IGCSES and League Tables

Posted: 8th February 2018

At Surbiton High School, we pride ourselves on tailoring the education we offer for each child; central to that is a broad selection of subjects to ensure the best fit for each individual. Our combined selection of IGCSEs and GCSEs delivers a contemporary curriculum and breadth of opportunity. IGCSEs have been carefully selected for Maths and Modern Foreign Languages as they offer a more rigorous course and provide superior preparation for A-level study.

Should this matter to you as a parent? You can rest assured that we are collaborating with you about the best pathway decisions for all our pupils. Sadly, this bespoke approach does not fit the Government’s League Tables and appears to have a negative impact since IGCSEs are no longer recognised by them. League tables, based purely on attainment, must carry a health warning as they can be misleading, in many cases simply confirming how academically selective a school is at Year 7 entry.

To highlight this point, we noted the recent report in the local press (based on the Attainment 8 score at GCSE, which provides pupils’ average scores by school, across 8 subjects, including English and Maths). Surbiton High School’s score of 57.5 ranks us alongside Richard Challoner School (57.9), The Holy Cross School 57.5 and Coombe Girls’ School (56).

However, what is crucially missing from the analysis is that it does not take account of any results for our Maths, Spanish, German and French IGCSEs; Government data measures now exclude these.

Our IGCSE Maths results alone from last year, where Year 11 girls achieved 49.7% A* and 31% A grade, shows that the inclusion of this subject alone would actually place our Attainment 8 score at 73.1, hot on the heels of the much more academically selective Tiffin Boys’ (76.7). The GCSE grades in the table below are no longer eligible for inclusion in the Attainment 8 measure. We leave you to draw your own conclusions:

The most comprehensive and telling Government-driven data gauge for comparison are Progress Scores, much more readily comparable at A-level. These provide the value-added progress made between the end of Key Stage 4 and the end of Key Stage 5, compared to pupils across England, who got similar results at the end of Key Stage 4 (GCSE). Surbiton High scores ‘well above average’ at 0.49 and is placed well above all other local independent and grammar schools, as noted in the table below. We are also pleased to report that this figure accurately reflects our own nationally standardised value-added progress data. Our commitment to bespoke curriculum pathways and exceptional teaching and learning, underpinned by our Charter for Happiness and Wellbeing, continues to be the main driver for the outstanding achievement of our students at A-level.

A-level performance at the end of 16 to 18 in 2017 – all students*

Taken from the Government website www.compare-school-performance-search-gov

As a School, we are extremely proud of achieving our best ever GCSE results in 2017, with 40% A* and 77% at A* – A and 95% at A* – B. Our A-levels were also the best in our history, with a 100% pass rate and almost a third of all A-level grades being awarded at A* with 90% at A*-B. However, we remain proudest of our outstanding progress measures: our pupils make progress and achieve, as individuals, far better qualifications than might be expected at all other schools locally.

Silas Edmonds

Head of Senior School

Categories: Exams Whole School