Author, columnist and co-founder of the West London Free School Toby Young believes the latest league table results are a vindication for Michael Gove’s education policies. This is from the Telegraph…
There’s good news for the Government in the school league tables published today. Yes, more English secondary schools are deemed to be “failing” – 195 based on last summer’s GCSE results, compared to 107 based on results in 2011. But that’s because the Department for Education has raised the floor target. Last year, a school was said to be failing if fewer than 35 per cent of its pupils got five or more GCSEs at grade C or above including Maths and English in 2011, whereas this year the threshold for 2012 exam results has been raised to 40 per cent. Had the same floor applied this year, the number of failing schools would have increased to 251 – which supports Michael Gove’s view that introducing tougher floor targets raises standards.
But the really good news is that sponsored academies are improving at an above average rate – the proportion of pupils getting five good GCSEs rose by 3.1 per cent in sponsored academies, compared to 0.6 per cent nationally.
“These figures are further evidence of the great success of the academy programme in turning around our weakest schools – sponsored academies are improving their GCSE results five times faster than other schools,” says a DfE spokesman.
That’s a vindication of Gove’s policy of encouraging academy chains to take over struggling schools.