Impington Village College in Cambridgeshire announces decision to stand by students and staff by continuing with plans for GCSE Early Entry in November.
“At Impington, we are standing by the wishes of students, staff and parents, but in doing so we are risking a potentially negative Ofsted report or an apparently lowly position in the league tables in 2014. We should not be punished in this way for taking the right course of action. Is this what education is about?” Says Robert Campbell, Principal of Impington Village College,
The Government’s decision to change the criteria for GCSEs in the School Performance Tables came into force ‘with immediate effect’ on Monday 30 September. This policy change means that a student’s first sitting of a GCSE subject would count for the school, not the best grade. As state schools are accountable for their performance, and as successive Governments have committed themselves to raising standards of achievement, the performance tables are considered to be highly important. These outcomes form the basis of Ofsted’s judgements about a school. Given the importance attached to results and outcomes, such a sudden change in policy has caused a significant reaction in schools up and down the country. Many schools are genuinely fearful of league tables and Ofsted and therefore have already withdrawn Year 11 students from exams they have been preparing to sit in November.
Last year Impington Village College supported students through Early Entry exam and achieved its best-ever GCSE results (72% 5 A*-C grades including English & Maths). Recognising the opportunity it created for students, the College had already planned to enter all students for GCSE English Language (AQA) and some for GCSE Maths (Foundation Tier) for November 2013. Students were then due to sit GCSEs in both English and Maths in June 2014 if they had not yet secured their target grades. The sudden policy change raised immediate concerns about the potential impact on future Ofsted inspections which we are due at Impington in 2015. A week of consultation with parents, students, governors and staff revealed a clear and consistent message: continue with Early Entry as it is the morally correct decision.
Impington Village College has already received a raft of letters from parents showing support for the decision, many of whom are also writing to their Member of Parliament and Michael Gove directly demanding answers.
Delighted that Impington Village College has decided to continue with early GCSE entry, following constant Government changes to rules and despite the risks. Bold!” Colin Brown, year 11 parent
We continue to support Impington Village College now and in the future. Proud to be part of the school!” Vicki Rush, parent of 2
Impington Village College we will support you and work with you on this, now and in the future – we are with you on this decision.” Marcus Romer, parent.
Details of the GCSE policy change can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/changes-to-early-entry-at-gcse.
Follow Impington Village College on Twitter: @ImpingtonVC