St Marks top table in students attempting “traditional” subjects
Education: Secondary / Tue 28th Jan 2014 am31 08:40am
GOVERNMENT figures have revealed that St Marks school tops the table for the number of students signed up for the full complement of “traditional” subjects in Harlow for the 2014 exam diet..
The Ebacc subjects are: English, Maths, a science, a humanities subject and a language.
The push for a return to the more traditional subjects has been backed by the government education minister, Michael Gove who has been concerned about a “rush to the bottom” where students may leave school with 23 GCSE’s but without basic numeracy or literacy skills.
St Marks has entered 78 students (50%) for the full compliment of subjects. Quite a way back but still encouraging is Mark Hall in second place with 56 students (26%). Passmores are third with 38 students (21%).
Some may be surprised that Burnt Mill Academy only has 32 students (16%) entering the full complement especially as their GCSE results are over 20% better than the other schools in Harlow.
Stewards Academy have entered 17 students (9%).
You actually need 2 sciences not just 1 to count towards the Ebacc. The average parent probably only looks at one figure in the government's school league tables - the 5 A*- C including English and Maths. I imagine not many people will look at the other figures published for each school. Burnt Mill for instance, 76% 5 A*-C inc English and Maths, over 20% better than any other Harlow school, on the face of it, excellent. But, as you point out, only 16% of the whole group took all of the 'traditional' (as you call them, academic might be another description) subjects at GCSE level. How can the two figures, 76% and 16% be so disparate? The answer comes in two other stats published on the same page. The first being the average number of GCSE entries per pupil, being 6.4 whilst the second is the average number of all types of qualification entry per pupil which is 13.4 i.e. each pupil takes on average 5 non GCSE exams (BTECs or other equivalents). No disrespect to those attaining BTECs but in my experience when recruiting and perusing prospective candidates' CVs I would always look for GCSE passes and discount BTECs, as did my colleagues. Harsh, but unfortunately a fact of life. So, when schools 'direct' their pupils down the BTEC path rather than the 'traditional' GCSE path do they really have their pupils' future employment or further education prospects in mind or is it about choosing the 'easier', safer type of qualification that will boost the school's figures in the school performance tables?