Education chiefs have defended the academy system in Peterborough despite the city’s secondary schools falling below the national average for progress and attainment.
Secondary schools are now measured by the progress pupils make during their time at the school in eight subjects – a mark known as ‘Progress 8’. Overall Peterborough scored -0.2 in this measure compared with a national average of -0.02.
For Attainment 8 – the actual grades pupils score aged 16 – Peterborough scored 42 compared to an average across England of 44.5. Nine of the 12 schools in the table are academies.
In December it was revealed Peterborough primary schools are also falling below the nation expected standards in progress and attainment.
When asked if academies were working in the city, Jonathan Lewis, director of education for Peterborough City Council, said: “Yes they are and we are working with them to help achieve this. Equally the academy CEO’s have formed a group (of which the LA is a part) to develop better outcomes.
“Headteachers and principals accept that there are issues with both attainment and progress which need to be resolved and we have set up working groups to drive improvement.”
Addressing the overall position, Mr Lewis said: “We are not in the position we want to be in, we should be higher and we will continue to work closely with schools, children and partners to achieve this.”
Cllr Lynne Ayres, city council cabinet member for education, said: “First of all, I would like to say a big well done to every young person across Peterborough who has earned their exam results, for many it will be a welcome culmination of many months of hard work.
“I would also like to thank teachers, leaders and governors for their hard work and support.
“GCSEs are an important part of a young person’s education and I’d like to wish all students the very best for the future as they look ahead and make decisions about their next steps.
“At a time when the exams are getting harder and it is more difficult to achieve higher grades, this is a good achievement by Peterborough schools.”
North West Cambridgeshire MP Shailesh Vara said: “A number of schools have made significant improvements this year for which they should be commended.
“Below average is not where we want to be however and our local children deserve much better.
“Where outcomes are poor, those responsible for education including Peterborough City Council, governors, teacher and school leaders, must ask serious questions and seek solutions as to the way forward.”
The Peterborough Telegraph contacted Peterborough MP Fiona Onasanya about the issue before she was sentenced. We received no response.