Compare CTCs with their inner-city neighbours

2nd December 1994 at 00:00
The lead article on city technology college exam results (TES, November 25) focused on the GCSE A to C grade passes of just five of the 15 CTCs (with no mention of the 50 technology colleges) compared to the national average. There is also no comparison made with the results achieved by neighbouring inner-city comprehensives which, like CTCs, accept students with a wide range of abilities.

Also, three of the five CTCs mentioned, Harris in Croydon, Leigh in Dartford and Bacon's in Bermondsey were formed from existing inner-city comprehensives with a difficult history, all of whose pupils were transferred to the new CTC. All three CTCs have made substantial improvements on the results achieved by the previous schools. A fair judgment on their results cannot be made until the first cohort of their own recruited pupils have sat GCSEs.

Little mention is made of the outstanding results in GCSE, A-level and vocational exams by the Dixon's CTC in Bradford (68 per cent A to C grade GCSEs compared to Bradford borough average of just 27 per cent), whose results put the school in the top 200 comprehensives in the country; or Brooke Weston CTC (58 per cent A to C grade GCSEs compared to an estimated 30 per cent for other Corby schools); or Haberdashers' (55 per cent compared to 27 per cent in Lewisham); or MacMillan (44 per cent compared to 35 per cent for Cleveland); or Kingshurst in Solihull (47 per cent compared to 25 per cent for neighbouring schools and 89 per cent obtaining vocational examination passes).

Some CTCs do need to improve their results and they are working to do just that. However, their overall results are excellent bearing in mind their inner-city location and the fact that they are required to admit people with a wide range of ability.

Sir Cyril Taylor

Chairman, CTC Trust

37 Queen's Gate, London SW7

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