The annual bun fight surrounding the school performance tables has begun but this year it has aroused even more controversy than usual. It centres on the phasing out of IGCSEs from the tables.
The IGCSE is sat by candidates overseas, but has also long been favoured by many private schools and some leading state schools in England as a more rigorous assessment. Scarborough College is no different; our students study for IGCSE examinations in Maths, English, Business Studies and Modern Languages.
Richard Harman, chairman of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference (HMC), which represents many leading independent schools, said the decision to drop IGCSEs made a "nonsense" of the league tables.
Brian Lightman, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said it called into question the validity of the performance tables, since the government had previously promoted IGCSEs. He said, "Lots of independent schools are carrying on with IGCSEs and have no intention of stopping - their reputation goes beyond the league tables."
Any parent looking at the GCSE tables today will see that Scarborough College is recorded as having no results. In case this leads to mass consternation I would like to remind you that the College recorded another year of very pleasing year of academic results with 88% of its UK students gaining 5 grades A* to C with 44% of the exams passed at A* or A.
Our IB results placed us sixth in the Yorkshire and Humber region with an average points score per student of 1013.1. The following table provides a little more local information:
Scarborough College 1013.1
Hymers College 972.5
St Peter’s School 919.0
Ampleforth College 863.4
Ashville College 850.8
Scarborough Sixth Form 844.9
As always, with any performance tables, it is important to remember the contextual value added aspects. Scarborough College has continued to offer a strong academic programme at both GCSE and IB level and gained great success with a broad ability range of students who achieve their potential, whatever that might be.
Mrs Isobel Nixon