Schools ignore less able GCSE pupils—Tower Hamlets head
PUBLISHED: 09:00 30 August 2009 | UPDATED: 14:47 05 October 2010
TOO many schools are gloating on their high achievers getting top GCSE grades and neglecting less able pupils, says one head teacher in London’s deprived East End. Chris Dunne, head of Langdon Park comprehensive in Poplar, is calling on schools to improve overall average standards for all pupils
TOO many schools are gloating on their high achievers getting top GCSE grades and neglecting less able pupils, according to one comprehensive head teacher in London's deprived East End.
Chris Dunne, head of Langdon Park comprehensive in Poplar, is calling on schools to improve overall average standards for all pupils and not concentrate just on the brighter ones.
"The average pupil should matter as much if we really are running 'comprehensive' education," he told the East London Advertiser.
"If schools can get their able students top grades, why can't they also get their less able students graded at GCSE?' It's a question not asked enough."
The result can lead to less-academic pupils falling through the education net, he fears.
"There are still too many pupils leaving school without any qualifications at all," Mr Dunne revealed.
"Many come from families facing great economic hardship. They are also coping with serious personal or family problems.
"Some come to the school without speaking any English."
His radical 'inclusive' policy at Langdon Park, in a deprived district that falls within the top one per cent on the country's 'poverty' index, has seen a six per cent rise in the number of pupils achieving 'A*' to 'C' GCSEs, in the results published last Thursday.
Some 46 per cent gained 'A' to 'C' in at least five subjects including English and maths, compared to 40 per cent last year.
The Government recognised Langdon Park as one of the top 100 schools in the country for sustained year-on-year GCSE improvement.
The school uses ex-pupils as mentors to help coach others for exams, run after-school workshops and take youngsters on weekend trips to activity centres away from East London.