Kent classroom standards up again despite English exam marking bungle
Kent's GCSE results have improved
by political editor Paul Francis
Classroom standards at Kent's secondary schools have gone
up again, official league tables have shown.
The tables indicate GCSE results have improved yet again,
with students posting another set of record-breaking results.
But amid the good news, the results also appear to show that
last year's dispute over the marking of GCSE English exams may have
adversely affected some secondary schools, with some recording
According to data published by the Department for Education
today, 61% of pupils in the county passed five or more GCSEs
including maths and English - an increase of 2% on the
previous year. The national average was 59%.
In Medway, the number of
pupils achieving five or more GSCE grades A*-C rose
by more than 5% to 61.2%.
Amid the good news, there remains a big gap between the
pupils defined as disadvantaged and those that are not.
For Kent, pupils on free school meals are half as likely to
secure five or more good GCSEs than others.
exam league tables...
The tables do show there has been some improvement in the
performance of poorer children, with 34% passing five or more GCSEs
- an increase of 5% on 2011.
However, at the same time the gap remains broadly the same
as the number of passes achieved by other pupils also went up by
just over 4% to 67% last year.
Fifteen schools failed to meet the government's target of 40% of
children passing the benchmark of five GCSE passes including maths
and English, placing them at risk of intervention and the
possibility of being forced to become academies.
There was less good news on the performance of schools when it
the government's new measure, the English Baccalaureate.
Just more than 20% of pupils achieved the Baccalaureate -
awarded to those who achieve English, maths, a science, foreign
language and a humanity such
as history or geography.
A total of 63 schools saw less than 10% of pupils get the
Baccalaureate, with 20 of those seeing no pupils at all reaching
This new measure introduced by the government two years ago is
to reward schools that offer a broad but academic curriculum.
In Medway, 61% of pupils secured five GCSE passes including
maths, a 3% improvement on the previous year.
secondary school league tables - what's new?
The tables continue to show the number of pupils achieving five
or more GCSEs at grades A* to C including maths and English as the
The tables also include a new indicator known as English
Baccalaureate to measure performance.
This shows the number of pupils achieving five or more GCSEs at
grades A*to C in core subjects. These are English, maths, one
science, one foreign language and one humanity subject.
There is more information about the performance of boys and
girls in this year's tables, aimed at focusing on possible gender
They also carry more detail about how well disadvantaged pupils
are performing compared to others.
This is measured by looking at GCSE passes of those on free
school meals or in care and comparing them with those who are not
The value added measure in the tables is calculated by
comparing each pupil's best eight GCSEs and taking into account
starting points and progress since arriving from primary
A score of 1,000 is the average so everything above that is
regarded as adding value.
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