Two in five pupils must resit core subjects as borough’s best performing schools are revealed

Pupils compare their GCSE results. Picture: Paul Bennett

Pupils compare their GCSE results. Picture: Paul Bennett - Credit: Archant

Two out of five 16-year-olds in Barking and Dagenham failed to pass their both English and maths GCSEs this year.

Figures from the Department for Education show that 40 per cent of pupils sitting their exams this summer didn’t reach the required passing grade in both core subjects.

Those 880 students are now facing compulsory resits in June next year.

A total of 2,199 students took their GCSEs this year. Most of the exams are now graded on a 1-9 scale under the new system.

A pass grade, previously a C, is now a 4, with the top score of 9 reflecting the need for a grade higher than the previous A*.

The government has defined a grade 5 as a strong pass, which would fall between a B and a C in the old system.

Girls in Barking and Dagenham were more successful than boys, with 63pc of girls achieving a grade 4 or above in English and maths compared with 57pc of boys.

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The gap widened at grade 5 and above, with 45pc of girls getting a strong pass compared with 36pc of boys.

The Association of School and College Leaders, an education union, said that publishing how many pupils achieved a ‘strong pass’ is “an extremely confusing message for young people, their parents and employers”.

General secretary Geoff Barton said: “The result is that many young people will have felt deflated and uncertain after taking this summer’s exams, despite having worked their hardest.”

Pupil attainment at GCSE level and individual pupils’ progress since starting secondary schools also form part of the school ranking system.

GCSE students in Barking and Dagenham had overall attainment scores that were slightly worse than the scores of other students in London, and behind the national average.

Progress scores show that a typical GCSE student from the area did about as well as other pupils in England who started secondary school with similar results at Key Stage 2.

A Progress 8 score of 0 means that pupils are on par with their peers, while a score of +1 means pupils at a school achieve one grade higher than similar pupils nationally, and a score of -1 means they score one grade lower.

Riverside School saw pupils make the best progress of all secondary schools in Barking and Dagenham, with a score of 0.92 being considered well above average.

All Saints Catholic School was also in the top category for progress, with a score of 0.5

Four others - Eastbury Community School, Barking Abbey School, Jo Richardson Community School and The Sydney Russell School - were ranked as making above average progress.

At the other end of the spectrum, Robert Clack School made below average progress, while Eastbrook School was ranked well below average.

A Barking and Dagenham Council spokesman said: “Sometimes a single figure doesn’t tell the entire story and we are proud of our young people’s successes this year with three out of five students achieving a grade 4 to 9 in GCSE English and maths.

“This is on a par with the national average, so Barking and Dagenham is no different to the many other local authorities around the country in helping pupils adapt to the demands of the new tougher exams that have been introduced.

“We remain level with the England average for our Attainment 8 figure and we are ranked within the top 25 local authorities in the country for our Progress 8 score, the government’s key academic measure. As well as this, nearly 90 per cent of our schools are now rated as ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted.”

He added: “While I’m pleased with our students’ success, we aren’t resting on our laurels and we strive to reach a point where all pupils who can will achieve a 4 to 9 grade, which is why we work so closely with our schools to make sure all our students get the best educational start in their life.”

The DfE said that its reforms were ensuring rising standards.

School standards minister Nick Gibb said: “This is a testament to the hard work of pupils and our teachers, who rose to the challenge of our reformed GCSEs and A-levels this summer.

“These new qualifications will ensure pupils have the knowledge and skills they need for future success, and that every child is able to realise their full potential.”