King’s head happy with ‘distracting’ GCSE tables

The King’s School headteacher is delighted with the latest secondary school league tables despite admitting she hates them and finds them ‘distracting’.

The Ottery academy was well above the national average for students gaining five A* to C grades (including Maths and English) at GCSE, and fared even better against other schools in the county.

But although this placed The King’s second only to Uffculme for results by non-selective schools in Devon, Faith Jarrett says there are more important things to focus on.

She said: “It’s not about league tables, its giving them what they need, the five GCSE’s including maths and English is the gold standard.”

The King’s School had 80 per cent of students attaining this standard, ahead of the national average of 58.2 per cent, and the Devon average of 51.8 per cent.

But Faith said of the tables, which were released last week: “I hate them even though we are at the top, they are distracting.

“Schools are about much more than just one out of context set of results.”

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She agrees parents need something to compare schools with, but says they should look at Ofsted reports to provide a more accurate picture.

Ms Jarrett said: “I was much more pleased with our Ofsted results than these because it looks at more than just one set of cold results.”

She admitted this year had been a ‘very hard slog’ with their inspection and the school’s transition to Academy status, and said: “It has been like a perfect storm, all coming together like this, but we are really, really delighted with how it’s gone.”

Ms Jarrett said there is still work to be done, identifying the ‘value added’ statistics, which measures improvement in pupils from the start of secondary school to GCSE level, something she admits is hard given the quality of the pupils they are sent from local primaries.