Two major Sheffield schools miss minimum GCSE grade targets

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Two of Sheffield’s biggest schools have missed minimum targets on GCSE grades.

Chaucer School and Parkwood Academy failed to hit the Government’s benchmark for at least 40 per cent of pupils to get five C grades or above, including English and Maths.

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Both of the schools have academy status, meaning they are independent of Sheffield Council’s control.

Six schools in Doncaster and three in Barnsley also all failed to reach the 40 per cent target for last year’s results - but every school in Rotherham managed to make the grade.

More than 300 school across the country fell below the target for their 2015 GCSE results.

The Department for Education said the number of failing schools had ‘remained stable’ from the 2014 results.

In the 2014 results, the number of failing schools doubled following controversial reforms that saw resit results and some vocational qualifications removed from performance tables.

A spokesman for the DfE said: “The number of schools below the floor standard has also remained stable, following significant changes to performance tables which first came into force last year.

“This government has significantly reformed GCSEs and A levels to ensure pupils leave school with qualifications that are of real value and will set them up to succeed in further study and the world of work.”

The national figures show white working-class boys remain among the lowest-performing group of pupils.

Despite the two failing schools in Sheffield being academies, the Government has said its national programme to expand the number of academies is ‘revolutionising the school system’.

Schools Minister Nick Gibb said: “Today’s results show that thanks to the hard work of teachers and pupils, schools are already responding to this government’s vital reforms - leading to higher standards and transforming young people’s life chances.

“Our Academies programme is revolutionising the school system, with converter academies leading the way and sponsored academies turning round schools which previously would have been left to languish.”

Chaucer School in Parson Cross was the worst-performing major school in the city, with just 26 per cent of its 149 GCSE pupils achieving five C grades. The performance level was worse than the previous year, when 33 per cent of pupils at the school achieved the target.

Parkwood E-Act Academy in Shirecliffe also failed to hit the 40 per cent mark, with just 37 per cent of its 139 GCSE pupils achieving five Cs or above. This was down from a 51 per cent pass rate the previous year.

The independent Al-Mahad-Al-Islami School on Industry Road, Darnall, also failed to hit the national target, with just 28 per cent of its 18 pupils hitting the mark.

But two Sheffield schools that missed the target in 2014 have improved.

Fir Vale School in Page Hall saw its 39 per cent success rate rise to 46 per cent, while Sheffield Springs Academy in Gleadless recorded a rise from 36 per cent to 41 per cent.

The best-performing schools in the city were the independent Birkdale School, with a 95 per cent pass rate, and Sheffield High School, which had a 93 per cent pass rate.

Tapton School in Crosspool, which is an academy, was the best-performing state school in the city, with an 82 per cent success rate.

In Rotherham, all schools surpassed the 40 per cent benchmark - including Clifton Community School and Wingfield Academy which had fallen under the minimum target last year.

But the picture was not as positive in Doncaster, as six schools in the area failed to make the grade, up from two last year.

As previously, Mexborough School and Danum Academy failed to meet the minimum standard.

They were joined by Armthorpe Academy, Ash Hill Academy, Balby Carr Community Academy and Don Valley Academy.

In Barnsley, three schools missed the 40 per cent target - Dearne Advanced Learning Centre, Holy Trinity and Netherwood Advanced Learning Centre.