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Tables don’t mean a lot, says top head

ST CHRISTOPHER'S High School in Accrington is top of the class after being named as Hyndburn's best secondary school.

ST CHRISTOPHER'S High School in Accrington is top of the class after being named as Hyndburn's best secondary school.

Controversial tables published this week show that up to 91 per cent of pupils at the school, on Queens Road West, achieved the expected level five or above in Key Stage 3 tests - compared to a national average of up to 71 per cent.

It is the first time that the Key Stage 3 tables have been published separately from the GCSE results, which are due out next month.

Students take the tests in English, mathematics and science at the age of 14, when they have been at secondary school for three years, and they can indicate how they will fare in their GCSEs or vocational courses.

A value-added measure, similar to those in the primary school tables published earlier this month, shows how pupils have improved since taking Key Stage 2 tests at the age of 11.

But Mr Alasdair Coates, headteacher of St Christ-opher's, said he did not consider the tables to be important.

He said: "I appreciate that it's nice to be at the top of a league table but it doesn't necessarily mean that we are doing our job efficiently.

"We don't take any notice of the league tables, we simply work to get the best out of every individual child. We work relentlessly, regardless of whether that makes us top or bottom of the league tables.

"There could be a school that is expected to get 15 per cent and goes on to get 30 per cent, which would be a tremendous achievement for that school. But it could still be at the bottom because the tables don't show that.

"That is why we don't value them. Our measure of success is that we get the best out of each individual child."

Next in the table was Mount Carmel Science College in Accrington, which was placed above the national average, followed by The Hollins Technology College in Accrington and Norden High School in Rishton.

Moorhead High School in Accrington was in fifth place, with Rhyddings High School in Oswaldtwistle coming bottom of the list.

Mr Andrew Bateman, headteacher at Moorhead, said: "I am very pleased with our results. They indicate that our students have performed as expected at Key Stage 3 and show a significant improvement on previous years."

County Councillor Alan Whittaker, Cabinet member for education, said: "Lancas-hire secondary schools continue to achieve excellent Key Stage 3 results. Our 14-year-olds gain impressive results compared to many other LEAs.

"This is the first time these results have been published and they provide a good indicator to parents of how their children will perform in GCSEs two years later."


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