ANDOVER secondary schools have soared to success in the latest league tables which took in to account new, tougher GCSEs in English and maths.

All Andover-based secondary schools were above the government’s floor standard of -0.5 for the new Progress 8 indicator, which monitors pupil progress made in eight subjects between the end of primary school and their GCSEs.

Winton Academy came out top of local secondary schools with a score of -0.08 from the Department for Education on its Progress 8 score.

Nathan Thomas, Winton Academy headteacher, said: “Winton was very pleased that for the second year running the Progress 8 score for the academy was in line with the national average.

“This is a good measure of a school’s success as it looks at how much progress students have made from the end of KS2 to the end of KS4. 
“Our ambition is to move this from ‘Average’ to ‘Above Average’ over the next few years. 

“The students’ results in English and maths last year were particularly positive with the most encouraging results seen in the outcomes of our most able students. 

“As well as these encouraging progress measures, we were also pleased with the overall attainment of students as the number of students attaining a grade 5 or above in English and maths was above the national average. 

“I am very proud of the progress we have made and the individual students who achieved these results.”

Harrow Way School achieved an ‘Average’ score of -0.12.

Scores of -0.21 for Testbourne School, -0.32 for John Hanson School and -0.4 for The Wellington Academy, rated them all as ‘Below Average’, but still remained above the government’s floor standard.

However two schools were rated as ‘Well Below Average’ though just missed out on achieving the floor standard, with Test Valley School being graded as -0.51 and The Clere School achieving -0.54.

Test Valley School headteacher, Louisa Hiscock, said: “It’s important not to leap too quickly to judgements based on these new headline measures alone as these don’t tell the whole story about any school and what it’s achieving.

“They also don’t fully reflect the hard work and outcomes our individual pupils achieved in 2017. 

“As new performance measures we cannot compare them with previous years but it was in 2016 under the old performance measures we reported record-breaking headline results for our school compared with previous years that were above the national averages. 

“There are many elements which go towards making a school a good school where pupils are supported and given opportunities to achieve in a variety of ways. 

“I believe we are a good school – and Ofsted agreed less than twelve months ago having assessed the progress of our pupils over time.

“This has not changed but nor does it mean we are complacent.

“Our priority continues to be meeting pupils’ needs as fully as possible to enable them to perform to the best of their ability. 

“Our commitment to this is stronger than ever. 

“The DfE confirms that there are factors which can make a difference to a school’s reported average scores. 

“This includes being a small secondary school with smaller year groups where all differences are more significant.

“One or two pupils in a year group can have a greater impact on the school’s average scores because each counts for a higher percentage of the total. 

“We’re not the only small secondary school that has found itself affected negatively under the new measures but it does not therefore mean our pupils are significantly underperforming.

“There has also been the ‘push’ for schools to comply with the English Baccalaureate (a curriculum consisting of GCSEs in English language and literature, mathematics, two sciences, either history or geography and either French or German). 

“At the time pupils reported on in the performance tables were choosing their GCSE subjects in Year 9 we did not make it compulsory to follow the above curriculum fully. 

“All studied the core subjects of English, mathematics and science but we believed that where pupils could choose they should be able to choose subjects that were appropriate for them and for their future aspirations.

“A relatively small number of pupils therefore selected subjects which made them eligible for the full English Baccalaureate. 

“The Attainment 8 and Progress 8 scores for a school are in part calculated on pupils’ grades in these subjects. 

“Consequently, we had a significant number of pupils who did not fulfil this criteria resulting in a negative impact on our Progress 8 score as a school. 

“We will continue to work hard to achieve the best GCSE outcomes for our pupils and continue to address areas we can improve. 

“Whilst the school’s outcomes in the new performance measures aren’t what we would want they don’t fully reflect the results our pupils achieved in 2017.”

The Clere School headteacher Benjamin Bond said: “Although it is disappointing to be labelled an under-achieving school, Progress 8 is only one measure of a school’s success.

“Since I became the new headteacher of The Clere I have focused on raising expectations of all. 

“Of course, the Progress 8 headline reflects only one year group and given the small number in the cohort, alongside several pupils who were educated away from the school, there was an anticipated concern.

"Despite this I was delighted we achieved a record number of good passes in the academic subjects and a fantastic set of top grades.

”This bodes well for the future and our pupils deserve nothing less.

"The performance of other year groups has been widely recognised as good and rapidly improving.

"Our most recent Ofsted inspection bears witness to this and I have been delighted by the response of pupils and staff to these challenges.”

Results for independent schools, such as Rookwood School, were not published.

Hampshire overall was ‘Below Average’ with -0.14 and Wiltshire was slightly higher with -0.12.

Progress 8 takes into account the educational level at which pupils entered secondary school and the results of a pupil’s best eight GCSE results, two of which must be English and maths, which this time were graded 9 to 1.

All other GCSEs are graded under an alphabetical system.

Progress 8 scores:

Winton Academy: -0.08
Harrow Way School: -0.12
Testbourne School: -0.21
John Hanson School: -0.32
The Wellington Academy: -0.4
Test Valley School: -0.51
The Clere School: -0.54