College results ‘less than acceptable’

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Your recent article about the college overlooks a vital point.

The academic progress made by students.

This year the college announced it’s best ever results 86% A* to C. Is this really the case? Should it be in fact 86% A* to C GCSE or equivalent?

Many of the vocational courses the college offer allow students to gain four GCSE equivalent passes in that subject. Typically they are given less time than their academic counterparts. Recent government changes mean as from next year any school offering these qualifications will see them count as just one GCSE equivalent in the performance tables. This will be evident from 2014 onwards. However for the students they will still count as four.

The more worrying results were five GCSEs grade C or above including Maths and English. This was 54% as printed in the college October newsletter. This has changed very little since 2007.

Bearing in mind that the college has a specialism in Maths I find it less than acceptable. Nearly half of all 16 yr olds in this community are leaving without these basic qualifications. I am sure the county average is significantly higher.

The controversial inspection carried out last year reported that student attainment was broadly average. As someone who has spent most of my working life in teaching and education I was under the impression that students should be encouraged to reach their full potential in all subjects and the school should be judged on this.

Most schools in the country are doing the things reported in your article. Many better, some worse. There was nothing in this article, which suggested that senior leaders were tackling Maths and English performance. In fact, quite the opposite. Clearly the feeling conveyed by your article is that they all are doing a wonderful job.

I was however pleased to see the Head pictured in front of the Einstein Mural. That was painted in 1992 by a group of students led by that great Head of Art Richard Pottas.

From: Chris Gozzard, Ruswarp Lane, Whitby by email