Secondary School league tables: How did Yorkshire do?

Secondary school league tables have been released.
Secondary school league tables have been released.

More than a quarter of a million children are being taught at underperforming secondary schools, official figures show.

One in eight of England’s mainstream secondaries - 365 in total - fell below the Government’s minimum standards in 2017, according to new statistics.

This is up from 282 schools, just under one in 10 - the year before.

According to analysis of the data, it means 260,783 schoolchildren are now being taught at underperforming secondaries - about 8.6 per cent, compared to 206,991 - 6.8 per cent in 2016.

In Yorkshire 22 schools fell below the floor target, which equates to 7.6 per cent of secondaries in the region. This is down from last year’s eight per cent.

The highest proportion of underperforming schools were in Doncaster with three schools - 18.8 per cent of its total - however, there were none in Barnsley, Rotherham and York.

Damian Allen, director of people at Doncaster Council, said its scores have fallen less than those at a national and regional level.

He said: “As a council we are committed to improving outcomes for all our children and these results, although not where we want them to be, reflect an improving picture.”

Schools fall below the Government’s performance threshold if pupils fail to make enough progress across eight subjects, with particular weight given to English and maths.

The Department for Education (DfE) said the rise in underperforming schools is because of technical changes to the points system used by government statisticians to calculate a school’s performance.

The national rise comes amid major changes to England’s exams system, including the introduction of a new grading system, which has meant the data includes English and maths GCSE results awarded new 9-1 grades while other subjects received traditional A*-G grades.

School leaders said the new grading system affecting English and maths has complicated the way school performance is calculated, as it has to be worked out using a combination of old and new grading systems.

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), said: “As the DfE itself says in today’s statistics, these changes are the main reason why there has been an increase in the number of schools which are deemed to be below the ‘floor standard’ for Progress 8.

“It is extremely unfair that more schools find themselves in this situation because of complex changes to the way in which this is calculated.

“Our message to the DfE, trust boards, governors and inspectors is to avoid leaping to judgement on the basis of these performance tables. They only tell us a limited amount about the true quality of a school.”

Schools are judged against a measure called Progress 8 which looks at the progress a pupil has made between the end of primary and the end of secondary school, and their results across eight GCSEs compared to their achievement of other youngsters with similar abilities.

A secondary is considered to be below the government’s floor standard if, on average, pupils score half a grade less (-0.5) across eight GCSEs than they would have been expected to compared to pupils of similar abilities nationally.

The DfE insisted that where schools have fallen below the floor standard, the data is “a starting point for a conversation about school improvement.”

Schools Minister Nick Gibb highlighted a narrowing gulf between the results of rich and poor pupils.

“The attainment gap between the most disadvantaged pupils and their peers has narrowed by 10 per cent since 2011 and more disadvantaged pupils are studying the core academic subjects, ensuring they have the knowledge and skills they need to make the most of their lives,” he said.

How did Yorkshire perform?

Yorkshire was above the national average on Progress 8 with a score of 0.03 compared to -0.03.

On the percentage of pupils who achieved grade 5 or above in the 2017 reformed English and maths GCSEs, the Yorkshire average was 45.4 per cent, which is above the national average of 42.6 per cent.

Reformed GCSEs are graded 1 (low) to 9 (high). Grade 5 in the new grading is a similar level of achievement to a high grade C or low grade B in the old grading.

On the measure of Attainment 8, Yorkshire scored an average of 45.4 which is below the national average of 46.3.

North Yorkshire is above the national average for both progress and attainment, ranking it first in the region.

The 22 state-funded mainstream secondary schools in Yorkshire that did not meet the Government's floor standard for performance in 2017:

Queensbury School, Bradford

Hanson School, Bradford

Balby Carr Community Academy, Doncaster

Trinity Academy, Doncaster

Ormiston Maritime Academy, Grimsby

Park Lane Learning Trust, Halifax

Almondbury Community School, Huddersfield

Royds Hall Community School, Huddersfield

Hull College, Kingston-upon-Hull

Leeds City College, Leeds

Swallow Hill Community College, Leeds

The Market Weighton School, Market Weighton

Mexborough Academy, Mexborough

The Freeston Academy, Normanton

Hemsworth Arts and Community Academy, Pontefract

Pudsey Grangefield School, Pudsey

Graham School, Scarborough

George Pindar School, Scarborough

Yewlands Academy, Sheffield

Bradfield School, Sheffield

UTC Sheffield, Sheffield

Chaucer School, Sheffield

The top-performing state-funded mainstream secondary schools from each of the 15 local education authorities area in Yorkshire:

Outwood Academy Carlton, Barnsley

Dixons Trinity Academy, Bradford

Trinity Academy Halifax, Calderdale

Rossington All Saints Academy, Doncaster

Bridlington School, East Riding of Yorkshire

St Mary's College, Hull

BBG Academy, Kirklees

Rodillian Academy, Leeds

Humberston Academy, North East Lincolnshire

South Axeholme Academy, North Lincolnshire

Skipton Girls High School, North Yorkshire

Wickersley School and Sports College, Rotherham

Sheffield Park Academy, Sheffield

Castleford Academy, Wakefield

Archbishop Holgate's School, York

For more on secondary school performance in Leeds visit our sister title the Yorkshire Evening Post here