Scores just above national average
THERE were mixed results for Kent secondary schools in the latest set of league tables for tests taken by 14year-olds in English, maths and science. The publication of the Key Stage 3 results for 2006 show there was a slight improvement overall in the average point score for schools in Kent, but a dip in the number of pupils reaching the expected standard in English. According to the tables, 72 per cent of pupils taking the tests reached the expected standard of Level Five in English, a fall of three per cent on the previous year. In maths, 76 per cent of pupils reached Level Five, a rise of one per cent on 2005 and just short of the national average of 77 per cent. In science, there was a one per cent rise in the number of pupils achieving the Level Five to 72 per cent, in line with the national average. That gave Kent schools an average point score per pupil of 35.3 compared with the national average of 35. The tables have become accepted as an indicator of how well pupils are likely to do when it comes to the GCSE exams. The gap between the county’s selective grammar schools and non-selective schools was marked. The county’s 33 grammar schools dominated the top of the tables, recording both the highest point scores and showing that they were better at adding value to pupils’ progress between the age of 11 and 14. Twenty-nine secondary schools, including some non-selective ones, were among those ranked as some of the best in the county, based on valueadded scores. At the other end, nearly 30 schools failed to achieve a 50 per cent pass rate at Level Five in one or more of the core subjects while the value-added scores for six placed them among the 25 per cent of the country’s poorest performing. The Government has set a target for all schools to achieve a 50 per cent pass rate at Level Five in all three subjects by 2008.