Academies see twice the increase of maintained schools at GCSE

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New figures reveal that academies' GCSE results have improved by more than twice the level of other maintained schools.
 
The provisional GCSE results for 2011 show that:

  • in academies the percentage of pupils achieving 5 or more GCSEs including English and maths rose from 40.6 per cent to 45.9 per cent, an increase of 5.3 percentage points
  • in all maintained schools the percentage of pupils achieving 5 or more GCSEs including English and maths rose from 55.2 per cent to 57.8 per cent, an increase of 2.6 percentage points.

The statistic for academies is based on the 166 sponsored academies with results in both 2010 and 2011. Their performance is particularly impressive as these academies replaced historically underperforming schools in deprived areas.
 
Schools Minister Nick Gibb said: "The Government believes that teachers and head teachers know best how to run schools. Academy status gives professionals the freedom they need to do their job and the figures show that that autonomy works. Academies continue to outperform the national average, completely transforming previously under-performing schools serving some of the most deprived communities."

The results also show that just a fifth of pupils studied the core academic subjects that make up the English Baccalaureate (EBacc). Only one in six pupils managed to secure good grades in a combination of English, maths, a language, history or geography, and two sciences.
 
The provisional GCSE results for 2011 show that:

  • only 22.7 per cent of all pupils were entered for a combination of subjects that could lead to the EBacc – last year it was 22.0 per cent
  • just 16.5 per cent of all pupils achieved the EBacc – last year it was 15.6 per cent

Research recently published by the Department showed the huge positive impact the EBacc is having on future GCSE choices. Since its introduction, 47 per cent of pupils taking GCSEs in 2013 are now studying a combination of EBacc subjects.
 
The researched showed that, compared to entries in 2010, there is an increase in the percentage of pupils taking GCSEs in the EBacc subjects in 2013 by:

  • 26 per cent in history
  • 28 per cent in geography
  • 22 per cent in languages
  • 82 per cent in triple science.

The provisional GCSE and A Level results for 2011 also show that:

  • the overall number of five GCSE (or iGCSE or equivalent) passes at A* to C including English and mathematics for all pupils has increased this year by 4.8 percentage points to 58.3 per cent –  in state funded schools there was a 2.6 percentage point rise to 57.8 per cent
  • 71.0 per cent of pupils made the expected level of progress in English between Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 4, with 64.2 per cent of pupils doing so in maths
  • 92.7 per cent of pupils achieved passes equivalent to at least two A Levels, down from 94.8 per cent the previous year.

Schools Minister Nick Gibb said: "It is a scandal that four-fifths of our 16-year-olds did not take the core academic GCSEs that universities and employers demand – when far more are capable of doing so.

"Parents across the country rightly expect that their child will receive a broad and balanced education that includes English, maths, science, a language and history or geography. Sadly, all too often it is the pupils from the poorest backgrounds who are denied this opportunity. Last year, only four per cent of children from poorer backgrounds achieved the English Baccalaureate GCSEs, compared to 17 per cent of their peers."

School Leadership Today
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