PUPILS IN A CLASS OF THEIR OWN
Performance tables reveal that Jewish schools are still far ahead of national averages
JEWISH SCHOOLS continue to perform well on a national level in their A-Level and GCSE results, according to the government’s latest round of school league tables.
The results, which were released last week, were based on 2015 national exam scores, and show that all mainstream Jewish schools are out-performing national averages.
At A-Level, while the national average score per student — based on a combination of the number of exams sat and the grades achieved — was 678.8, the community’s nine secondary schools who sat A-Levels received an average of 822.
In top position was JFS in Kenton, the largest Jewish school in Europe. The school had an average point score per A-Level student of 856.1, with 27 per cent of its pupils achieving a top grade — that is, AAB or higher in at least two university-approved subjects.
JFS’ high-achieving sixth formers have already smashed records this year, with an unprecedented 21 students being offered places to study at Oxbridge in September.
Following behind JFS was King David Liverpool, which received an average point score per student of 850 and saw 12 per cent of its students achieve a top grade.
At GCSE, while the UK’s number of pupils gaining at least five GCSEs between grades A* to C, including maths and English, sat at 56.6 per cent, the community’s leading seven state-aided secondary schools had an average 81 per cent of their students achieve the same.
Upholding its position from last year was King David Manchester, with 89 per cent of its students achieving five or more GCSEs, including English and maths, at grade C or above. The school’s chair of governors, Joshua Rowe, said they were “very pleased for the kids. We encourage them along the way but they rise to the challenge.”
Also high-ranking was JCoSS in Barnet in its very first year of receiving GCSE results — and therefore appearing in the national league tables — since it opened in 2010. The school saw 81 per cent of its students attain at least five A* to C grades in subjects including English and maths. It also held a high value-added score of 1030.8.
“We are delighted to take our place among other high-achieving Jewish schools with our very first full set of GCSE results, which put us within the top 7 per cent of all schools nationally, including selective schools,” said JCoSS head Patrick Moriarty.
“We are proud of our combination of academic excellence and rapid progress for all, and proud too to have justified the faith put in us by the parents and students of our pioneering cohorts.”
The value-added mark, listed in the table and given to all state-aided schools, indicates how far above
expectations pupils performed, considering their ability on entry. It is calculated by measuring the progress made by pupils from the end of key stage two to key stage four. Scores above 1,000 represent schools where pupils made more progress than the national average, while marks below 1,000 reveal less progress.
Also shown on our GCSE table is the percentage of students achieving the English Baccalaureate (EBacc), a measure of how many pupils secured a C grade or above across a range of academic subjects, including English, maths, geography or history, sciences and a language.
However, this measure does not account for schools who sat International GCSEs, which carry a mark of zero on the national league tables. The government’s decision to omit IGCSEs and other international alternatives from its rankings has been a consistent source of frustration for many independent and private schools in particular, including Immanuel College in Bushey, who are not fully represented on the performance tables.
For this reason, many schools have expressed their relief that this will be the final year that schools will be judged alone on the basis of their raw GCSE results, and instead next year will be assessed by “Progress 8”. This will measure their progress across eight subjects from primary school to year 11.
Rabbi David Meyer, chief executive of Jewish education agency PaJeS, which helps to co-ordinate the community’s schools, celebrated this year’s national tables.
He said: “The consistently high performance of Jewish schools, and indeed faith schools, is a reflection of a variety of factors, including the important role parents play in the education of their children and the impact a clearly defined school ethos can have on a child’s education.
“These factors are in no way unique to faith schools, but are a common thread across the vast majority of top performing schools.”
Rabbi Meyer added that, while league tables give an impression of a school’s achievements, it is important to take a wider view, and not simply judge a school based on its statistics alone.
“The use of league tables as a way to measure performance of schools has always been controversial,” he said. “Schools do far more than just prepare students for GCSEs, and sadly this element cannot be reflected in tables that only measure assessment data.”
Weare proud tohave justified the faithputinus bytheparents andstudents
JCoSS performed well in its first year of GCSE results