MORE than 30 schools in Yorkshire are falling short of minimum GCSE floor targets according to new figures which suggest a quarter of a million pupils nationally are being educated at schools which are failing to make the grade.
Analysis of today’s secondary school league tables shows there are 32 schools in the region which are failing to meet the Governments’ standards and 22 of these are academies.
Around one in ten of the state schools in England failing to meet the expected standard are in Yorkshire. The minimum target for schools is to have 40 per cent of pupils achieving five good GCSEs, including English and maths, and to ensure pupils match the national average level of progress in these two subjects.
Today’s figures present a mixed picture for the Yorkshie region.
The data show schools in two Yorkshire cities remain at the wrong end of the league tables - with less than half of their pupils achieving the benchmark of five A* to C GCSEs including English and maths.
Bradford and Hull are both ranked in the bottom ten nationally in a table measuring the performance of secondary school pupils in 150 local education authority areas across England.
However GCSE results in 11 out of 15 areas improved at GCSE. And in tables measuring A-level performance Kirklees and York were both ranked in the top five and Hull was only just outside the top ten.
The tables, based on data published by the Department for Education, show how pupils fared in every secondary school in the country last summer.
As a region Yorkshire lags behind much of the rest of the country but the new figures do show improvements in GCSE results.
The results for every secondary school in Yorkshire can been found below.
Bradford and Hull’s school performance improved slightly on last year but both remain among the very worst performing areas of the country.
In Bradford 45.5 per cent of pupils achieved the expected benchmark of securing at least five A* to C grades including English and maths.
This was up from 44 per cent a year ago. It was ranked fourth bottom nationally compared with third bottom for the 2014 results.
Hull schools saw 46.7 per cent of students achieve this standard. This moved it up a place in national tables but it still remains in the bottom ten.
Barnsley was the only other area in the region where less than half of pupils achieved five good GCSEs including English and maths - with a score of 49.4 per cent. However this was up on last year and did move the authority out of the bottom ten nationally.
Across Yorkshire the vast majority of areas saw the numbers of pupils achieving the benchmark increase.
The biggest increase was in Leeds where 55.5 per cent of pupils made the grade compared to 51 per cent last year.
Coun Lucinda Yeadon, the executitve member for children and families said: “The results released today show that Leeds continues to improve despite national figures remaining static. Attainment in Leeds has increased by four percentage points compared to 2014 on the key indicator. There has also been an increase in Leeds in pupils achieving the EBacc and this is now in line with national, and above that of our statistical neighbours.
“It was also fantastic to see that twelve schools improved by 10 percentage points or more in the key indicator of 5 A* to C including English and Maths.
“There is of course still room for improvement and we will continue to work with schools to raise standards where necessary.”
Bradford Council’s executive member for education Coun Susan Hinchcliffe said of the city’s results: “We all know that the results last summer in Bradford were not where they needed to be so the league tables published today do not come as a surprise. Although there was a slight improvement in results, it was clear then, as it is now, that progress needs to be accelerated. The key thing is to focus on implementing our school improvement plan with pace. Our plan has been approved by Ofsted and everyone is working really hard to deliver it. Schools are absolutely focused on delivering the necessary improvements as quickly as possible by sharing best practice to drive one another forward with our support.”
Last year’s league tables had seen some secondary schools in Yorkshire suffer sharp drops in GCSE results as exam reforms came into effect.
The figures from 12 months ago were the first time that only a pupil’s first attempt at an exam counted towards a school’s league table score.
Schools were also affected by the removal of some vocational courses from the tables, and the Government preventing any qualification from counting as equivalent to more than one GCSE and capping the number of non-GCSEs counting in performance measures to two.
Last year several head teachers at schools with high proportions of pupils close to the C/D borderline said they had been the hardest hit by the reforms.
However this year the results appear to have been more positive with most areas of the region improving.
Yorkshire’s best performing area for GCSE passes was again York where 63.7 per cent of pupils achieved five good grades including English and maths. It was followed by North Yorkshire, Calderdale, Wakefield and North Lincolnshire.
The tables published this morning also show how pupils did at A-level and other post-16 qualifications.
In a table ranking areas by the average point score per pupil Kirklees is ranked third highest in the country while York is fourth and Hull has finished just outside the top ten.
There is also a separate table showing how pupils have performed in vocational subjects.
North Yorkshire, Wakefield and Calderdale are the highest ranked areas in Yorkshire in this national table.
Nationally more than a quarter of a million children are being educated at schools which fall below the official floor targets. including pupils at three of the Government’s flagship free schools, according to an analysis by the Press Association
New figures show that hundreds of state secondary schools fell below the Government’s floor targets after failing to ensure that enough pupils gained five good GCSE grades and made sufficient progress in English and maths.
Schools Minister Nick Gibb said that the results, based on last summer’s GCSE grades, show how far the nation has come in raising standards, but added that the Government will tackle the “pockets of persistent under-performance”.
Overall, 324 state secondary schools and five further education colleges in England did not meet the minimum benchmarks this year. Of these, 312 failed to ensure that at least 40 per cent of their pupils gained at least five C grades at GCSE, including English and maths, and that students make good enough progress in these two core subjects.
The other 17 schools were among 327 schools that opted in to a new “Progress 8” performance measure, which looks at the progress of pupils across eight subjects and fell below a certain threshold for this target. From next year, all schools will be measured against “Progress 8”.
The Department for Education (DfE) does not publish a list of schools falling below its floor targets but according to the Press Association’s analysis, using the DfE’s methodology for calculating under-performing schools, three of those falling below the benchmark this year were free schools - a key part of Conservative education reforms.
These schools are: Robert Owen Academy in Hereford, Saxmundham Free School in Suffolk and St Michael’s Catholic Secondary School in Camborne, Cornwall. A total of 188 under-performing schools are academies, the analysis shows, while 50 are council-run schools, 45 are foundation schools, 14 are voluntary-aided and the others include university technical colleges, studio schools and further education colleges catering to 14 to 16-year-olds.
A DfE spokesman said that free schools are a key part of the Government’s drive for educational excellence.
“The number of free schools with exam results is still too small to allow robust conclusions to be drawn,” he insisted. “But under-performance at any school is unacceptable, and one of the strengths of the free schools programme is that when we spot failure we can act quickly.”
In total, 250,955 youngsters are being taught in under-performing state secondary schools, the data reveals. This is down from last year, when around 274,351 were in schools considered failing.
The DfE said results that overall academies are “leading the way.”
In a statement they said: “Converter academies – excellent schools which are taking advantage of the freedom academy status brings – are leading the way in strong academic standards, outperforming the national average by 7.2 percentage points, with 64.3 per cent of pupils achieving fove or more A* to C grades including English and maths. Over time we will see the excellence and expertise of these strong sponsors spread as the government continues to expand the academies programme and extending opportunity to all. Sponsored academies – previously underperforming schools which have been taken over by a strong sponsor – are transforming the fortunes of pupils, with a rise in the number of pupils reaching the expected standard compared to last year. Results in sponsored academies open for two academic years have improved by 2.3 percentage points since 2014. This shows the transformation which can occur thanks to the support and expertise of a strong sponsor.”
LEAGUE TABLES IN FULL
THE government has published performance tables for every secondary school. Click the links to view tables for each local authority, from the Department for Education