League tables are ‘unbalanced and inaccurate’

Pupils at Catmose College celebrate their GCSE results. Pictured are Grace Ray and Meghan Foulkes'Photo: submitted ENGEMN00120130823110743

Pupils at Catmose College celebrate their GCSE results. Pictured are Grace Ray and Meghan Foulkes'Photo: submitted ENGEMN00120130823110743

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Headteachers criticise latest Government statistics after key international GCSE qualifications are ignored, leaving them bottom of the leagues

Secondary schools have dismissed the credibility of this year’s Government league tables after certain qualifications were not included in the final statistics.

Pupils who took the international GCSE exam, which is preferred by hundreds of schools nationwide, had their results ignored in the tables released on Thursday last week.

As a result schools that would normally expect to be at the top of the rankings, including several in the Mercury area, were given scores of zero per cent of pupils getting five or more A* to C GCSE grades including English and Maths this year.

Stamford School and Stamford High School, Bourne Grammar School, Oakham School, Uppingham School and Oundle School all received zero grades.

Schools leaders across the area have criticised this year’s tables. Stamford Endowed Schools principal Stephen Roberts said: “We are in the company of many other independent schools in receiving the zero score since our students took IGCSEs in some subjects.

“It is our belief that this is a better qualification than GCSEs and had previously been recognised for these tables. We are disappointed not to have our strong exam results accurately represented and there is a danger that the tables lose credibility rather than the schools.”

Uppingham Community College was ranked second-best school in Rutland in this year’s tables. Principal Jan Turner said: “The changes that were made to many courses part way through the delivery in 2014 mean the league tables give a very unbalanced portrayal of actual student achievement.

“Parents will continue to make up their minds about whether a particular school is right for their child and will not be influenced solely by league tables that do not give a full picture of the school as a whole.”

Standard GCSE results at the former Stamford Queen Eleanor School, which was replaced by Stamford Welland Academy last year, were disappointing with only 35 per cent of pupils achieving five A* to C grades including English and maths.

Stamford Welland principal Anthony Partington said: “These results clearly show that change was needed to improve educational outcomes for pupils – and this was reflected in the Department for Education’s decision for Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust to open a brand new school for Stamford in October 2014.”