Peterborough headteachers hit out at league tables

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Thursday 2.55pm: Headteachers across Peterborough have hit out at school league tables, claiming the statistics do not reflect pupil’s true achievements.

The school league tables, released two weeks ago, showed Peterborough was in the bottom 20 of 151 local authorities in England and Wales for GCSE results.

Today, the Peterborough Partnership of Secondary Schools (PPSS), a group made of 13 headteachers from secondary schools across the city, hit out at the tables.

A spokesman said: “Last week saw the publication of the national GCSE performance tables, which relate to the 2014 examinations. As this year’s performance tables are being calculated in a very different way to previous years, it is not possible to compare schools’ performance with previous years in a meaningful way.

“Until this year, performance tables have reflected the achievement of students at the end of Year 11. From this year, only a student’s first attempt at a GCSE examination counts towards their school’s standing in the performance tables. In many cases, students went on to finish Year 11 with even better grades than is recorded, where they were given the opportunity to re-sit an examination. As a group of headteachers, we believe that students’ final GCSE examination results are a more accurate reflection of their achievements.

“Progress is increasingly being taken as a significant measure of school effectiveness. This means also taking students’ starting points into account when considering their GCSE results. Many schools in Peterborough show very strong rates of progress, reflecting students’ whole learning journey during their time at school.

“As a partnership of all the state secondary schools in the city, we are committed to working collaboratively with each other and Peterborough City Council to continue to improve standards in Peterborough and maximising opportunities for the children and young people of the city.”

Following the release of the statistics, Peterborough MP Stewart Jackson called for a complete overhaul of learning in Peterborough secondary schools.

But cllr John Holdich, Peterborough City Council cabinet member for education, described the table as ‘a freak set of results.’

The PPSS is made up of Mike Sandeman from Arthur Mellows Village College, Dale Hardy from the City of Peterborough Academy, Helen Price from Hampton College, Pamela Kilbey from Jack Hunt School, Richard Lord from Ken Stimpson Community School, Steve Howard from Nene Park Academy, Dennis Kirwan from Ormiston Bushfield Academy, Claire George from Pupil Referral Service, Ged Rae from Stanground Academy, Sean Hayes from St John Fisher Catholic High School, Darren Ayling from The Kings School, Julie Taylor from Thomas Deacon Academy and Stephen Munday from the Voyager Academy.

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