Castle Vale School has scored 58% in GCSE passes at Grades A*-C (the top grades). This is an increase of 13% from the 45% figure achieved last year.
Despite being pleased by this figure, headteacher Clive Owen says that he is slightly disappointed by the figure of 21% A*-C grade passes for English and Maths. This is up by 3%, from 18% last year, and the question is whether or not this slight increase will be enough to persuade Ofsted, the school’s education watchdog, that it is moving fast enough in the right direction.
The Government has threatened to take action against schools that fail to achieve 30% GCSE passes in English and Maths. Last year, over 630 schools in England failed to reach this standard. Ministers have said that schools must achieve this target by the year 2011, or face closure to be re-opened as an Academy. They have indicated that schools showing satisfactory signs of improvement will not face action, but schools that are stuck in a rut of low attainment will face action.
The A*-C grade average for schools in Birmingham has gone up by almost 4% from 40.7% in 2007 to 44.5% in 2008.
Last year, 27 Birmingham schools fell below the 30% figure set by the Government. This year, ten of those schools have risen above the 30% benchmark figure for A*-C passes in English and maths.