New performance measures see mixed results for Corby, Kettering, Wellingborough and East Northants schools

Sir Christopher Hatton Academy executive principal Victoria Bishop and pupils celebrate last year's outstanding Ofsted report
Sir Christopher Hatton Academy executive principal Victoria Bishop and pupils celebrate last year's outstanding Ofsted report

A new measure of how our schools are performing has shown that while some are above the national average, others fall way below what is expected.

Secondary schools are now ranked by the Department for Education according to how well pupils have progressed between the end of primary school and the end of secondary school.

This progress is measured by assessing exam results in English, maths and other subjects including sciencs, history, geography and languages and is called the Progress 8 score.

Achieving a good Progress 8 score does not necessarily equate to good GCSE results – it just reflects how much a set of pupils have improved by between Year 7 and Year 11.

Under this new measure, Sir Christopher Hatton Academy in Wellingborough is the highest performing school in Northamptonshire.

Executive principal of the school, and CEO of the Sir Christopher Hatton Academy/Hatton Academies Trust, Victoria Bishop said: “We are delighted that the performance tables confirm our Outstanding Ofsted in March 2016 and shows that we are not only the highest performing school within Wellingborough but also across the whole of Northamptonshire.

“This is a testament to the hard work of the students and the staff and I would like to thank them all for their commitment and focus in ensuring our children have the best possible outcomes and life chances.”

Other schools which were ranked as above average include Southfield School for Girls, Kettering, Brooke Weston Academy, Corby, Weavers Academy, Wellingborough, and Bishop Stopford School, Kettering.

Eight schools are considered to be below average, with two, Kettering Science Academy and Rushden Academy, officially well below the national average.

New principal at Rushden Academy Mark Stenton said: “While GCSE passes rose significantly last year at Rushden, every child needs to make good progress.

“We are fully committed to making Rushden an excellent school as quickly as possible – and huge strides have already been made – with every child needing to make good or better progress.

“We have a strategic plan to achieve this, a strong team to deliver it and will monitor progress forensically to make sure that all of our students achieve.

“We know already from parent, staff and student feedback that they are feeling the difference in a culture and ethos based on positive discipline, which is a pre-requisite for excellent learning.”

A statement from the Brooke Weston Trsut, which runs both Kettering Science Academy and Corby Business Academy, said: “We are very pleased with the improvements in English and mathematics attainment that Kettering Science Academy have achieved this year.

“While the progress 8 measure is below national average, the priority for us throughout last year was to secure tangible improvements in the core areas of attainment in English and mathematics. Having now achieved this, the academy is well positioned to secure improvements in the progress 8 measure in the coming year.

“Corby Business Academy has once again made improvements in overall attainment, but the published Progress 8 figure of -0.25 only tells part of the story.

“The academy is very proud of the highly successful unit provision for SEN students which it runs, but it accepts the published figures are always depressed by its unique context.

“The need for a separate set of figures to be shared for comparative purposes has been recognised, and as a result the progress 8 figure adjusted to take into account the impact of the unit provision students is -0.11, placing close to the national average.”

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