School league tables published last week have revealed a contrasting picture of school performance in the area.
The tables, which rank English secondary schools according to performance in GCSEs and equivalent qualifications, were published by the Department for Education on January 29.
The main criteria for ranking schools is the percentage of pupils achieving five or more A* to C grades,or their equivalents, including A* to C in both English and mathematics GCSEs.
Linton Village College (LVC) performed well with 72 per cent of pupils achieving the required grades. Haverhill’s Samuel Ward Academy had 65 per cent, the highest score for any academy in Suffolk, while Stour Valley Community School in Clare got 46 per cent and Haverhill’s Castle Manor Academy had 36 per cent of pupils reach the target.
Recent changes to the league tables’ criteria have led to many schools deeming them to paint an unfair picture.
A spokesman for Castle Manor Academy said that, despite a “raft of bizarre changes to the governments league tables,” the school was celebrating the achievements of its pupils in the summer exams.
Madeleine Vigar, Executive Principal of the Castle Partnership Academy Trust, said: “I can see why some school leaders across the country are referring to the league tables published today as nonsense.
“For many schools these league tables are not an accurate reflection of the examination grades students actually achieved. That is clearly unfair.”
“We are very proud of our students’ achievements at GCSE, especially in light of the numerous curriculum changes that affected this year group,” said LVC’s deputy principal, Helena Marsh.
“The successes of all students across the whole range of subjects, including the English Baccalaureate and across their best eight qualifications, are testament to their efforts and hard work and the high standards of teaching and learning at Linton.”
Andy Prestoe, head of school at Samuel Ward Academy, praised staff and pupils for the result.
“I’m delighted for the students,” he said. “It shows our curriculum is academic and robust.
“It shows we’re doing our job giving pupils better job opportunities after they leave.”