Bennett’s results in 2014 were outstanding, and amongst the best in the region, the publication of this year’s ‘league tables’ reveals. Students achieved outcomes in traditional, high value GCSEs, including English and mathematics, which match the very best in the country. In both subjects 9 out of 10 students made at least the demanding level of progress that the government and Ofsted expect. This is very rare to see in a school which has a full range of students on entry in year 7. Overall, Bennett students make progress in their five years at the school which is in the top 2% of all schools in England. There are approximately 3200 secondary schools in England, so Bennett is in the top 60 schools nationally. That is a remarkable achievement.
There has been much media coverage about whether the league tables are still ‘fair’ or not. The tables are intended for parents first and foremost, so they can understand how well schools perform. Although direct comparisons with previous years are genuinely quite a bit more difficult, because of some changes to the way the numbers are calculated, the fact of the matter is that all schools in this year’s tables are compared with each other in the same way: same rules for everyone. So comparisons of schools can still be made reliably on the basis of how well they performed in 2014.
Bennett’s outstanding outcomes are achieved on the basis of an entirely traditional curriculum. We do not do so-called IGCSEs, sometimes used by schools because they offer a different approach particularly to GCSE English, and we do almost no vocational qualifications (for example BTECs) which have also been used in the past by many schools, and which can deliver higher outcomes for some students. So the data presented in Bennett’s entry in this year’s tables is entirely based on normal, straightforward GCSEs, which, as many will know, have been toughened up under this government so that they compare with the exams in some of our high performing international competitors.
Each year, the Department for Education group schools into groups of 55 schools which have a similar cohort of students on entry. They then rank order each group of 55 schools on the basis of how strong their outcomes are. Bennett, as readers of the DfE website will see, was ranked as number one in its group of 55 schools.
Finally, this year sees the first publication of ‘destinations data’ in the performance tables. The figures show that 81% of Bennett students stay in school sixth form education, almost all to do A Levels, which compares starkly, and very positively, with a national figure of only 37%.
The full data and links to its various subsections can be found here http://www.education.gov.uk/cgi-bin/schools/performance/school.pl?urn=136603
Congratulations to all students and teachers who have made these remarkable achievements possible.