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Performance Table Anomaly Misrepresents Some of Country's Top Schools

Stamford School and Stamford High School were amongst several of the country’s best known independent schools who were disappointed to receive misleading rankings in the DfE Performance Tables. The number of pupils achieving five A*-C grades, including the key subjects of English and maths, was given as zero for both Schools, whereas in fact, 94% of girls and 95% of boys reached this standard. This is because many top independent schools have shunned conventional GCSEs in favour of alternative International GCSEs.

The Stamford Endowed Schools elected three years ago to adopt the IGCSE English exam syllabus. It was judged by the Schools to be better suited and more beneficial to the pupils than the standard GCSE syllabus, and exam results have improved as a consequence. However, the DfE have not recognised the IGCSE for the Performance Tables, leaving SES and many other schools with a zero score. The percentage achieving the English Baccalaureate has also been published as zero in the DfE tables. Importantly, though the English specification is not recognized in Performance Tables, it is recognized by universities.

Mr Stephen Roberts, Principal of the Stamford Endowed Schools, said “We are in the company of many other elite schools in receiving the zero score, including St Paul's, Cheltenham Ladies' College, Dulwich, Westminster, Marlborough and Harrow. We are of course disappointed not to have our strong exam results accurately represented, but with so many top schools ranking lowly because of a technicality, there is a danger that the tables lose credibility rather than the schools. There is now pressure for OFQUAL to recognise a wider group of GCSEs to remove this anomaly.”

The Schools consistently achieve strong results and the full breakdown of the last three years can be viewed by clicking here.