The newly released school league tables have shown a decline in Milton Keynes students getting five or more A* – Cs in their GCSEs.
Of the city’s 11 secondary schools, just one saw its results improve in 2014, that was The Webber Independent School which saw pass rates of 73 per cent compared to 70 per cent in 2013.
The Radcliffe School saw its results drop from 59 per cent to 39 per cent, and previously high-flying Denbigh School which achieved 80 per cent in 2013, fell to 63 per cent this year.
But Samantha Pancheri, Green Party Spokesperson for Schools and candidate for Milton Keynes South, claims this does not show the true picture of how schools in the city are performing.
She said: “Parents, teachers and pupils are no doubt alarmed by the publication of the Department for Education school performance tables, which appear to illustrate a drastic decline in the pass rate of GCSEs. However, upon closer inspection, this reveals a much deeper problem with this method of measuring school performance.
“By constantly changing criteria and failing to take into account the hard work done by school staff to compensate for the difficulties faced by disadvantaged pupils, these tables undermine the true picture of how our schools are performing. Schools who fail to meet the government’s baseline targets are at risk of being forced to become academies, which have been exposed as making no difference to school improvement targets and at best fulfill the government’s ideology of marketising our public services.
“There is a well observed relationship between child poverty and lower educational achievement, which we should be taking further steps to redress rather than ranking schools in such a crude and unhelpful manner. It is increasingly evident that the current system of measuring school performance is outdated, and an alternative is urgently needed. Schools need to be able to work collaboratively with locally based assessors, and put an end to the ineffective and expensive Ofsted culture.”
List of Milton Keynes secondary schools and the percentage of students achieving five or more A* – C GCSEs (or equivalent) including English and Maths in 2014:
Denbigh School Academy – 63 per cent
Elizabeth Woodville School – 51 per cent
Hazeley Academy – 68 per cent
Milton Keynes Academy – 43 per cent
Oakgrove School – 62 per cent
Ousedale School – 65 per cent
Radcliffe School – 39 per cent
Shenley Brook End School – 53 per cent
Stantonbury Campus – 41 per cent
St Paul’s Catholic School – 49 per cent
Walton High Academy – 53 per cent
Webber Independent School – 73 per cent