In the danger zone

24th January 2003 at 00:00
WITH just 11 per cent of pupils getting five Cs or better at GCSE, Elmhirst school is in the danger zone - and its value-added figure does little to take the pressure off.

But, according to headteacher Eddie Needham, other statistics show that the Barnsley school does make a difference for its pupils.

For example, 100 per cent of teenagers who both started the school in Year 7 and have attended 90 per cent of the time pass five GCSEs; 30 per cent get five Cs or better.

However truancy, more young people with special needs and high pupil mobility - a third of children join from other schools during their secondary career - take their toll on exam results Mr Needham said: "Pupils who are disadvantaged to this level face greater disadvantage as they get older. The difference in attainment between high-performing and low-performing pupils actually widens as they get older."

At his school, he says, simply getting pupils to turn up each day is a major achievement.

Mr Needham said: "Education is not highly valued in this area. Staff don't get cards from parents at Christmas thanking them for doing a wonderful job.

"But we have children here who could achieve much more and staff make huge efforts to raise their rock-bottom expectations."

Work-related learning, a main feature of the Government's 14 to 19 strategy published this week, has made a difference for some pupils.

But courses at Barnsley College and work experience by teenagers are not rewarded in the current league tables.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now