Where does your school rank in today’s provisional GCSE league table for Norfolk and Waveney?
PUBLISHED: 16:45 12 October 2017 | UPDATED: 18:28 12 October 2017
Progress pupils in Norfolk make from primary school to their GCSEs now lags behind the national average, a new league table shows.
Provisional GCSE results tables were released yesterday, ranking schools on their Progress 8 score, which measures pupils’ progress from the end primary to end of secondary compared to others with a similar starting point.
Norfolk’s score of -0.05, below the national average of -0.03, puts it joint 77th out of 151 local authorities, just in the bottom half, while Suffolk’s -0.01 puts it joint 64th.
Schools’ scores ranged from 0.89 to -0.74 in our region, with high-performers including East Point Academy, in Lowestoft, and Sheringham High School.
Beccles Free School celebrated a Progress 8 score of 0.46, a figure Graham Watson, director of the Seckford Foundation Free Schools Trust, said they were “incredibly proud” of.
Meanwhile, Great Yarmouth High School - which, with 30pc, had the lowest percentage of pupils achieving a level four or above in English and maths - came in the bottom five for Progress 8, on -0.57.
But the lowest score in Norfolk came from Flegg High School, which, despite recording 62pc in the level four measure, saw a Progress 8 score of -0.74.
Principal Simon Fox said the figure was disappointing, but that measures were in place to see next year’s result improve.
“We are really pleased our basics, English and maths, improved,” he said, “and it allows us to now focus on other areas.”
Mr Fox, who is also cochairman of Norfolk Secondary Education Leaders, added: “The staff have worked fantastically hard, and some of the changes we wanted haven’t come around as quickly as we’d have liked, so it is disappointing, but we’re really clear on what needs to happen.”
Penny Carpenter, chairman of children’s services committee at Norfolk County Council, said Norfolk schools had made “considerable progress”, with the results hovering near the national average.
“However,” she said, “we remain ambitious for all of Norfolk’s children and young people and will continue to challenge and support schools, in partnership with the Regional Schools’ Commissioner, so that all of the county’s students are able to achieve results that compete with some of the highest performing areas of the county and country.”
The final league tables will be released in January 2017, and will take account of the results of exam appeals.
A spokesperson for the Norfolk Secondary Education Leaders said: “Our thanks go to colleagues who work tirelessly in Norfolk schools to support learners of all abilities, and our congratulations to every student who has worked hard, and shown the commitment and determination to do well.
“We must put today’s tables into context of huge systemic changes to GCSEs that have created some uncertainty and unease for schools, staff and students. It would be unwise to make any comparison to results in previous years or consider today’s tables in isolation of the challenges experienced by schools and learners.
“Our focus on improving outcomes for all learners continues. By working collaboratively, Norfolk school leaders continue to build on the progress we’ve made in Norfolk to ensure every learner achieves their full potential.”
Success at south Norfolk academy
A high-performing south Norfolk academy topped the table in what continues to be a remarkable turnaround story.
In June 2013, Hethersett Academy, now run by the Inspiration Trust, was in special measures and had been branded inadequate by Ofsted inspectors.
But less than three years later it had secured the watchdog’s top grade - outstanding.
It is now often found at the top of league tables, and this year secured a Progress 8 score of 0.89, the highest in Norfolk.
It was also in the top five for the percentage of pupils who achieved a level four or above in English, achieving 80pc.
Principal Gareth Stevens said: “I am very proud of the hard work of our students and staff that have led to these results, that are not just the top in Norfolk but in the top 1pc nationally for pupil progress.”
Last year, Hethersett was also the top performing school for Progress 8 in Norfolk, on 0.68.
But trouble in Norwich
Three academies in Norwich have recorded some of the lowest Progress 8 scores in the county.
Open Academy scored -0.69, City Academy Norwich (CAN) -0.6 and Sewell Park Academy -0.59, the second, third and fourth lowest results in Norfolk.
The scores reflect similarly low percentages of pupils achieving level fours and above in English and maths, with CAN achieving 34pc.
Soon after the results were announced in August, it was revealed that the troubled CAN would be transferring from the Transforming Education in Norfolk (TEN) Group to a new sponsor, the Bohunt Education Trust.
On results day, principal Mary Sparrow said she was proud of pupils, who were in the midst of a “turbulent change in education”.
Open Academy has been part of the Diocese of Norwich Education and Academies Trust since 2014, and remains its only secondary school.