Day 126 – Congratulations !

One week ago GCSE results were published. Many pupils celebrated their individual success and our warmest congratulations to them.

The Bedfordshire on Sunday carried the yearly reports of the very successful pupils with hatfuls of A*s and the Borough commended its schools with a webpage of results.

Now these results are very interesting…if you average the schools’ 5 A*-C results then overall you get 68.4%…compared to a national average of 67.1%…so we could be said to be better than the national average.

And this despite spending £220 less per pupil than the national average.

Surely the consultation document told us that we were considerably worse than the national average on this measure?

The truth is that, since 2006 when the last damaging proposal to change to two-tier was thrown out by county councillors, results have improved year-on-year.

And of course, statistics tend to hide all sorts of real stories, concerning real schools and real pupils.

So let’s focus on the real issue of ensuring that we save three tier education in Bedford by voting in a Mayor who believes in it wholeheartedly.


8 Responses to Day 126 – Congratulations !

  1. KDEv says:

    What a fantastic achievement by the pupils and schools in Bedford Borough. An 8% increase in pupils achieving 5 A*-C GCSE in just one year. Just think of what might have been achieved with the resources our schools deserve. Insufficient funding of Bedford’s schools for many years have been overcome by dedicated and hard working staff in all of our schools. 2008 saw Bedfordshire as one of the fastest improving LA in England and these results in 2009 confirm that trend.
    For the future Mayor: don’t wreck our successful 3-tier school system, just invest properly in the future of Bedford’s children.

  2. Fred Bagnall says:

    Apples and Pears ?

    %5+ A*-C inc maths & English
    2008 2009
    Biddenham 40 38
    Hastingsbury 28 40
    John Bunyan 19 20
    Mark Rutheford 45 49
    Sharnbrook 73 70
    St Thomas More 44 not found
    Wootton 59 60

    Were it not for Hastingsbury these come in as much the same percentage overall this year as last.

    • JamesD says:

      What is your point? In a year when the English pass rate fell nationally and Bedford spent even less per pupil than the England average!
      In 2008 it was John Bunyan that achieved a huge gain and kept it this year. Why do you doubt that Hastingsbury will be any different. Damning with faint praise hey!

      • Fred Bagnall says:

        I really just presented the data for all to see that which conclusions might be made from by those who know about these things. No assertions, just data.

        2006 2007 2008 2009
        Biddenham 40 41 40 38
        Hastingsbury 29 32 28 40
        John Bunyan 17 9 19 20
        Mark Rutherford 41 49 45 49
        Sharnbrook 64 67 73 70
        St Thomas More 34 36 44 ??
        Wootton 60 62 59 60

  3. savemiddleschools says:

    Welcome back Fred, we have missed you !

    This statistic, of course, is not the one highlighted in the blog for today as it includes English and Maths, and is fairly stable from 2008, but we have already shown in previous blogs that this is in line or better than the national average and also better than all of our true “statistical neighbours”, ie the ones without selection like Milton Keynes, Swindon and Northamptonshire.

    But the key point has always been: there is ABSOLUTELY NO EVIDENCE that changing school system will make anything better – in fact it is very likely to make it worse as underfunded change will disrupt pupils, schools and communities for many years.

    And that is why parents will vote for a Mayoral candidate who supports three-tier, and avoid voting for candidates who either support two-tier or who try to sit on the fence.

  4. KDev says:

    Fred Bagnall raises another statistic but one that is being avoided on all Government web sites and Ministerial statements. No mention of the England %5+A*-C inc English and Maths anywhere. So what is the Government Measure of success this year?
    I was comparing applles with apples as was the SMS blog, Fred appears to be comparing pears with pears but without a full set of data on pears!

  5. savemiddleschools says:

    Well we always thought Fred was one apple short of a fruit salad…


  6. JamesD says:

    Any sensible comparison for what may turn out to be a half of a Billion pound project and a Council debt of between £30 million and £300 million (they don’t know!) should have had a formal cost effectiveness analysis. Comparing like with like and adjusting for different factors such as the effect of private schooling and differences in annual expenditure on education. This would also look at the costs and the effectiveness of different options over the life of the project, in this case 30 – 40 years. This is the usual and mandated procedure in any National Government project of this size BEFORE making irrevocable decisions.
    It is called evidence based decision making, much abused by politicians but highly successful in commercial applications. What do we have in Bedford Borough – just one sided, cherry picked evidence of effectiveness and cost estimates that at best are a joke and at worst deliberate misrepresentation.
    There is no evidence that a change to 2-tier will improve attainment; there is evidence to show that such changes cause a significant drop in attainment. There is evidence that BSF funds are likely to be cut drastically, that the £2.4 million (or is it £24 million) cut annually from school budgets means less staff, less education resources and failing schools. Guess what that leads to – even lower attainment. Now even the basis of the 2-tier lobby (or is it a religion) argument that Bedford is worse than the England average has been proven wrong. Any Mayoral candidate still supporting the proposed destruction of the 3-tier schools deserves the derision of the Bedford Borough voters.

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