Your specialist sums don't add up

14th February 2003 at 00:00
LAST week's TES reported that "only a tiny fraction of secondary schools praised by the chief inspector this (last) week had specialist status" ("Specialists prove less than outstanding", TES, February 7).

This is untrue. Thirty-eight of the 83 schools listed as receiving outstanding inspection reports have specialist status. This is nearly half the total - 46 per cent to be precise. Hardly a "tiny fraction".

Moreover, this is more than twice the proportion of specialist schools in operation last summer (21 per cent of all secondaries).

Of the 38 specialist schools listed as receiving outstanding inspection reports, a considerable number are in areas of social disadvantage with a much higher number of pupils eligible for free school meals than the national average, yet they achieved excellent GCSE results.

Particularly outstanding schools in this category include: The St Marylebone C of E school, Westminster (93 per cent of pupils gained five or more GCSE grades A*-C); Seven Kings high, Ilford (80); Small Heath, Birmingham (56); Harton, South Shields, Tyneside (50); Cardinal Heenan Catholic high, Leeds (49); Langdon, Newham (41); Shireland language college, Smethwick (51).

Sir Cyril Taylor

Specialist Schools Trust

37 Queen's Gate, London

Editor's note: Only four schools on the list were identified as specialist.

We asked the trust to comment on this but it declined.

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


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