Secondary schools at bottom of exam league
Secondary schools in Newmarket and Mildenhall are some of the worst performing in Suffolk, the latest league tables show.
Of the 49 schools in Suffolk to publish last summer’s GCSE results, Newmarket College held the second worst results and Mildenhall College of Technology the fifth worst.
Just 28 per cent of pupils at Newmarket College gained five or more A* to C GCSEs including maths and English, a 17 per cent decrease from the previous year’s result of 45 per cent.
It means Newmarket College is the 34th worst performing state secondary school nationally.
Meanwhile, 34 per cent of pupils at Mildenhall College of Technology gained five or more A* to C GCSEs including maths and English - down 12 per cent from the previous year.
Both schools have fallen below the national average of 59 per cent.
Headteachers from both schools have linked the results to a change in the boundaries between C and D grades in English exams held last summer, which they say left pupils with lower grades than expected.
Dr Bob Cadwalladr, headteacher of Newmarket College, said: “I’m still very angry about what happened in the summer and the impact that had on the young people of Newmarket.
“I’m very angry that we have been put in this situation as a school by somebody changing the rules without even telling us. We want to be a good school for young people in Newmarket, but what happened last summer is getting in the way of that.”
Susan Byles, headteacher of Mildenhall College of Technology, said the change in grade boundaries made a “huge difference” to results.
“At a school like ours where you have a large number of pupils sitting on the C/D border it has had more impact,” said Ms Byles. “It’s a bit unfair to compare this year’s figures with the previous ones when the goalposts were moved so significantly for English.”
Schools are awaiting a decision from a judicial review, held in December at the high court, into the grade boundary change.
There were more positive results across Cambridgeshire, where 61 per cent of Soham Village College pupils achieved five or more A* to C grades including maths and English, just one per cent below last year’s result.
While Bottisham Village College saw a decrease of eight per cent this year from 67 per cent to 59 per cent.
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Saturday 18 May 2013
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