A third of pupils facing compulsory resits as best performing schools named

Pupils compare their GCSE results. Picture: Paul Bennett

Pupils compare their GCSE results. Picture: Paul Bennett - Credit: Archant

More than a third of 16-year-olds in Tower Hamlets failed to pass both their English and maths GCSEs this year,

Figures from the Department for Education show that 36 per cent of students didn’t reach the required passing grade in the two core subjects

Those 990 students are now facing compulsory resits in June next year.

A total of 2,736 students took their GCSEs this year. Most of the exams are now graded on a 1-9 scale under the new system.

A pass grade, previously a C, is now a 4, with the top score of 9 reflecting the need for a grade higher than the previous A*.

The government has defined a grade 5 as a strong pass, which would fall between a B and a C in the old system.

Girls in Tower Hamlets were more successful than boys, with 67pc of girls achieving a grade 4 or above in English and maths compared with 61pc of boys.

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The gap widened at grade 5 and above, with 48pc of girls getting a strong pass compared with 39pc of boys.

The Association of School and College Leaders, an education union, said that publishing how many pupils achieved a ‘strong pass’ is “an extremely confusing message for young people, their parents and employers”.

General secretary Geoff Barton said: “The result is that many young people will have felt deflated and uncertain after taking this summer’s exams, despite having worked their hardest.”

Pupil attainment at GCSE level and individual pupils’ progress since starting secondary schools also form part of the school ranking system.

GCSE students in Tower Hamlets had overall attainment scores that were slightly worse than the scores of other students in London, and in line with the national average.

Progress scores show that a typical GCSE student from the area did about as well as other pupils in England who started secondary school with similar results at Key Stage 2.

A Progress 8 score of 0 means that pupils are on par with their peers, while a score of +1 means pupils at a school achieve one grade higher than similar pupils nationally, and a score of -1 means they score one grade lower.

Mulberry School for Girls saw pupils make the best progress of all secondary schools in Tower Hamlets, with a score of 0.81 being considered well above average.

Two other schools were in the top category for progress - Oaklands School, which had a score of 0.66 and Central Foundation Girls’ School with 0.58.

Four other schools - Swanlea School, Stepney Green Maths, Computing and Science College, St Paul’s Way Trust School and Sir John Cass Foundation and Red Coat School- were ranked as making above average progress.

Two schools in Tower Hamlets were rated as making below average progress- Langdon Park Community School and Wapping High School - while three were ranked as well below average.

These were Raine’s Foundation School, Phoenix School and Ian Mikardo School - the latter two being special schools.

A spokesman for Tower Hamlets Council said: “Tower Hamlets is committed to making sure pupils get the best possible opportunities and some of the results this year were not as high as we hoped.

“The major changes in GCSE curricula and examinations had a significant impact nationally and on some schools locally.

“We now have clear support in place for schools to help them with these changes and are confident that standards will improve next year.”

The DfE said that its reforms were ensuring rising standards, including more pupils taking the EBacc subjects that “best keep their options open”.

School standards minister Nick Gibb said: “This is a testament to the hard work of pupils and our teachers, who rose to the challenge of our reformed GCSEs and A-levels this summer.

“These new qualifications will ensure pupils have the knowledge and skills they need for future success, and that every child is able to realise their full potential.”