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Braunton principal hits back at ‘crude’ league tables

10:15 05 February 2014

Archant

Braunton Academy’s David Sharratt says the Government’s league table system only tells part of the story and hides schools’ achievements.

THE principal of Braunton Academy has hit back at ‘crude league tables that don’t tell the full story behind the headlines’.

The North Devon Gazette reported last week how half of local secondary schools were performing below the national average for GCSE results, according to the latest league tables.

David Sharratt at Braunton said the tables had no recognition of the entry profiles for schools, the number of boys and girls, their ability, or how much a school used ‘equivalent’ qualifications to GCSEs that were easier for some students to achieve.

He pointed out that in January last year Braunton received a letter from Education Minister David Laws congratulating the Academy on being 16th out of the top 100 best improving schools in the country in terms of five A to C GCSEs, including English and mathematics.

“These are key factors determining school performance in Year 11 and whether the exam board you have chosen for English is ‘forced’ by Government to raise grade C boundaries upwards by 10 marks,” he told the Gazette.

“There are many excellent performance measures by the schools you identify as ‘below average’ that are hidden by these superficial headlines.

“At Braunton Academy our entry profile and ability profile was below the national average for that particular cohort and we had 65 per cent boys in that cohort, who under perform versus girls both nationally and locally.

“In terms of GCSE, for those achieving five A* to C with English and maths the results in 2013 for Braunton Academy were within one per cent of the national average of 53.”

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