Eastbourne Academy head defends results

Eastbourne Academy
Eastbourne Academy

EASTBOURNE Academy has the lowest GCSE results, including maths and English, in Sussex according to the latest league table.

The school in Brodrick Road, Hampden Park, had 33 per cent of pupils gain five A* to C grades including maths and English in last year’s GCSE examinations. This is three per cent down on its result in 2010, which was released last year, where it saw a rise from 31 per cent the previous year (2009).

However, Eastbourne Academy’s head teacher Keith Pailthorpe says other figures show the school is improving.

He said, “The Academy recognises people will look at the headline figure (five GCSEs including English and maths); we know this needs to be higher and are working to ensure this happens. To be fair, 90 per cent of our students got at least five good GCSEs, although not with both English and maths.

“Parents might also like to judge the Academy by how much progress students make during the time they are here. This is called Value Added and it is also in the league tables so people can see for themselves how much ‘value’ a school adds to the children it teaches.

“If you click on that heading you will see that Eastbourne Academy jumps to third highest in the county. We know parents will judge a school on a lot of measures, such as whether students behave themselves properly, show respect and become good citizens.

“You only have to ask our parents to know that on all these measures the Academy is moving in the right direction; we are not complacent and will move heaven and earth to get the best we can for our students.”

Hailsham Community College and Ratton School were the only state schools in the area to improve on last year’s figures with Hailsham jumping two per cent and Ratton celebrating a five per cent increase.

Willingdon Community School stayed at 66 per cent, which is the highest figure for the town’s state schools.

The results are confusing for some of the town’s independent schools with anomalies such as one per cent for Eastbourne College’s 2010 result.

An Eastbourne College spokesperson explained, “The performance data for Eastbourne College as produced by the Department for Education contains a number of serious anomalies and does not present a true picture of the high level of exam success achieved.

“While the government calculations are far from transparent, it is clear some of the statistics they have published for Eastbourne College are incorrect.

“The number of pupils who took GCSEs was 119, yet the government performance tables suggest there were 126. Also, the percentage of College pupils that achieved five A* to G grade GCSE or equivalent was 100 per cent, not 94 per cent as listed in the government tables.

“Additionally, published performance figures have been adversely affected by the government decision to exclude some combinations of subjects taught at the College.

“An example is the exclusion of religious studies or classical civilisation from the list of humanities subjects that form part of the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) – the government only recognises history or geography.

“Eastbourne College continues to offer some non-accredited subjects as we believe they are more rigorous courses of study that better prepare pupils for A level.”

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EAST SUSSEX SCHOOLS LEAGUE TABLE

The Causeway - A135 B57% C59%

Cavendish - A196 B59% C62%

Eastbourne Academy - A144 B33% C36%*

Eastbourne College - A126 B90% C1%

Hailsham Community College - A198 B60% C58%

Moira House Girls School - A27 B67% C86%

Ratton - A241 B59% C54%

St Bede’s School - A196 B67% C9%

Willingdon Community School - A184 B66% C66%

* 2010 result is for Eastbourne Technology

College which became Eastbourne Academy

Key

A - Number of pupils eligible for GSCE and equivalent qualifications. This is defined as the number of pupils at the end of Key Stage 4, which usually means all pupils in Year 11.

B - Proportion of candidates getting five A* to C grades at GCSE, including English and maths, in 2011

C - Proportion of candidates getting five A* to C grades at GCSE, including English and maths, in 2010