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Frome College’s strong showing in new performance tables

FROMECommunity College defied the national trend this year when the secondary school league table saw the school’s GCSE attainment fall by just 3% while the national average plummeted almost six per cent under controversial new testing rules.

2014 saw 52% of Key Stage Four students at the school achieve five or more GCSEs at grade A*-C, down just 3% on the previous year. The national average, however, plummeted 6% from 59.2% to 53.4%.

This means that while in 2012 Frome Community College’s GCSE attainment was 12% below the national average, that gap has now narrowed to just 1.3%.

The 52% score sees the school, rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted in 2014, ranked 18th out of 80 schools in Somerset based on GCSE achievements.

The secondary school performance table shows that in post-16 learning, 92% of students were passing at least two A-levels, and 67% were achieving three or more.

Assistant principal John Robson said, “Frome College welcomes the release of the 2014 GCSE League Tables.  People are able to compare quickly headline figures from schools in Somerset and neighbouring Wiltshire.

“The College’s statistics buck the local and national trend and represent a continued improvement in results.  2014 saw the introduction nationally of a series of reforms designed to toughen examinations with large numbers of qualifications being removed from the approved list and examination resits removed from headline figures.

“Frome College continues to improve as dramatic falls in grades were recorded by many schools across the country and following the College’s focus on literacy, it was particularly pleasing to see English GCSE results jump significantly as nationally a sharp fall was recorded.

“The College is confident it will maintain its upward trend in a continuing volatile educational environment and aspires to see its results stretch ahead of other local and regional schools.”

While the attainment figures are lower than previous years, this does not indicate falling results. New testing rules have seen figures drop across the board and make it harder to compare 2014’s results with those from previous years.

The rules, which were introduced last year, were met with contention by schools across the country. The new examinations left out a number of vocational non-GCSE qualifications, iGCSEs often used by private and independent schools, and did not count retake results for students obtaining the English Baccalaureate.