'Hurst' said Headmaster, Tim Manly, ‘does not organise its pupil intake or structure its academic life in order to maximise the school’s standing in the various league tables currently available and nor do we seek to manipulate the way in which those results are produced.’
‘Our priority has always been, and remains, the provision of a broad curriculum that enriches the lives of our pupils and challenges them, irrespective of fashions in favour by governments of any stripe. Perhaps the most interesting thing about the new EBacc is that its introduction has been swift and, for some, surprising. As a result, schools have not been able to ‘play the system’ to their best advantage.
‘The fact that Hurst has topped the league table of Independent schools in East and West Sussex as well as Brighton & Hove in the Government’s new ‘English Baccalaureate’ tables is perhaps an attractive reflection of what we value at Hurst. However, what matters most to me is that we enable our pupils to achieve their personal bests, not our position in a league table today or at any time in the future.’
Note: The English Baccalaureate – an explanation
School league tables have long been the subject of controversy and parents and other interested parties looking at them this year will find a new benchmark - the "English Baccalaureate". This is not a qualification in its own right but rather an acknowledgement of "a properly rounded academic education".
The EBacc is a stage further on from the current 5 A*-C passes at GCSE, which was itself refined in recent years to include English and Mathematics in the 5 passes. It acknowledges not just achievement in Mathematics and English but also passes in at least two Sciences, a foreign language (ancient or modern) and either Geography or History.
The government's aim with the introduction of the EBacc is to ‘encourage schools to offer these subjects as part of their curriculum and in turn to encourage their pupils to take them’. It is acknowledged that some schools will need time to adjust their curriculum subjects in order to respond to this encouragement so league tables will continue to show both sets of GCSE statistics so that parents can still compare schools under the old 5 passes at A*-C including Maths and English.
18 May 2013