Day 192 – A Holy Report

November 8, 2009

Yes, full of holes, is the 200+ page report.

If you look at Appendix 4, it indicates that improvement is more or less guaranteed after change to two-tier…mmm, let’s look at that conclusion more closely…

Appendix 4: “Thus four of the five authorities showed some improvement in GCSE performance following change, although that in Warwickshire was small and has subsequently been lost.”

What the DCSF data actually show is that in four out of the five authorities cited in the Council Officers’ report GCSE performance fell during and after the change to 2-tier. Exactly the opposite of what they hide by only looking at the 2008 data.

During the change over to 2-tier MK GCSE results fell to 10% below the England average. 5 years of decline before MK recovered in 2008 by spending considerably more per pupil than in Bedford’s schools. And this was in an authority where only 1 year group was changed and no schools were closed…a much easier task than we have here in Bedford.

During the change over to 2-tier Merton GCSE results fell to 13% below the England average. 4 years of decline before Merton recovered in 2008.

Buckinghamshire changed between 1998-2000. From 1997 to 2008 GCSE passes have fallen 7.3% compared to the national average.

Only in Bradford has the GCSE pass rate improved compared to the national average, albeit from an incredibly low base, around 13% below the national average.

Warwickshire’s results stayed fairly stable, hovering around the national average, although results were only available for a limited period after change here.

So what this shows is that in only one authority, which was underperforming terribly, have results improved after a change to two-tier.

This change has been presented as inevitable because of our terrible underperformance at GCSE (wrong), because change will lead to improvement (unlikely), and because everybody wants the change (err…not true at all).

The only way for you to stop this is to contact the councillors, preferably by phone as emails can be ignored.