Two Sunderland schools listed as “under-performing”

Picture by: David Davies/PA Wire/Press Association Images
Picture by: David Davies/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The Press Association (PA) have listed two schools in Sunderland as “under-performing”.

The Red House Academy and Academy 360 in Pennywell are among another 327 schools throughout the UK which were listed as “under-performing” by a Press Association analysis.

The PA have used the Department for Education’s (DfE) methodology for calculating under-performing schools.

Schools that are considered under-performing face intervention such as being turned into an academy or given a new sponsor to try to raise standards.

The Department of Education do not publish a list of schools it considers below its benchmarks.

A DfE spokesman person said: “Under-performance at any school is unacceptable, and one of the strengths of the free schools programme is that when we spot failure we can act quickly.”

In total, 250,955 youngsters are being taught in under-performing state secondaries – about 7.3 per cent of the secondary school population, the data reveals.

However, this is down from last year, when the figure was 274,351.

There were 41 areas with no failing schools.

Schools minister Nick Gibb said: “The results show how far we have come in raising standards, but they also highlight where some pupils are still at risk of falling behind.

“We refuse to accept second best for any young person and we must now focus on extending opportunity for all. This Government is giving all young people, irrespective of their background, a fair shot in life and we must not let up the pace of reform now.

“Through our focus on delivering educational excellence everywhere and the dedication of our schools, we will tackle those pockets of persistent under-performance so every child fulfils their potential.”

Hundreds of state secondaries fell below the Government’s floor targets after failing to ensure that enough pupils gained five good GCSE grades and made sufficient progress in English and Maths.

An analysis of the data, carried out by the Press Association, also reveals that a child’s chances of attending a decent school depend heavily on where they live, with 10 or more under-performing secondaries in some areas, and none in others.

The analysis shows a total of 188 under-performing schools are academies. Fifty are council-run, 45 are foundation schools, 14 are voluntary-aided and the others include university technical colleges, studio schools and further education colleges catering to 14 to 16-year-olds.

The general secretary of the National Union of Head Teachers has spoken about the issue.

Russell Hobby, general secretary of the National Union of Head Teachers, said: “There has been so much change that the national statistics generated by the Government are increasingly dubious.

“Comparing one year with another, or one group of schools with another, is precarious at best when the very basis of measurement is different each time.

“The Government must be careful what conclusions it draws. We desperately need stable measures of a stable examination system.”

Shadow education secretary Lucy Powell said: “While I celebrate those schools that are performing well and I applaud teachers and others working tirelessly to get the grades, it is deeply concerning that a quarter of a million pupils are in failing secondary schools, and alarmingly the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers has grown for the third year in a row.

“The attainment gap is now bigger than when David Cameron took office in 2010.”

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