Sheffield schools: The best-performing Sheffield secondary schools according to latest GCSE Progress 8 scores

The council has called the results 'mixed' - while an opposition councilor on the education committee says they are "horrendous".

The latest figures are in for how the country's schools are doing - and they show Sheffield's secondary schools performed worse than the rest of England on average in 2023.

The Department for Education has published its 'league tables' for how the country's schools did in 2022/23 - and, sadly, Sheffield has fallen behind.

And while the city council has called the results 'mixed', a Lib Dem spokesperson on the local authority's education committee, Mahroof Mohammed, says the results are "horrendous" and that Sheffield "must admit it has a problem".

The Star has compiled and ranked all of Sheffield's secondary schools by their Progress 8 scores in the gallery below.

The league tables are based on each school's 'Progress 8' score, which was introduced in 2016 as a new way to assess performance rather than looking at school’s grades.

It assesses how well pupils did in their KS2 results compared to the end of KS4 when they did their GCSEs based on eight qualifications, including English, maths and sciences.

While the system has been criticised as being open to bias by factors such as catchment, entrance exams and the affluence of parents, it is a measuring stick for how pupils have progressed across their secondary school career.

A score above zero shows that pupils made more progress, on average, than pupils across England who got similar results at the end of Year 6 while a score below means, on average, they made less.

See below for more information on how Progress 8 scores are calculated.

They show that, out of some 30 schools in Sheffield, 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'.

There were success stories, with Sheffield's-own Mercia School being graded as among the top three in the entire country for its Progress 8 scores.

In a statement, councillor Dawn Dale, chair of Education, Children and Families Policy Committee called the results 'mixed'.

She said: "Some of our schools have reported results below the national average, and we are taking concrete steps to focus on these schools, working with our school trusts and school improvement partners at Learn Sheffield to develop strategies to support them.

"Currently there is a mixed picture across the city, but our aim is to work towards at least ‘average’ or ‘above average’ scores for every school in Sheffield."

In contrast, the Lib Dem spokesperson on the same committee, councillor Mohammed Mahroof, called the results "horrendous" and suggested Sheffield's high school-absence and lack of resources as possible causes.

He said: "I'm not surprised by these figures.

"I know Sheffield's been on a downward spiral for some time and the reasons are numerous. One that is said repeatedly is the lack of resources - but even without a lack of resources, how does that address making sure pupils are in schools? Sheffield as some of the worst attendance figures in the country.

"Apart from the schools that have historically done well anyway, the number of schools scored as below average is quite horrendous.

"We certainly don't have answers to the full questions here but we had to admit the fact that we have a problem in Sheffield, and the more we try to cover it up and put a political spin on it by saying everything is doing wonderfully then the worse it will be."

He added that the local authority should have more influence on academies that are scoring low.

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.

However, of significance were the three Sheffield special schools that did have their scores published.

All three - Bents Green School, Holgate Meadows and Heritage Park - are operated by the council and scored the lowest Progress 8 results in the city; all three have in the past year reported severe financial difficulty; and all three are now trying to join NEXUS Multi Academy Trust.

In a letter home to parents in June, Bents Green criticised the council as "no longer having the services and support we require to benefit our students."

Holgate Meadows, which was rated 'Inadequate' in 2022, this year made 12 teaching assistants redundant and announced it had run up a £2.4m deficit in the past five years.

Meanwhile, the Progress 8 score for Heritage Park (-1.97), makes it among the worst performing schools in the country.

Councillor Dale said: "Special Schools Bents Green, Holgate Meadows, and Heritage Park are among the schools with lower performance scores, and they have faced funding challenges over the past year. We do call on the Government to provide adequate funding for all schools, as funding plays a pivotal role in providing a quality education, especially for students for special needs."

A spokesperson for Holgate Meadow said: "We are aware there is significant work to be done to ensure we deliver the highest possible standard of education and care for our students.

"This includes appointing a new interim headteacher and deputy headteacher in January and September 2023, respectively.

"We are committed to our improvement journey, so that we can support our students to thrive in all aspects of their lives and are proud of the progress already noted during Ofsted’s latest monitoring report."

A Progress 8 score is calculated based on how pupils have performed in eight subjects, including English, Maths and the sciences and statistically assessing their scores, on average, against how pupils with the same Year 6 SATs results nationally have performed in their GCSEs.

A value is then given for the school as to whether pupils have made the expected amount of progress.

The scores awarded for Maths and English are given double weighting, to reflect the importance of these subjects. Other subjects included in a Progress 8 calculation includes Computer Science, History, Geography and languages.

A score of plus one means that pupils with the same SATs results are achieving, on average, one grade more than their national peers in their GCSEs, while a score of minus one, means on average they are attaining one grade less.

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