Further to an article in the Bucks Free Press newspaper on 30 January, many parents will be aware that ‘League Tables’ have been criticised this year for being highly misleading. The results of The Highcrest Academy published in League Tables this week are an example of these misleading statistics. The Academy is stated to have 39% of 2014 students achieving 5A*-C grades including English and Maths. In fact, 53.4% of our students achieved this; our best ever results. The National Average for 2014 is also exactly 53.4% and therefore, as this was a secondary modern cohort in a selective area, our results show remarkable value added.
Another section of the official league tables gives progress measures. These progress measures are also based on the misleading information regarding the raw results. Consequently, in a year where our real value added is incredibly high, in the league tables in looks inaccurately low.
How does this discrepancy occur? The results that ‘counted’ in 2014 were changed by the Government. Some well-established courses were removed from the results and, significantly for Highcrest, only the first entry result counts for the school. Therefore, if a student took English and Maths GCSE in November and then improved that result in June, the student was credited with the June result whilst the league table for the academy shows the November result. This change in Government policy occurred a few weeks before the students sat their November exams and therefore the academy took the decision to allow them to sit the exam for which they had revised. The Government figure therefore shows 39% but the results the students actually achieved was 53.4% for 5 A* - C including English and Maths.
The Academy knew these tables would give a low and misleading figure but we had two strong views on this issue:
- We will always act in the best interests of our students (eg, allowing an early entry) regardless of League Tables.
- We believe parents are rightly interested in what our students actually achieved and not statistics selected by Government for other reasons.
S D Moynihan
Public urged to learn how to become foster carers
Are you interested in becoming a foster carer but are unsure of what this involves?
If so, you can come along and find out the facts behind fostering at one of three free information sessions being held across Buckinghamshire.
The sessions will run 7pm - 8.30pm on: January 28 at Royal Latin School, Buckingham, MK18 1AX; January 29 at Aylesbury Grammar School, Aylesbury, HP21 7RP ; February 3 at The Highcrest Academy, High Wycombe, HP13 7NQ.
Foster carers and social workers will be on hand at these events to tell you how the system works and how you can give support to a child in care who desperately needs a home.
“We have more than 400 children in care in Buckinghamshire and it’s essential we find them good homes and supportive foster parents to give them the guidance they so badly need,” said Lin Hazell, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services at Buckinghamshire County Council.
“Fostering is a specialist career choice, where excellent support, brilliant training and a generous allowance will be provided.
“We know there are many, many wonderful caring residents of our county out there who could be perfect foster carers, but they probably don’t realise just how rewarding it is to become one, or perhaps they just don’t know how to get started."
Booking for the three sessions is essential please contact: First Step Team at either email@example.com or on 0800 160 1900
For more information, go to www.buckscc.gov.uk/fostering
Applications are now open for 6th Form and will remain open until Friday 27 March 2015. Any questions or online applications should be emailed to Mr Shaw (Head of Sixth Form) at firstname.lastname@example.org
Missed a Banding Test for 2015 entry? See information in Admissions section. 'Entry for 2015'
Please follow the link for the Banding Test Booking Form.
We have a dedicated telephone number for Attendance Calls. Please phone 01494 893474 to report your child sick or absent.
A copy of the latest edition of Highcrest Highlights can be obtained from the school office.