MK’s GCSE results ‘won’t get pupils into top universities’, says former teacher

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A FORMER school teacher has criticised the standard of GCSE results in the city – saying many pupils are not going to be able to apply for the country’s top universities.

The retired Denbigh School and Lord Grey teacher, who did not want to be named, was speaking out after the latest school league tables were published last Thursday.

The results, produced by the Department for Education, were mixed, with seven city schools performing above the national average and six below based on the percentage of students who achieved five A* to C GCSEs in subjects including English and Maths.

Ousedale School in Newport Pagnell performed best, with 77 per cent of pupils gaining five A* to C grades.

The school also performed excellently in the A/AS level league tables, based on the average number of UCAS points per pupil.

That result prompted Milton Keynes North MP Mark Lancaster to tweet: ‘Ousedale School’s A-level results leave them in the top 2% nationally. Brilliant result and many congratulations to Sue, staff and pupils!’

Other schools which scored above the national average for their GCSE results were Shenley Brook End, Denbigh School, Oakgrove School, Walton High, The Hazeley Academy and St Paul’s Catholic School.

But only three establishments – Ousedale, Shenley Brook End (76 per cent) and Denbigh (75 per cent) – had more than three-quarters of its pupils netting five or more A* to C grades.

MK Academy was the lowest on the list at 38 per cent, but principal Dara Carroll defended his pupils.

He said: “What the figures don’t show is we are the fastest improving academy in Milton Keynes. Our results have gone up 90 per cent and I want to be congratulating our students for their progress.

“The Academy has been open for three years and we have made a modest start but an Ofsted report we had in March was very positive.

“We have our work cut out but we are making steps forward.”

But the former teacher said the overall results were worrying – and slammed the league tables use of Value Added measurements.

The Value Added column measures schools on how well pupils are helped to progress from their starting point. A score above 1,000 is considered to be better than the national average and only three schools failed to reach this mark.

The teacher, who taught at Denbigh School in the late 1980s and more recently at Lord Grey around 2002, said: “Pupils are not going to be in a position to apply for the best universities because they are not even getting the grades in the core subjects. They are not even going to get the offers.

“The Value Added column is twaddle to be quite honest, a lot of it is meaningless.”