Sheffield schools: The best and worst performing Sheffield schools according to GCSE Progress 8

One of Sheffield’s schools is in the top per-cent for the whole country, while others are sadly lagging behind.

The upcoming GCSE exam season may be returned to normal after the pandemic - but after all the disruption, some pressure might this year be taken off pupils who studied through Covid-19.

The Department foe Education has confirmed there will be no ‘Progress 8’ reports published for schools for the 2024/25 and 2025/26 academic years.

The score is a measure for assessing schools based on how well pupils did in their KS2 results compared to the end of KS4 when they did their GCSEs. Positive scores would indicate that children did better than predicted as a result of their time at the school.

But, as TES Magazine writes, primary tests were cancelled for pupils in Year 6 in the academic years 2019-20 and 2020-21 because of the pandemic - meaning there is no prior KS2 attainment data available to use as a baseline for Progress 8 calculations for students sitting their GCSEs in the next two years.

The system has been criticised as being open to bias due to catchment areas, entrance exams, or even how rich parents are. However, it is used as the DfE’s measuring stick for how pupils have progressed across their secondary school career.

However, this week, Daniel Kebede, general secretary of the National Education Union, called Progress 8 “fundamentally flawed” and that “no single score or measure could ever” describe what happens in a school.

He said: “The fact it will not be calculated for the next two years is welcomed but it is not the sign of a government understanding that a school is about more than the results of tests taken by a small proportion of the school, over a few weeks in summer. It is being done because they have no other choice, and they intend to return to it once the pandemic-affected cohorts have passed through Year 11. 

"Other flawed data, focused on attainment not progress [Attainment 8 scores], will still be published this year which will allow people to mistakenly rank schools and lead them to inaccurate conclusions about their ‘quality’ on the sole basis of exam results. So the problems will not disappear, even in the years without Progress 8.

"This should be an opportunity to rebalance what is a blunt, misleading and ineffective school accountability system in England.

“Rather than simply judging or labelling a school, with just one inaccurate word or number, the focus should be on how to help the education system share in its successes and to support each other’s continual development and improvement."

It comes after figures show - if the Progress 8 scores are indeed used to ‘rank’ schools as Mr Kebede criticises - that Sheffield fell behind in its grades last year.

The DfE uses Progress 8 scores to publish its own ‘league tables’ each year.

They show that, out of some 30 schools in Sheffield at the end of the 2022/23 academic year, just six are were considered as getting 'above average' progress - while an overall majority of 17 schools scored in the red as being 'below average' or 'well below average'.

Below, The Star has compiled and ranked all of Sheffield's secondary schools by their Progress 8 scores.

Schools that did not have their Progress 8 scores published included Bradfield School, Sheffield High School, Seraphic School, Bethany School, Westfield School, Westbourne School and Becton School, as well as the vast majority of special schools.

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