Greenwich GCSE results a ‘mixed bag’

Greenwich’s GCSE results reveal a mixed picture for summer 2014, with the general 5A*to C including English and Maths measure falling 6% on the previous year, while the more academic English Baccalaureate rose by 2% to a record 25.6%. 

Caption: 
Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Education

The importance of Conservative reforms to the exam league tables was made clear in this year’s results, as the English Baccalaureate rose from 10.1% in 2010 to 25.6% in 2014.  This focus on a more academic range of subjects means that a quarter of Greenwich school students now complete a curriculum designed to help their entry to and success at university.  The change in focus of the curriculum is most marked in Greenwich at St Ursula’s Convent School where in 2010 25% of students passed the English Baccalaureate, but now 65% achieve the same level.

The picture on the more general 5A* to C including English and Maths was less rosy, with substantial falls compared to the previous year at Eltham Hill (-27%), Harris Academy Greenwich (-15%), The John Roan (-12%) and Thomas Tallis (-13%).  In all of these schools except The John Roan, this drop appears to be linked to a fall in the pass rate for Maths which was substantially greater than the national average.  However, the fall within Greenwich appears to be less than that across the whole of England and the Borough remains above the national average on both GCSE measures.

Leader of Greenwich Conservatives and Eltham Parliamentary candidate Cllr Spencer Drury (who also happens to be a teacher locally) said “I think the reforms introduced by Michael Gove were a real challenge for teachers.  They challenged the way we think and the way we do things, but in Greenwich they have been an outstanding success.  The Conservative reforms have helped schools focus on providing a more academic curriculum for students and raised Greenwich from below the national average at GCSE to above it.  Although this year’s results were a mixed bag, the improvement since 2010 has been substantial and students and teachers should be proud of their achievements.”

“I can only hope that these GCSE results feed through into better A level results, as currently Greenwich still lags far behind the national average on this measure and progress has been less marked (from 35% A* to B in 2010 to 40% in 2014).”

“Of course the bigger picture is that the fast expanding population across our Borough represents a real challenge for the Council and schools.  More places and more schools are needed and the Council should be facilitating this increase in provision more actively.”