Stories + Views
Students with low prior attainment: Inner London comprehensives do best
The DfE has introduced a new key metric in the school league tables published today:
% of pupils with low prior attainment achieving 5+ A*-C or equivalents including A*-C in both English and maths GCSEs
Low prior attainment is, I understand, defined as those leaving primary school with a SATs result below level 4. This is an important figure, as it indicates the real value a school adds to those who have not done well at primary school. The data for local authorities shows that the best performing are those in inner London.
The national average is just 6.5% of students with ‘low prior attainment’ achieving 5% A*-C including English and Maths. Top of the table are Tower Hamlets on 23% and Hackney on 22%. Both are entirely comprehensive with no selection. Hackney does of course have several academies (although only two were included, the others having not reached GCSEs yet) but Tower Hamlets had no academies at all at this point. And the strongest scoring school in the two boroughs is Bethnal Green Technology College (then still a community school) – just ahead of Mossbourne – which converted a staggering 62% of low attainers.
Next comes Southwark on 21%, Lambeth on 20% and then the much-maligned Haringey also on 20%. Outside London the best is Slough on 14%.
How does this compare to the achievement in selective areas? These seem to be below average. Kent achieves just 6% and the well-regarded Trafford is even lower at 5%.
This is from a first look at the data but the message seems clear – the most successful schools in the country, in terms of helping the prior low achievers, are comprehensives in inner London.