New measure ranks BSCS top secondary in South Gloucestershire

Students at Bradley Stoke Community School, Bristol.

Data released in October 2016 ranks Bradley Stoke Community School (BSCS) as the top school in South Gloucestershire based on a new school performance measure introduced this year. The school scored +0.25, which means that, on average, students achieved a quarter of a grade more than expected in each of their GCSE (or equivalent) qualifications.

Headteacher Steve Moir commented:

“BSCS has always focussed relentlessly on the progress of each individual to achieve their potential so it is no surprise to me that we have performed so well based on this new measure. We all want students to achieve the top grades, however we also work tirelessly to ensure that every young person at BSCS makes the progress we know they are capable of and achieve their potential; it’s heartening to have this recognised.”

BSCS’s partner secondary within the Olympus Trust, Abbeywood Community School (Stoke Gifford), also performed well, with their score placing them very close to the average for all pupils nationally and 7th out of all 21 South Gloucestershire secondary schools.

What’s changed?

For many years all students, academies and schools were measured on how many GCSE’s they achieve at A*-C including English and Mathematics. From 2016 all students and academies are now measured on how much progress students make from when they start in Year 7 to when they complete their exams at the end of Year 11. This is known as Progress 8.

What is Progress 8?

The Progress 8 measure is designed to encourage all students to study a broad and balanced curriculum. The new measure is based on students’ progress measured across eight subjects. Naturally there is a complexity to which subjects count as part of the ‘8’, and certain core subjects are double-weighted to reflect their importance (e.g. English and maths). The school has provided parents with a factsheet that explains more of the detail.

Historically, schools were almost encouraged to focus on students who were on the D/C grade border as the 5A*-C measure was the main piece of data that they were judged on. Schools are now accountable for progress across a broad suite of subjects and for the progress of every individual student, regardless of ability.

A spokesperson for the Olympus Academy Trust commented: “Throughout the term of the current government, many educational reforms introduced by the secretary of state for education have not always been well-received by the teaching profession. However, the proposed introduction of the Progress 8 accountability measure from 2016 appears to have created a general consensus of approval from school leaders.”

Trust CEO Dave Baker added: “We are delighted with the achievement of our students and staff this year, a reflection of their hard work and testament to the outstanding quality of education being delivered at our schools.”

More information and related links:

This article originally appeared in the November 2016 edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine (on page 13). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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