Re­vealed, schools at top of ta­ble

Glossop Advertiser - - News - Char­lotte Dobson

AUNIQUE com­bi­na­tion of data has been used by our sis­ter pa­per, the M.E.N., to re­veal the top se­condary schools in Greater Manch­ester.

The most up-to-date sta­tis­tics across the re­gion have been used to pro­vide a full pic­ture about ex­actly how well schools per­form – and not just in their exam re­sults.

Data is avail­able for com­par­i­son on ev­ery­thing from pupils’ at­tain­ment and the qual­ity of teach­ing to when a school was last in­spected and its teacher-to-pupil ra­tio.

Un­sur­pris­ingly, Traf­ford’s gram­mar schools dom­i­nate the rank­ings.

And this year Sale Gram­mar School is re­vealed as the best state­funded se­condary in the whole of Greater Manch­ester – knock­ing its neigh­bours in Al­trin­cham off the num­ber one spot.

Lead­ers at Sale pride them­selves in nur­tur­ing stu­dents to be­come well­rounded in­di­vid­u­als.

The co-ed­u­ca­tional se­condary has a visual arts spe­cial­ist sta­tus, while also striv­ing for ex­cel­lent aca­demic re­sults.

Mark Small­wood, who has been head for eight years, said: “Our rank­ing re­flects the hard work of our ded­i­cated staff and fan­tas­tic stu­dents who we get to work with.”

Mr Small­wood said his school aims to have the per­fect balance be­tween ‘tra­di­tion and in­no­va­tion’.

The school and sixth form was rated ‘out­stand­ing’ by Of­sted in 2006, win­ning praise from in­spec­tors for its arts spe­cial­ism ‘per­me­at­ing’ through school life. Teach­ing was said to be ef­fec­tive, with stu­dents re­spond­ing keenly to the ‘high lev­els’ of chal­lenge.

An in­terim visit from Of­sted in 2010 found the school’s high stan­dards had been up­held.

Pupils here en­joy ex­tracur­ric­u­lar success too, both in the arts and sport.

Highlights from this aca­demic year in­clude the un­der-15 girls storm­ing to vic­tory at the na­tional hand­ball cham­pi­onships, and the year eight and 10 boys’ foot­ball teams win­ning their fi­nals, be­com­ing Traf­ford League Cham­pi­ons.

Loreto Gram­mar also comes out as a win­ner in Traf­ford. The all-girls Catholic se­condary prides it­self in nur­tur­ing pupils to be­come well-rounded mem­bers of society. “Our school is about hav­ing the free­dom to be your best self,” ex­plains head Jane Beever.

The best school in the Manch­ester coun­cil area is King David High School, which gets top marks for the stan­dard of ed­u­ca­tion it has main­tained for the past 20 years.

The 800-plus pupil Jewish se­condary, on Ea­ton Road in Crump­sall, was in fact once a fail­ing school. But new lead­er­ship in the mid-90s sig­nalled a turn­ing point. Re­sults and stan­dards dra­mat­i­cally im­proved, ul­ti­mately seal­ing its rep­u­ta­tion as one of the best state-funded sec­on­daries in the coun­try.

King David still tops the na­tional ta­bles for its GCSE re­sults and in 2016 it was rated as ‘out­stand­ing’ by Of­sted.

St Pa­trick’s RC High came out top in Sal­ford for push­ing pupils be­yond ex­pec­ta­tions. The Ec­cles se­condary tops Sal­ford for the fourth year run­ning.

The school has an ex­cel­lent aca­demic record, but it is the progress pupils make that teach­ers are most proud of. Their ‘Progress 8’ score is above the na­tional av­er­age, mean­ing pupils make leaps in their learn­ing from when they ar­rive aged 11.

The school, made up of around 900 pupils, was awarded Arts Col­lege Spe­cial­ist Sta­tus in 2003 and was rated as ‘out­stand­ing’ by Of­sted in 2004. An in­terim visit found the school’s im­pres­sive stan­dards were be­ing up­held.

Chea­dle Hulme High School’s ‘unashamedly aca­demic’ ethos is to thank for its success. The out­stand­ing se­condary is not only the best in Stock­port, but also the most in de­mand. With re­sults con­sis­tently above the na­tional av­er­age, places have been over­sub­scribed for years. It was in the top three per cent of schools na­tion­ally for the ‘Progress 8’ mea­sure, and 40 per cent of exam re­sults last sum­mer were graded a 7/A or above.

A fail­ing school pulled from ‘rock bot­tom’ to out­stand­ing in six years has emerged as the best school in Tameside.

St Damian’s RC Science Col­lege in Ash­ton had been placed in spe­cial mea­sures.

Head­teacher Shel­don Logue took over in 2012, when the school was ‘on its knees’ – but he ef­fected a ‘com­plete change in cul­ture.’

By 2018 St Damian’s topped the Real Schools Guide. ●● LARGEST DIS­PLAY IN THE AREA

Sale Gram­mar School head Mark Small­wood

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