Re­sults gap di­vides richer and poorer

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Schools League Tables - By Paul Fran­cis

Po­lit­i­cal Ed­i­tor pfran­cis@thek­m­ Stan­dards at Kent’s sec­ondary schools have gone up yet again, ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cial league ta­bles.

The ta­bles show that GCSE exam passes have im­proved across the county, with stu­dents post­ing another set of record­break­ing re­sults.

But de­spite the im­prov­ing per­for­mance, a gap re­mains be­tween the achieve­ments of dis­ad­van­taged pupils com­pared with oth­ers. Pupils on free school meals in Kent are half as likely to get five or more good GCSEs than those who that are not.

And the re­sults show ev­i­dence of a gen­der gap in the county, mir­ror­ing the na­tional pic­ture, with boys per­form­ing less well than girls by a mar­gin of 10%.

Depart­ment for Ed­u­ca­tion data shows that 63% of stu­dents in Kent passed five or more GCSEs in­clud­ing maths and English at grades A to C - that’s an in­crease of 2% on the pre­vi­ous year and 4% higher than the na­tional av­er­age of 59%. Only one in four pupils achieved the Bac­calau­re­ate, a new mea­sure in­tro­duced by the gov­ern­ment which shows the num­ber of pupils achiev­ing five or more GCSEs which in­clude a sci­ence, lan­guage and a hu­man­i­ties sub­ject.

The num­ber of poorer stu­dents se­cur­ing five or more GCSEs last year in­creased to 36% com­pared with 34% in 2012. At the same time, how­ever, the per­for­mance of other stu­dents also in­creased to 70% from 67% – mean­ing a slight dip

For girls, 68% se­cured five or more good GCSEs com­pared to 58% of boys. The ta­bles also show the progress made in the core sub­jects of maths and English by pupils be­tween Key Stage 2 tests and GCSEs. In Kent, 73% made the ex­pected progress in English and 72% did so in maths.

In Med­way, re­sults plateaued with 61% of stu­dents achiev­ing five or more GCSEs at grades A to C in­clud­ing maths and English last year - the same as 2012.

As in Kent, there was a sig­nif­i­cant gap in the achieve­ments of dis­ad­van­taged pupils and oth­ers.

Of pupils on free school meals, 39% achieved five or more good GCSEs com­pared with 67% of those that were not.

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