the new calculations.
For Hertfordshire as a whole the picture was better, with an above-average Progress 8 score of 0.5 – about which Herts County Council’s cabinet member for education Terry Douris was pleased.
He said: “Although the results are only provisional at this point, we are delighted that children in Hertfordshire have achieved above the national average in 2017 in all of the key indicators.
“Our provisional Progress 8 score – one of the new accountability measures introduced last year – is also above the national average, once again reflecting the hard work of pupils and teachers throughout the county.
“Hertfordshire has some of the best schools and education facilities in the UK. It is a priority for the county council to make sure that our young people get the best possible start in life, and these results show that we are continuing to do that.”