Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 14°C

Search

Suffolk: More bad news for schools as county appears 142nd out of 151 authorities for GCSE results

09:26 24 January 2013

Graham Newman

Graham Newman

Archant

THE county’s schools were today getting more bad news as new government figures show the county’s high schools have followed primaries down the league table.

They have fallen to 142nd out of 151 local authorities across the country for GCSE results – last year it was 121st. That result caused concern because in 2010 Suffolk was 112th in the league table.

The news comes just a month after it was revealed that the county’s primary schools had fallen to third from bottom of the league table for key stage two (11 plus) SATS.

Officials at the county council said last year’s controversial decision to change the marking of GCSE exam papers hit Suffolk hard because 31 out of 37 schools used the AQA examination board, which –the authority said – was widely believed to have adjusted its grade boundaries most drastically.

However the independent exam board regulator Ofqual found that AQA was not out of line with other examination boards, stating in its August 2012 report: “we did not find anything substantively different here from our review of any other exam board.”

The figures show only 51 per cent of Suffolk pupils achieved 5 A*-C grades including maths and English compared to the national average of 59pc.

While GCSE results were disappointing, A-level results showed an improvement on the previous year.

A statement from the county council said it was committed to helping schools raise attainment levels.

It has allocated additional funding to each school to enable extra revision sessions can be provided for students.

Graham Newman, the county’s cabinet member for education and young people, said: “This summer headteachers and parents were rightly very concerned about the grades being awarded for GCSE English.

“As such I personally wrote to all our local MPs, OFQUAL, and the Parliamentary Select Committee urging them to consider the unfair shift in grade boundaries.

“The inconsistencies in grade boundaries caused a number of students to miss out on job, apprenticeship or further education opportunities as well as causing high levels of anxiety and stress for students and their parents.

“Our A-level results show how the grade boundary alteration has warped how our schools appear in the league tables.

“The same schools that have slipped down the GCSE league tables have done fantastically with their A-level results, where grade boundaries have not been changed at the last minute and quite often the same teachers have been teaching both GCSE and A-level pupils.”

Yesterday, The Star revealed an alarming slump in standards among primary and secondary schools in Ipswich – with the number rated as good or outstanding plummeting by 19 per cent in only four years.

n Are you happy with your children’s school results? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail starletters@archant.co.uk

1 comment

  • What does any of this mean? While everyone scrabbles to avoid being blamed about a lot of pointless league tables the kids are ignored. The prospects for school leavers are dead-end, minimum wage, part-time jobs - unless you've been to public school and Oxbridge in which case it's parliament or banking.

    Report this comment

    skrich

    Thursday, January 24, 2013

Investigations are under way after a man died at a go-karting race circuit.

Strictly Come Dancing officially started at the weekend, with Daisy Lowe now at the top of the leaderboard and Ed Balls at the bottom.

Over recent weeks we have visited schools around Ipswich capturing children enjoying their first days of school.

A 25-year-old woman missing from Felixstowe has been found.

A drug addict has had two allegations of theft dropped against him after the prosecution went over the deadline to bring charges.

A 23-year-old man has been charged after two police officers were taken to hospital for treatment following alleged assaults when they responded to reports of a domestic incident in Stowmarket.

Around 2,000 potentially dangerous manicure products have been intercepted at the Port of Felixstowe.

World-renowned architects are in the shortlist to design the Upper Orwell Crossing in Ipswich, it has been revealed.

For 10 weeks this summer they were part of the furniture in Ipswich town centre, greeting commuters as they arrived at the station, making shoppers smile as they walked around town and bringing out the inner child in us all.

An accounts worker who stole thousands of pounds from an Ipswich building company over two years has been warned she could be given an immediate prison sentence.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

MyDate24 MyPhotos24