Welcome to the first Head Teacher blog posting...

TGS and the tables

The Department for Education published their School Performance Tables last week (23rd January 2014). The performance tables are helpful in offering a benchmark for comparative performance although, of course, any set of statistical measures has its limitations and statistics alone cannot provide a full picture of the success of any school or the opportunities offered to its students. Neither can it give an insight into the stories of endeavour and personal achievement that sit behind the statistics. Health warning aside, I thought it would be interesting to offer a summary of how Tonbridge Grammar School has fared in the performance tables.    

  • At I/GCSE the measure used in the tables placed us 20th in the top 100 schools where schools are ranked by the % of entries at A* - C in English and Maths and then listed by the average point score per student;

  • In the Daily Telegraph listing specifically of 'Selective State Schools' we were ranked 24 out of all selective schools in the country (based on the % of entries at A* - C then the % of entries at A* - A). 

These rankings, of course, don’t take account of the different number of I/GCSE subjects that students study – which varies between schools.  The capped achievement statistics for schools offers a better direct comparator as this calculation is limited to the ‘best 8’ I/GCSE results per school.

  • TGS fared very well on the ‘best 8’ measure with an average capped point score of 445.4 (higher than similar schools locally). 

  • Performance in the DfE progress measure for schools was particularly strong.  100% of students made expected progress in English and Maths with a phenomenal 93% making more than expected progress.  As TGS students study IGCSE English and Maths this is a particularly significant achievement given the additional challenge of the IGCSE courses.

  • The ‘best 8’ value added measure (capped best 8 I/GCSE’s) indicates progress beyond that generally expected of any students nationally achieved by students at that particular school.  The tables show that TGS has the highest value added of all similar schools locally (1035.7) as well as being significantly higher than the national average. 

  • It is also worth noting that the ‘best 8’ value added progress measure, which has always been very strong, has increased steadily over time from 1030.2 in 2011 to 1033.3 in 2012 to 1035.7 in 2013.

In the official DfE Performance Tables the % of students reported as successfully meeting the EBacc performance measure is 0%. Unfortunately the DfE does not include our AQA IGCSE Science course in the list of EBacc accredited subjects currently. Had the Science IGCSE courses been accredited then our EBacc measure would have been 92%; The Daily Telegraph reported this anomaly in a recent news article 'anger as top schools plummet'.

The Key Stage 5 Performance Tables are a little more difficult to read for comparison as 52% of the 2013 cohort studied the Diploma and 48% A level. This means that it is not straightforward to compare our 2013 performance directly to the performance of either an exclusively IB sixth form or an all A level sixth form either.

  • The average point score (combined A level and IB Diploma) was 1089.7.

  • TGS was ranked 58th in the Daily Telegraph tables using a combined A level and IB Diploma average point score.

  • The TGS academic valued added measure is 0.17 and demonstrates that we are adding real value to the achievement of our students.

Postscript - Update on University Applications 2014

We have been delighted with progress in the cycle for university entry this year. 42% of our Oxbridge applicants were successful in receiving an offer from either Oxford or Cambridge for a wide variety of courses including Medicine, Biological Science, Chemistry, Classics, Languages, Computer Science, Human Social and Political Science, Theology, Psychology and Philosophy. In addition, many of our students are holding excellent offers from prestigious universities such as Exeter, Durham and Nottingham and one student has secured a place at Smith College in the United States. We are looking forward to hearing more good news for our students as the cycle continues to unfold. Offers range from 24 to 42 IB points, showing the breadth of courses and institutions that the IB attracts.