Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 16 September 2014

107 secondary schools miss targets

Statistics show 107 secondaries in England did not reach tough Government targets

Thousands of teenagers are still failing to get good GCSE results after being let down by under-performing schools, new league tables suggest.

Newly published statistics show that 107 secondaries in England did not reach tough Government targets which ministers say are intended to raise standards.

Schools that fail to meet the strict thresholds have been warned they are at risk of closure or being taken over if they do not improve.

The tables also suggest that hundreds of secondaries are failing their poorest pupils. Just a third (33.9%) of teenagers from disadvantaged homes gained at least five C's in their GCSEs last summer, including English and maths, compared to 58.2% of all pupils attending state schools.

And while nearly one in six pupils nationally achieved the Government's new English Baccalaureate, the same was true for only one in 25 poor youngsters, the Department for Education (DfE) said.

To gain the EBacc, pupils must score at least a C in English, maths, science, history or geography and a language at GCSE.

Schools Minister Nick Gibb said: "We should have high expectations for all children regardless of their circumstances. Today's figures reveal a shocking waste of talent in many schools across the country. All too often, pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds aren't given the same opportunities as their peers. But there are great examples of schools achieving the best for their disadvantaged pupils. If they can get it right, then so can all schools.

"Thanks to the introduction of the EBacc, we are opening up opportunities for all pupils to study the core academic subjects that employers and universities demand. And with the Pupil Premium we are specifically targeting funding at disadvantaged pupils, so that schools have the resources they need to make a difference."

The tables show that overall, 107 secondary schools were below the Government's target in 2011. This means that less than 35% of their pupils got at least five C grades at GCSE, including English and maths, and fewer youngsters made two levels of progress between 11 and 16 than the national average in these two core subjects.

The league tables are based on GCSE, as well as A-level results, for 2011.

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