Schools ‘could do better’ in GCSE English and maths

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IMPROVING but could do better - that was the verdict on the GCSE performance of Doncaster’s secondary schools.

The latest league tables published showed only a slight improvement in 2012 compared to 2011.

Last year the percentage of 16-year-olds who passed at least five A* to C-grades at GCSE and equivalent qualifications, including English and maths, was 54.7 in Doncaster schools.

That was only 0.3 per cent higher than 2011 and the borough’s education chiefs said they had hoped for a ‘more significant’ improvement.

But officials said it was still a major step up from three years ago when only 43 per cent of Doncaster students achieved the standard.

The biggest improvement was at Balby Carr which recorded a score of 48 per cent.

Doncaster Council’s director of the Children and Young People’s Service, Chris Pratt, said: “We are pleased there was a further improvement in 2012 and that since 2009 a 12 percentage points increase. We would have hoped for a more significant improvement in 2012 and continue work with Doncaster schools and Academies to actively support improvements even further.”

Martin Craig, headteacher of Balby Carr Community Sports College, said: “The results reflect the hard work and self-belief of our excellent students and families and the care and passion of the teachers and adults who work tirelessly to provide the best teaching and learning possible.

“We know there is more to do, we will never be complacent, and we are confident that we will continue to improve our headline results because we will continue to focus on improving the quality of our teaching and learning and providing outstanding experiences that our students enjoy and value.

Mr Craig added: “I can honestly say it is an absolute privilege to be the headteacher at Balby Carr.”

The Doncaster school with the highest number of pupils achieving a A* to C GCSE grades, including English and maths was Hayfield School with 79 percent.
Next was Hungerhill with 74 per cent followed by Hall Cross Academy and McAuley Catholic High School with 69 percent achieving the top grades. 
Ridgewood School and Rossington All Saints school achieved an A* to C pass rate of 64 percent.

The pass rate at other Doncaster schools in descending order is as follows: 57 per cent at Trinity Academy, 56 percent at Outwood Academy, 53 per cent at both Campsmount School and Don Valley High School, 48 per cent at Balby Carr Community Sports College, 44 percent at Mexborough School and Ash Hill Academy, 42 per cent at Sir Thomas Wharton Academy, 40 percent at Armthorpe Academy, 39 percent at Danum School, 29 percent at Da Warenne Academy .

Locally, Danum School in Armthorpe Road and Leger Way , Doncaster, and De Warrene in Conisbrough, failed to reach the national target set by the Government. 
Nationally, 195 English schools teaching 167,000 children are falling below the 40 per cent floor target. 
It means the number of secondaries deemed to be falling has almost doubled in a year, which is likely to further accelerate the already rapid transformation of schools into academies.