For several years, we have entered students for exams in Year 10 as well as Year 11, in order to give them the best chance of achieving good grades at GCSE. 18 months ago, the government decided that for the purposes of published exam results, only the outcome of the first entry, not the final entry, would count; whilst the student could keep their best result, the academy could only have students’ first results credited to them.
We decided that we would continue to act in the best interests of our students, and continue to allow them to sit exams in some subjects in Year 10, if we thought it would benefit them. Very few other academies continued with this strategy to the same extent. Whilst this has of course been good for our students, the academy’s standing in the performance tables has been hurt, as it is our students’ Year 10 results that are being compared, not those sat in Year 11. In other words, it’s a bit like judging a rugby match by the half-time score, not the score at the final whistle.
As principal, I still do not understand why the government introduced this policy. However, ASA is committed to doing the best for its students, even if it means we are misrepresented in the performance tables. If you would like any more information on this, please get in touch with me at the academy.