Three major Sheffield schools fail to hit GCSE grade targets

Fir Vale School, Sheffield
Fir Vale School, Sheffield

Three of Sheffield’s biggest schools have failed to hit minimum targets on GCSE grades - as pass rates dropped across the city.

Chaucer School, Fir Vale School Academy and Sheffield Springs Academy have all 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.

Springs Academy Sheffield

Springs Academy Sheffield

All three of the schools have academy status, meaning they are independent of Sheffield Council and receive funding directly from the Government.

Four schools in Barnsley, two in Rotherham and two in Doncaster also did not reach the 40 per cent target.

Across Sheffield, the percentage of children getting at least five A* to C grades has fallen to 53.9 per cent, down from 57.3 per cent in 2013.

Controversial Government reforms that have seen resit results and some vocational qualifications removed from performance tables have contributed to the drop in performance.

More than 300 state schools across the country fell below the target in their 2014 results - double the numbers recorded 12 months ago.

The National Union of Headteachers said schools have been ‘tripped up by last-minute changes’ - with those in the most disadvantaged area worst-affected.

General secretary Russell Hobby said: “Data on school performance can be useful if used with caution, but the adverse statistics are due to the Government’s constant changes to league tables and provide no indication of the actual performance of schools over time.

“Secondary schools continue to improve and continue to perform: they have been tripped up by last-minute changes to eligibility and methods of calculation. Many of these changes disproportionately affected schools working with the most disadvantaged students.”

No one from any of the three Sheffield schools, all closed because of snow yesterday, were available for comment.

Chaucer School in Parson Cross was the worst-performing major school in the city, with just 33 per cent of its 174 GCSE pupils achieving five C grades. It had also been below the 40 per cent measure in the 2013 table.

Sheffield Springs Academy in Gleadless, recorded a 36 per cent success rate among its 197 pupils, down from 46 per cent in 2013.

Fir Vale School in Page Hall saw its 53 per cent performance in 2013 drop to a 39 per cent success rate in 2014 for the 152 students who sat their GCSEs last year.

The independent Al-Mahad-Al-Islami School on Industry Road, Darnall, also failed to hit the national target, with only two of its eight pupils who sat their GCSEs getting five Cs or above.

In Rotherham, Clifton Community School and Wingfield Academy did not meet the 40 per cent target, with Mexborough School and Danum Academy in Doncaster also below the benchmark.

Four schools in Barnsley were also failed to achieve the rate last year - Barnsley Academy, Carlton Community College, Dearne Advanced Learning Centre and Shafton Advanced Learning Centre.

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