Two schools underperforming as league tables are announced

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Two Crawley secondary schools have been deemed underperforming in the latest league tables results.

Of the six state secondary schools in the area two fell below the government benchmark for students attaining five GCSEs at grades A*-C, including English and Maths, whilst three improved on their previous year’s results.

Both Thomas Bennett Community College and Ifield Community College (ICC) fell below the 40 per cent mark of student achieving five GCSEs A*-C grades.

The data, released last Thursday, is measured on results achieved by pupils at GCSE level over the past year.

Thomas Bennett saw 31 per cent of pupils achieve five GCSEs at grades A*-C, a substantial drop compared to the 52 per cent the year before.

Pauline Montalto, headteacher, said: “The changes that have been implemented in 2013/2014 have had an impact across all types of schools and it means that it is not possible to make direct comparisons between 2013/2014 and earlier years.

“However, at Thomas Bennett Community College we achieved a number of very good sets of results at GCSE and A-level. We are rightly proud of the progress which students make whilst they are with us, particularly in English, where progress is outstanding and well above national targets.”

ICC was also below the 40 per cent mark with 35 per cent of pupils achieving five GCSEs between A*-C, down from 43 per cent the previous year.

Rob Corbett,principal, said: “I have been in post since September and we have worked very hard to move the college forward; improving the offer for students, the quality of teaching, behaviour in classrooms and communication with parents.

“Last summer’s results were disappointing and we are determined to make a significant improvement this year – targeting 50 per cent.

“All the early data suggests that we are on track for this though all schools are aware that in recent years there can be very late changes that affect outcomes, in my view very unfairly. We want the absolute best for all our Y11 students who are working really hard and are a joy to be around.”

St Wilfrids Catholic Comprehensive School also saw a drop on the previous years tally with 55 per cent of pupils achieving five A*-C grades compared to 63 per cent the year before. The headteacher was unavailable for comment.

Holy Trinity saw a huge leap in their results with 71 per cent of pupils achieving five GCSEs A*-C compared to the 48 per cent in 2013.

Paul Kennedy, headteacher, said: “I am delighted with the results and our place in the league tables. I also know we need to take league tables with a pinch of salt! It is, however, great recognition of the wonderful achievements of our young people and the hard work and dedication of staff and parents. It shows the progress we have all made and shows how well Crawley students have done when compared to the rest of the county and indeed the country as a whole.

“This is only one measure of a school’s success and we always take every opportunity to celebrate what our students achieve.”

Oriel High School also saw an improvement. Philip Stack, headteacher, said: “We were pleased without GCSE results given that the national picture reflects a drop in the headline figure. The league tables produced by the DfE show us as 58% with 5+A*-C with English and maths, but that is based upon the first entry results for our students when in fact the final figure representing our students’ true achievements is 61%. Our students worked extremely hard and I am very proud of them and many of our subject areas produced their best set of results to date which reflects the hard work and dedication of our staff as well as the tremendous efforts made by our students. The results also reflect the strong partnership that we have with our parents as their support is also key to the success for our students.”

Hazelwick School’s results saw a rise from 56 per cent to 60 per cent achieving five A*-C grades over the past 12 months. The headteacher was unavailable for comment.