Royal Grammar School

Newcastle

The Madness of Exam League Tables!

The Madness of Exam League Tables!

It’s happened again! When the government releases its 2014 GCSE performance tables on Thursday, the RGS will list zero students achieving five good passes including English and Maths (similarly with the English Baccalaureate).

Why? Because in 2014 the government decided to de-list the school’s chosen International GCSE course for English. It was good enough for them the year before: but this year it isn’t. 

The school’s no stranger to such controversy. Last year the IGCSE maths course we chose wasn’t accepted. All this occurs against a backdrop of the previous Education Secretary, Michael Gove, wanting to give every school the opportunity to choose IGCSE instead of GCSE, if they preferred those courses. But now government wants to force its own schools back into line, making them adopt its new beefed-up GCSE courses – even though universities (all of them) and employers still recognise the qualification.

Headmaster Dr Bernard Trafford commented:

“It’s a madness, but a madness we can live with. Parents know that to attribute such a score to the RGS is nonsense, and I can say that without risking accusations of arrogance. Parents can always see the real figures by checking our website, or looking at other newspaper tables that don’t follow the government’s curious rules. Actually, it proves how dangerous and misleading league tables can be. I advise parents to go for the real figures provided by individual schools!

“Besides, the RGS has much more exciting things to think about, particularly looking forward. January is the time when those ambitious students applying for Oxford and Cambridge get the results of their pre-Christmas interviews. 17 candidates have received offers from those two top universities (subject to gaining stratospheric A level results in the summer – which they will do!).”

RGS life is not all about academic study. April will see the completion of the our fantastic new sports facility which has been steadily taking shape beside the raised urban motorway. A six-lane 25-metre swimming pool will have a second sports hall above it, plus ample changing rooms for the whole school and superb fitness and aerobic suites. That significant investment demonstrates the school’s commitment not merely to academic achievement but to a broad and rounded education.

For more information about last summer’s GCSE results, click here.