The release of the school-by-school data
for GCSE results using the new Wolf measure makes it possible to produce a table of the top 20 secondary schools in England. This is based on how far they overperform what would be expected of their students (based on those students' age 11 KS2 results):
| ||School||Type||Wolf 5ACEM||Outperform|
|1||St Thomas More Catholic School||Main||83%||40%|
|2||Tauheedul Islam Girls High School||Main||96%||37%|
|3||Harris Academy Chafford Hundred||ACC||92%||31%|
|3||Wembley High Technology College||ACC||88%||31%|
|5||Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Secondary School||Main||89%||30%|
|6||Park View School the Academy of Mathematics and Science||ACC||73%||26%|
|6||Harris Academy Greenwich||AC||78%||26%|
|8||Mossbourne Community Academy||AC||82%||25%|
|10||Greenford High School||Main||78%||24%|
|11||Aston Manor Academy||ACC||61%||23%|
|12||Bentley Wood High School||ACC||77%||22%|
|13||St Michael's Catholic College||Main||85%||21%|
|13||Central Foundation Boys' School||Main||79%||21%|
|15||Preston Muslim Girls High School||Main||87%||20%|
|15||Bolton Muslim Girls School||Main||83%||20%|
|19||St Andrew's Catholic School||Main||82%||19%|
|19||St Michael and All Angels CofE Academy||AC||68%||19%|
(ACC: Converter Academy, AC: Sponsored Academy, Main: Maintained school)
The Wolf 5ACEM measure results from applying the new GCSE benchmark, being introduced in 2014, to last year’s results. So this is 5 GCSE grade A-Cs when most equivalents are no longer included (and, where they are, only for one GCSE) - based on the recommendations of Professor Alison Wolf.
This does not give an argument for or against academies. Both academies and maintained schools are equally represented in the top 20. Also half are religious, half are not.
Park View in 6th Place
One noticeable presence is Park View school in Birmingham. It is again today in the news with the Clarke and Kershaw reports. In the midst of all the controversy it is important to remember that, for its students, Park View was doing damn well. It was the 6th most overperforming school in the country in 2013, just ahead of Mossbourne. It is no wonder that Ofsted previously categorised it as Outstanding.
This list is based on an analysis of all secondary schools in the country. Based on actual results, and a linear regression analysis, a formula was created to estimate the expected 5ACEM (Wolf) for each school based on KS2 results – and then the difference in each school. So, based on Year 6 SATs, 47% of Park View’s students would be expected to get 5 A-Cs (including English and Maths). In fact 73% (26% more) achieved this.
This is not a measure of general value added, for which we must wait for Progress8 measure in 2015. Wolf is still a measure of the % getting C or better. To overperform at this measure, schools must do well at getting students on 4c and below to achieve the 5 A-Cs benchmark. This is important as it could make a huge difference to what those students can go on to study, and on their future work.
Strong Performance for Muslim Girls Schools
Now, personally, I am not a believer in faith schools of any type. Nor am I especially keen on single-sex schools. But I am at heart a data geek and all my analysis to date has been to find out what patterns the data reveals. And here it reveals overperformance by muslim girls’ schools. Of the top 20, three come from this category.
There are only five state secondary muslim girls schools, that had GCSE results last year, in England. All overperformed compared to the expectation described above. And of these five muslim girls schools, no less than three are listed in my top 20 in the country.
Of course this is a small number of schools. And what it may reveal is the kind of social selection that is common in C of E and Catholic schools. All the three muslim girls' schools listed above have a proportion of disadvantaged students that is below the local LA average. But still an interesting result.
The linear regression formula is -1.54 + 0.076 * KS2 APS. A similar analysis has been carried out by Martin Campbell, using a quadratic regression. His formula is = -0.0003 * KS2APS^2 + 0.1110 * KS2APS - 2.2463. See Martin's blog
for his full top twenty, which is remarkably similar - with the same schools making up the top twelve.