Mixed fortunes in league tables as one south Essex school named in ‘underperforming’ list

A SECONDARY school has been named one of 300 nationwide which are underperforming.

Futures College, in Southend, fell below the new Progress 8 score, a new benchmark measurement used to track pupils’ predicted progress when they first arrive at the school compared to their actual grades.

Progress 8 measures the progress made by pupils from primary school to secondary school across eight qualifications.

A school is considered below standard if their score is below -0.5, while a score between 0 and -0.5 means the school is below the national average. A score above 0 means pupils in this school on average do better at KS4 (GCSEs) than the national average.

Futures College’s average Progress 8 score was just -0.96.

The college did not respond to the Echo’s requests for a comment before going to print.

On Canvey, Castle View School received a Progress 8 score of just -0.41 , while Cornelius Vermuyden School had a Progress 8 score of -0.11.

Another school which was disappointed with its results was Basildon Upper Academies, which got a Progress 8 score of -0.44.

But headteacher Gary Smith believes the new measurement fails to address all of the progress made by his pupils and is pleased with their improvement since last year.

He said: “In terms of the Progress 8 measure it measures a certain combination of subjects but doesn’t take all of the subjects they study into account.

“One of the other measures they use is the English and maths cross overview, and there we have improved by 15 per cent and that was one of our core aims this year.

“I think we have done really good job in addressing that.

“Sixty-seven per cent of our pupils left with a higher grade in English and 54 per cent got A* to B grades in their English GCSE and our maths results improved by seven per cent.

“We are an improving school and in terms of Progress 8 our figures from last year have improved by 0.3 and we are confident that will go up next summer, too.”

However, some schools were delighted with their results, including the James Hornsby School, in Laindon.

The school had a Progress 8 score of 0.26 and Southend High School for Girls, which had a Progress 8 score of 0.22.

Westcliff High School for Boys managed to achieve one of the highest scores in the Southend Borough, with a Progress 8 score of 0.66.

Headteacher Mike Skelly said he was thrilled with the performance.

He added: “We are very pleased.

“I think, like all of these things, it is a testament to the hard work of the students, of the teachers and of the parents who support us as well and it is very nice that this is reflected in the results.”

However, he added: “These kinds of league tables only reward certain aspects of education and there are other things that we, and indeed other schools, do very well that aren’t always reflected in the figures.

“The Progress 8 measure is reasonable to use but it does have its limitations.

“You can run into trouble by missing things and only focusing on one aspect but it is new and we will have to see how it goes.”


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