Image: Yorkshirevoice.com

Figures show failings in Bradford’s high schools

Only two out of 20 mainstream secondary schools in Bradford are performing above the national average when it comes to pupils’ GCSE results.

That’s the worrying truth behind data released by the Government which demonstrates why Bradford City Council have launched a 15-point plan to drive up educational standards across the city.

Removing under-performing teaching is central to the proposals, which aim to arrest the city’s worrying slide into the bottom 20 per cent nationally for GCSE results.

A damming Ofsted report in November 2012 labelled 71 per cent of schools in Bradford as “not good enough”. Carlton Bolling College hit the national headlines last month when the council sacked school governors for failing to protect children from identifying extremist views.

Clarification: The schools were selected by searching for data from schools with a Bradford address on the Department for Education webpage. Independent, free schools and special schools have not been included in this analysis.

As the table below shows, schools in the Bradford area are around seven per cent behind the rest of the country when it comes to students making expected progress in English and Maths.
However this gap leaps to around 10 per cent when it comes to assessing achievement in last year’s GCSEs.

Breaking those figures down to individual schools demonstrates many students are making their expected progress in English, with six schools performing above the average.

However this falls to just four when it comes to progress in Maths.

This issues are reflected in the GCSE figures for the schools. In only two schools did the 2012/13 cohort achieve higher than average GCSE results, with 17 schools falling short of that target.

The figures for each individual school can be seen below. To change the factor being measures click the menu.

There are factors which need to be taken into account when viewing these figures.

43.5% of primary school children in Bradford don’t speak English as their first language, way above the national average of 16.8%.

This figure falls to 29.7% in secondary schools but is still more than double the national average at that age group of 12.3 per cent.

As a result it may be the subjects the Government choose to analyse – English and Maths – are not the strengths of some of these learners.

Mandy Oates, deputy head of the Belle Vue Girls’ School in Bradford, a specialist language college, told the Times Education Supplement in 2011 that growing up in families that speak languages other than English can help children learn other languages such as French, Spanish and Italian.

She said: “Our students have a good capacity for learning languages and that stems from them having more than one language up their sleeve when they start secondary school.”

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Main Image: Carlton Bolling College, the Bradford school where governors were sacked last month (yorkshire-voice.com)


About

My background is in regional newspaper reporting but I'm now mainly involved in online journalism. When I'm not writing I'm a Journalism lecturer at Leeds Trinity University and alongside managing this site I set-up the ltjournalism.com blog which covered the Grand Depart in Yorkshire.


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