Millais and Tanbridge shine in county’s GCSE league table

Jeremy Hunt SUS-150106-171911001
Jeremy Hunt SUS-150106-171911001

A Horsham school has finished top of the table in West Sussex for GCSE results.

The 83 per cent pass rate scored by the Millais School, in Depot Road, was the best out of the 37 schools whose data was recorded and also saw it rank 211th nationally out of 3,076 schools.

JPCT 190314 S14120905x Tanbridge House School, Horsham. Head, Jules White -photo by Steve Cobb SUS-140319-112802001

JPCT 190314 S14120905x Tanbridge House School, Horsham. Head, Jules White -photo by Steve Cobb SUS-140319-112802001

The new tables, which show the percentage of students who earned five or more A*-C grades at GCSE or equivalent, including English and maths, were published by the Department for Education last week.

Tanbridge House School, in Farthings Hill, was not far behind Millais, placing fifth with a 75 per cent pass rate, while The Weald School, in Billingshurst, Forest School, in Comptons Lane, and Steyning Grammar School, came 13th, 14th and 15th, with 65, 64 and 63 per cent respectively.

All five schools performed well above the national average pass rate of 56.1 per cent for state funded schools and the West Sussex average pass rate of 59.4 per cent.

The tables, which show the provisional results, will be finalised in January. The provisional pass rate for West Sussex had built itself back up to the 2013 level, having dropped to 57.6 per cent in 2014.

All of our young people in KS4 are a credit to the county and should be proud of themselves

Jeremy Hunt, cabinet member for education and skills

Jeremy Hunt, West Sussex County Council’s cabinet member for education and skills, described the results as ‘excellent news’ for the county, the schools and the students.

Mr Hunt said West Sussex was now ranked 38th out of 151 authorities nationally, up 28 places on last year, and had risen from 15th to 9th out of 34 Shire counties.

He added: “These figures clearly show the significant improvements our schools and pupils have made, and how the hard work and dedication of our students, their teachers and all school staff is helping to improve the outcomes for the young people of West Sussex.

“I also want to congratulate those young people who, whilst not necessarily achieving the top grades, gained good results and personally achieved or exceeded the grades there were hoping for.

“All of our young people in KS4 are a credit to the county and should be proud of themselves.”

With students entering secondary school with varying levels of academic ability, some headteachers said they felt GCSE league tables were not the fairest way to judge a child’s achievement.

From 2016, a new system called Progress 8 will come into play which will essentially compare the achievements of students who started secondary school with the same attainment level, giving a clearer view of the progress they made during secondary school.

Despite his school’s high GCSE results, Jules White, headteacher at Tanbridge House, said he was a supporter of Progress 8.

Mr White said: “We really need a fairer system and it continually needs to be refined. It’s often more straightforward to make progress with youngsters who come in and are more able than those who have to struggle from the start.”

He added: “In the broader school provision, what’s really good is West Sussex have gone up in the league tables. Provision is good given the abject lack of funding.”

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