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Kent and Medway secondary school league tables released for 2015

By Paul Francis

Offical figures show Kent has the highest number of underperfoming schools in the UK.

Twenty state secondary schools fell below government targets for failing to make sure pupils gained five good GCSE grades or made sufficient progress in English and maths.

These include the Pent Valley Technology College in Folkestone and The North School in Ashford.

The school league tables show broadly similar results to last year. Picture Nick Johnson

The school league tables show broadly similar results to last year. Picture: Nick Johnson

That compares with the second highest, Birmingham - the second largest city in the UK - which had 11 schools classed as under-performing.

The figures indicate there was a slight dip in the number of pupils at the county’s schools achieving five or more GCSEs at grades A* to C, including English and maths, from 58% in 2014 to 57.3% in 2015.

Both Kent and Medway were above the national average of 53.8%.

The results are in for Kent and Medway's schools. Picture Chris Davey

The results are in for Kent and Medway's schools. Picture: Chris Davey

The tables show 30 secondary schools in the county below the government’s so-called floor target for 40% of children to pass five or more GCSEs.

According to the tables, the former Marlowe Academy in Ramsgate was the county’s poorest performing school, with just 6% of pupils passing five or more GCSEs.

However, its fortunes are said to have changed after it merged last year with The Ellington and Hereson School, and was renamed The Royal Harbour Academy.

Among others under the spotlight is Pent Valley, Folkestone, which is earmarked for closure and saw just 15% of pupils make the grade.

The Spires Academy in Canterbury saw 17% of pupils achieving grade A* to C.

As usual, the county’s grammar schools - which take the top 25% of the most able children - fared best with Dartford Grammar School for Boys recording 100% as did Folkestone Girls Grammar.

On the English Baccalaureate measure, regarded as more academically testing, 26.5% of children in Kent reached the government’s benchmark.

Subjects in the Baccalaureate must incorporate English, maths, science, a humanities subject and a language.

The number of poorer students securing five or more good GCSE passes was at 30%, broadly the same as last year.

In Medway, 57.8% of pupils passed five or more GCSEs at grade A* to C.

The government changed the way the GCSE results were recorded in 2014 which has seen many authorities appearing to decline.

Schools are now no longer allowed to incorporate retakes where students achieve a better grade, while a number of vocational subjects which were eligible for inclusion have been scrapped.

The county’s grammar schools also dominated the A level tables, with several, including Dover Grammar School for Boys, Maidstone Grammar School for Girls and Rochester Grammar School, achieving 100% across the board.

This means every single pupil at the school achieved at least three A levels graded between E and A*.

Several of the secondary schools that struggled to meet the GCSE requirements also performed poorly at A level, with the former Marlowe Academy faring particularly badly - only 73% of pupils got an A level graded between E and A*.

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