New league tables have revealed a significant divide in the performance of Boston’s two selective schools in their GCSE exams.
Boston High School, in Spilsby Road, was ranked third out of 55 ‘similar schools’ in terms of the proportion of pupils achieving at least five A*-C grades, including English and maths – with 99 per cent achieving that goal in 2013.
Boston Grammar School, in South End, however, was ranked 55th out of 55 ‘similar schools’ on the same measure, with a figure of 88 per cent. It is in a different group of 55 to the high school.
Schools are defined by the Department for Education as ‘similar’ based upon a number of factors including past results. The grouping is meant to give schools a fair chance to demonstrate performance against their peers.
Newly-appointed Boston High School head teacher Andrew Fulbrook said: “These results are truly outstanding and we are delighted to, once again, celebrate the success of our fantastic students.”
At time of press, Boston Grammar School had yet to comment on the results.
Boston’s Haven High Academy, Kirton’s Middlecott School, The Giles Academy, in Old Leake, and Stickney’s William Lovell CofE School and Kirton’s Middlecott School were all ranked 50th or 51st out of 55 in their own leagues.
Donington’s Thomas Cowley High School was ranked 15th out of 55.
The ‘similar schools’ comparison is just one approach to interpreting the figures, however.
Middlecott School was one of only two schools in the area (the other being Thomas Cowley High School) to avoid a drop in the proportion of its pupils achieving at least five A*-C grades at GCSE.
The Edinburgh Drive school, which was placed in special measures by Ofsted in October, saw its figure go unchanged at 38 per cent.
Head teacher Julia Garwood praised staff and students for their hard work since her arrival in April, adding: “We know that results need to go up further and we are working hard to that end.”
At The Giles Academy, 43 per cent of pupils achieved at least five A*-C grades, including English and maths.
The academy stressed its performance in terms of the ‘best eight value added’ figure, which was the highest in the Boston-area and indicates the progress made by pupils.
Haven High Academy, part of the Boston Witham Academies Federation, saw 31 per cent of pupils achieve at least five A*-C grades, including English and maths.
Adrian Reed, executive head of the federation, said: “The ability of cohorts always varies from year to year, hence the volatile nature of league tables. In a town with a growing number of students for whom English is an additional language, what is important is the progress that students make from their different starting points.”
Thomas Cowley High School, which saw the proportion of pupils achieving at least five A*-C grades rise by five per cent to 57 per cent, declined to comment.
There was also no comment from William Lovell CofE School, where the measure fell sharply from 67 per cent to 29 per cent.