A new way of assessing the quality of teaching and learning reveals big differences between Wyre Forest’s secondary schools.
Holy Trinity School in Kidderminster and Bewdley High School sit at the top of the local league table when measured on Progress 8 – a new government assessment tool introduced last year to show how much progress pupils make at high school.
Both schools have “above average” Progress 8 scores, showing their pupils exceeded expected progress between the end of primary school and the end of secondary school, compared to pupils of similar ability.
Both also come top of the class on overall attainment at GCSE.
The measures are based on GCSE results in eight subjects which must include English, maths, science, a language and history or geography, as well as up to three other subjects including a range of vocational qualifications. The adjusted results were published this week.
The first infographic shows each school’s Progress 8 scores. The second infographic shows each schools’s Attainment 8 scores.
The Progress 8 outcomes show that the best performing school in the Wyre Forest district was Holy Trinity School in Kidderminster, where the 31 Year 11 pupils made progress that was well above average. The school’s Progress 8 score was 0.54%.
The school also came top when measured purely on Attainment 8. It scored 57.8 points (the national average is 48.5).
Next best progress performance was at Bewdley High School, where 161 pupils made progress that was above average, scoring 0.20% (above expected progress). The school’s raw attainment score was 53.0.
Wolverley High and King Charles I High both scored close to average, with progress rates measured at 0.13% and 0.16% respectively. King Charles I High scored better of the two when measured purely on attainment, achieving a score of 52.0 over Wolverley High’s score of 50.2.
Stourport High School, rated outstanding by Ofsted, achieved an average progress score of 0.07%, with an attainment score of 50.9.
By comparison, the worst performer in the district is Baxter College, currently in special measures following an Ofsted inspection in 2015. Pupil progress here was measured as below average, at minus 0.29%, while it is the only school in Wyre Forest to have an attainment score (44.6) below the national average.
Previous “league tables” have pitted schools against each other on overall attainment only, which naturally favoured schools with an above average ability intake, often in more prosperous areas. The government was criticised for not comparing similar pupil groups.
The new Progress 8 measure is designed to remove this anomaly, providing parents with the opportunity to see where their child can be expected to achieve at or above expectations in traditional academic subjects, alongside up to three vocational subjects.
Critics argue the new progress measure remains prejudiced against vocational qualifications which have been popular choices for pupils at some schools.
However, the Department of Education says schools have the option of including up to three recognised vocational qualifications in subjects including sport, creative studies, child development, hairdressing, engineering and social care.
A rough guide to the definitions of Attainment 8 and Progress 8 measures and outcomes is available here from the Department of Education.