Third of pupils must resit core subjects as borough’s top schools are revealed

Pupils compare their GCSE results. Picture: Paul Bennett

Pupils compare their GCSE results. Picture: Paul Bennett - Credit: Archant

More than a third of 16-year-olds in Newham failed to pass both their English and maths GCSEs this year.

Department for Education figures show that 35 per cent of pupils sitting their exams this summer didn’t reach the required passing grade in the two core subjects.

Those 1,297 students are now facing compulsory resits in June next year.

A total of 3,749 students took their GCSEs this year. Most of the exams are now graded on a 1-9 scale under the new system.

A pass grade, previously a C, is now a 4, with the top score of 9 reflecting the need for a grade higher than the previous A*.

The government has defined a grade 5 as a strong pass, which would fall between a B and a C in the old system.

Girls in Newham were more successful than boys, with 68pc of girls achieving a grade 4 or above in English and maths compared with 63pc of boys.

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The gap narrowed at grade 5 and above, with 48pc of girls getting a strong pass compared with 44pc of boys.

The Association of School and College Leaders, an education union, said that publishing how many pupils achieved a strong pass is “an extremely confusing message for young people, their parents and employers”.

General secretary Geoff Barton said: “The result is that many young people will have felt deflated and uncertain after taking this summer’s exams, despite having worked their hardest.”

Pupil attainment at GCSE level and individual pupils’ progress since starting secondary schools also form part of the school ranking system.

GCSE students in Newham had overall attainment scores that were slightly worse than the scores of other students in London, but above the national average.

Progress 8 scores show that a typical GCSE student from the area did better than other pupils in England who started secondary school with similar results at Key Stage 2.

A Progress 8 score of 0 means that pupils are on par with their peers, while a score of +1 means pupils at a school achieve one grade higher than similar pupils nationally, and a score of -1 means they score one grade lower.

Brampton Manor Academy saw pupils make the best progress of all secondary schools in Newham, with a score of 1.15 being considered well above average.

Three other schools were in the top category for progress - Forest Gate Community School, which had a score of 1, Plashet School with a score of 0.81 and Sarah Bonnell School with 0.59.

Six other schools - School 21, Langdon Academy, Little Ilford School, Chobham Academy, St Angela’s Ursuline School and Lister Community School - were ranked as making above average progress.

Only two schools in Newham made below average progress - Royal Docks Academy and Cumberland School.

A Newham Council spokeswoman said: “The borough’s Year 11 pupils have performed well above the national average in the new English literature, English language and mathematics GCSE qualifications despite this being the second year that the government has introduced new tests.

“Every year thousands of children across the country will have to resit their English and maths exams and this situation is not unique to this borough.

“It is a funding requirement for colleges, sixth forms and schools that students resit these qualifications if they do not have a grade 4 (or C) already.

“Educational institutions can have their funding cut if they do not meet this requirement.”

The DfE said that its reforms were ensuring rising standards.

School standards minister Nick Gibb said: “This is a testament to the hard work of pupils and our teachers, who rose to the challenge of our reformed GCSEs and A-levels this summer.

“These new qualifications will ensure pupils have the knowledge and skills they need for future success, and that every child is able to realise their full potential.”