MANY students recorded improved GCSE results this year at schools across Colchester and Tendring, the latest government figures show.

Provisional figures taking into account GCSE exam results have been released, ranking schools across the country.

The data, released by the Department for Education, marks student ability using the Progress 8 and Attainment 8 figures from the latest GCSE results.

Attainment 8 is an average score across eight subjects taken at GCSE.

The Progress 8 figure is reached by measuring the predicted grades of students against their actual Attainment 8 score.

Leading the way were Colchester County High School for Girls, which again topped the table.

The selective girls’ school recorded a Progress 8 score of 1.01 - slightly less than last year’s 1.21 but still well above the national average.

Its Attainment 8 score rose to a record 82, far beyond the Essex average.

Colchester Royal Grammar School also recorded a Progress 8 score well above the national average, but lower than last year’s result at 0.55, with an impressive Attainment 8 score of 79.6.

The Gilberd School led the way when it came to schools with nonselective admissions.

Its Attainment 8 figure rose to 50.6, while its Progress 8 result remained above the national average at 0.31.

Deputy head Amanda Bird said: “16 of our students are now continuing their education at grammar schools which is a credit to their hard work and dedication.

“So many other students also gained superb results often in difficult circumstances.”

Both Brightlingsea’s Colne Community School and College and Thomas, Lord Audley School showed improvement, rising from below average Progress 8 scores to average ratings.

Simon Essex, deputy head at Thomas, Lord Audley School, said: “The Progress 8 score indicates improvements on the previous year and we are particularly pleased with how well students performed in English and Maths.

“My view is obviously the figures are limited in terms of being able to tell how a school is performing overall, as the figures reflect a particular year group within the school that has now left.

“There has been significant improvement this year.

“This figures show we are improving, working harder and achieving more.”

Colchester Academy’s average rating in the Progress 8 category decreased to below average with a -0.32 rating.

It was a similar story at Thurstable School and Sports College in Tiptree, which recorded a below average -0.29 rating.

St Helena School in Colchester and Coggeshall’s Honeywood Community Science School once again fell below the national average with Progress 8 scores of -0.3 and -0.39 respectively although these figures are an improvement on last year. Both schools recorded improved Attainment 8 scores.

In Tendring, Clacton County High School performed well and improved upon last year by recording an above average Progress 8 score of 0.29.

Manningtree High School recorded a below average -0.23 Progress 8 score.

Headteacher Sally Morris said the scope of the figures is too narrow.

“If all students in all schools sat eight qualifying GCSEs, they would indeed be a helpful way of comparing schools but this is not the case. These statistics don’t tell you how well students are doing in those qualifications that aren’t included in this measure.”

She added: “A student that makes great progress in the GCSEs they sit, but perhaps is best served by being entered for fewer GCSEs and doing some vocational courses too, is likely to pull down a school’s overall Progress 8 and Attainment 8 score.

“That student may get exactly what they need out of school and may progress to the right course at college – all key success measures from a school and parent’s perspective – but is likely to get a negative Progress 8 score.

“The best way for parents to compare schools is to visit them.”

Colchester County High School for Girls topped the rankings for Essex in both Progress 8 and Attainment 8 measures.

Executive Principal Gillian Marshall said students should also be commended for attributes not reflected in league tables.

“Our Progress 8 score of 1.01 means students on average achieved a whole GCSE grade higher than they would have been expected to achieve,” she said.

“This is particularly pleasing given students join us already achieving at a high level and provides strong evidence of the value added by the school to the overall academic progress of our students.”

She added: “While we are delighted with the school’s performance in both attainment and progress, the students also deserve to be commended for attributes not reflected in league tables, such as their kindness, support of each other and community spirit.

“It is a pleasure and a privilege to work with them and we thank the students themselves, our parents and governors for their consistent support and our hard working and loyal staff who aim high and always want the very best for all our students.”

Harwich and Dovercourt High School ranked fourth from bottom in Essex and the lowest of schools in Colchester and Tendring.

It recorded a Progress 8 score of -0.71, below the national average and down from last year’s -0.64.

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