TOUGHER government targets have seen several schools in the Observer area suffer a drop in GCSE pass rates in 2014, according to figures released yesterday (January 29).
Results are calculated as the percentage of those achieving five or more A* to C grades, including maths and English.
The biggest drop in real terms was for Midhurst Rother College, which went from 65 per cent in 2013 to 35 per cent in 2014 – less than the minimum 40 per cent ‘floor target’ required by the Department of Education.
However, independent school Seaford College has ended up with just a one-per-cent pass rate compared to 64 per cent last year. This is because IGCSEs are not being included in this year’s figures for the first time.
The school said if IGCSE’s were included, its percentage would have risen to 75 per cent, compared to 64 per cent in 2013.
The big success stories were in Bognor Regis, where The Regis School went from a 37 per cent figure in 2013 to 46 per cent in 2014.
Meanwhile the Ormiston Six Villages Academy, formerly Westergate Community School, rose from 47 per cent to 55 per cent.
In Chichester, both the high schools dropped, with Chichester High School for Boys going from 66 per cent to 51 per cent and Chichester High School for Girls going from 74 per cent to 63 per cent.
Both the schools are run by The Kemnal Academies Trust, which also runs The Academy, Selsey, where staff also suffered a disappointing year.
While they celebrated a rise in 2013, from 41 per cent in 2012 up to 51 per cent, this year has seen the figure drop below 2012’s, down to 38 per cent.
However, Bishop Luffa saw a rise from 75 per cent in 2013 to 79 per cent in 2014.
The drop follows a shake-up of the exam system introduced by the government, with this the first year the changes are reflected in the results.
Pupils can no longer resit exams under the new regime and a number of vocational subjects can no longer be included in the pass percentage.
The national average for state-funded schools achieving the required pass rate was 56.6 per cent, with the West Sussex rate slightly higher at 57.6 per cent.
The overall drop in results means an increasing number of schools could be classed as ‘failing’ and are therefore more likely to be taken over by academies, if they have not already been.
Here is a round-up of the remaining schools in the Observer area:
- The Arabesque School of Performing Arts had an 86 per cent pass rate, based in Quarry Lane, Chichester, compared to 29 per cent in 2012. The figures for 2013 were not available.
- The Bourne Community College saw a slight drop from 58 per cent in 2013 to 54 per cent in 2014, however, this is still an improvement on the 2012 figure of 45 per cent.
- Felpham Community College dropped to 50 per cent this year from 60 per cent last year. However, this is still above the 42 per cent recorded in 2012.
- Lavant House saw a drop from 79 per cent in 2013 to 65 per cent in 2014. However, the latest figure is identical to its pass rate in 2012.
- St Philip Howard Catholic High School achieved a 72-per-cent pass rate this year, compared to 78 per cent in 2013.
- The Weald School rose from 68 per cent to 69 per cent.