League tables unfair, says head

IPSWICH: A headteacher has criticised league tables for being unfair after his school was ranked second worst in the county for GCSE results.Chantry High head, Andrew Fell, said parents would not be taken in by the latest league tables, which put the Ipswich comprehensive among the 200 worst performing schools in the UK.

IPSWICH: A headteacher has criticised league tables for being unfair after his school was ranked second worst in the county for GCSE results.

Chantry High head, Andrew Fell, said parents would not be taken in by the latest league tables, which put the Ipswich comprehensive among the 200 worst performing schools in the UK.

Mr Fell argued that comparing dissimilar schools in such a way was misleading and did not account for the development of pupils from the time they join high school.

He said: “In terms of value added to pupils and progress children make, we have done comparatively very well.


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“It is unfair not to consider that, and I don't think parents are taken in by league tables which can be unhelpful. It's not all about exam results.”

According to league tables, Orwell High School, in Felixstowe, was the only state school in Suffolk to achieve fewer A* to C grades including English and maths at GCSE, in relation to the number of pupils entered for exams.

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Of 185 eligible entrants, the proportion of candidates getting five A* to C grades or equivalent at Chantry, including English and maths, was 26 per cent.

But Mr Fell defended the 60pc of pupils who gained five A* to C grades in all subjects and pointed to a favourable Ofsted report recently achieved by the school, which accepts pupils from an area ranked among the 10pc most deprived wards in the East of England.

He added: “The benchmark figure achieved by each school is very difficult to compare. We are a fully inclusive school with a broad range of people and abilities. We are proud to meet all of their needs.”

Chantry High is one of 14 schools in the first wave of the Building Schools for the Future programme in Suffolk, which may include up to �23 million for a rebuild.

Mr Fell said: “The debate has moved on, and we are now concerned with taking the school further and looking forward to some exciting changes and new facilities.

“There are significant changes in place at the school and we are well on track to achieving good results.”

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