Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 10°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

An apprentice mechanic from Ipswich who is driving for gender equality in the workplace has won national recognition for her talent.

A disabled man from Ipswich has spoken of his heartbreak after Christmas presents he bought for his friends and family were stolen from his flat.

A drone pilot has offered a rare glimpse of Felixstowe Pier’s offshore promenade.

Water has been leaking from an underground pipe for weeks at Ipswich railway station – but there’s no agreement on who is responsible for it or on when it will be repaired.

Two teenagers were arrested in police drug raids at two addresses in Pelican Close, Ipswich, this morning.

A man arrested on suspicion of attempted murder following a shooting in Ipswich has been bailed by police.

A young girl was taken to hospital after she was knocked over by a van today.

The police hunt for missing RAF gunner Corrie McKeague has been labelled “incompetent” by his mother, as an online campaign has raised more than £15,000 to hire a private investigator.

Distraction thieves are targeting victims in Suffolk by asking for directions and then stealing their purse.

Whether it’s a Santa Claus pug or a hamster dressed as an elf, we want to see it in your Santa Paws pictures

Most read

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

MyDate24 MyPhotos24