Council report reveals Greenwich secondary schools struggle at A level and to help students make progress from 11 to 16

Unfortunately I can’t make the meeting of Greenwich Council’s Children and Young People Panel tomorrow evening (ironically as I am going to a Careers Evening for my son) but I thought I might produce a brief summary for anyone who is interested in how Greenwich schools are doing at secondary level.  I am not doing primary primarily as I am not a teacher of that age group and would not feel confident making comment without attending some sort of briefing to analyse the results (which would be tomorrow’s meeting for most backbench Councillors).

Summary of the Key Stage 4 (GCSE) results

The table below is at the heart of the analysis of the GCSE results for Greenwich schools.

In the report, the Council’s own analysis states:

  • Attainment 8 score remains higher than national and on average Greenwich pupils achieve just over a grade higher across all subjects compared to pupils nationally.
  • The proportion of Greenwich pupils achieving English and maths, English, maths and the English Baccalaureate are all above national.
  • The average Progress 8 score for Greenwich pupils is -0.05 which is down slightly compared to last year but still in line with average national progress.
  • Improving Progress 8 outcomes is a key priority for Greenwich. We recognise that the outcomes for our young people are too low and this needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency.

What all this jargon means is open to debate, but if I was to summarise, it would be that Greenwich students are doing reasonably well compared to the national levels of achievement at GCSE although we are 27th out of 32 London Boroughs.  In terms of the progress our students make between primary school and GCSE (the Progress 8 score) the Council Officers are absolutely right to identify this as a key priority as we below both the London and National averages.

The more detailed look at this suggests that the problems are quite heavily linked to Maths as the national tables state:

Progress 8 by English and Maths Table (Table LA4)

  • English: 9.9 total; London is 10.6; Greenwich is 10.0
  • Maths, 9.0 total; London is 9.5; Greenwich is 8.7

The key problem schools as identified by the Council Officers in their report are The John Roan (which is below the floor standard) and Corelli College (which together with John Roan) is identified as ‘coasting’.  This ‘coasting’ category is of particular interest as only 3.7% of London schools fall into it, 9.6% of schools nationally but according to the national statistics 18.2% of Greenwich schools – so it really is a problem here.

Summary of the Key Stage 5 (A level) results

The table in the Council’s report reveals the depth of the problem for 16 to 18 academic education in Greenwich where our schools lag a long way behind the national and London averages at A level.

The Council’s report summarises this as:

  • A Level performance remains below National and London performance for Average Point Score (APS). On average Greenwich pupils achieve half a grade lower than pupils nationally in each A Level entered.

On the bright side, the technical education is much better and the report accurately states:

  • Performance in Applied General and Technical Level qualifications continues to perform very well in Greenwich. Applied General APS is 4 points above national and 6 above London.

I’ll try to look at some of the other points in more depth over the next few weeks, but if there are any questions anyone would like me to follow up on, please let me know.