Grange headteacher ‘100% confident’ school will get back on track after sharp decline in GCSE results

Head teacher of The Grange School, Vince Murray
Head teacher of The Grange School, Vince Murray

The headteacher of the Grange School is ‘100% confident’ they will be back on track next year following a marked decline in its exam results.

The Grange saw a 13% drop in the percentage of pupils achieving at least five GCSEs including maths and English, down from 54% to 41%.

But headteacher Vince Murray said the decline was ‘fundamentally down to turbulence’ in its English Language results, an issue he said has been experienced by other schools across the country who use the Cambridge examination board.

He would not elaborate on the exact issue, but said it had been ‘fully interrogated’ and as a result ‘we are fully prepared to ensure we get back up to where we should be for next summer’.

“People who don’t know the school will make a judgement based on headline figures. People who know the school – parents, teachers – will understand what we stand for, the stability and good performance we have had over 10 years, improving year after year.”

Overall, 68.2% of children at Bucks schools recorded five or more A-C GCSEs including English and maths, down from 69.5% in 2014 and 71.3% in 2014, but way above the English average of 56.1%.

Ninety-nine per cent of girls at the High achieved the benchmark in the provisional results out last week, down 1% from their perfect score last year.

Of the other grammar schools in the Vale, Aylesbury Grammar scored 98% (the same as 2014), and the Floyd and Royal Latin 97% (both down from 98%).

Waddesdon is once again the highest achieving secondary modern, increasing its pass rate from 76% to 77%. The Cottesloe and John Colet made good progress with 67% and 62% of children respectively earning five good GCSEs including English and maths, both up four per cent, while the Buckingham School did even better, increasing its rate from 45% to 51%.

Fifty-eight per cent of Misbourne pupils achieved the benchmark, down one per cent and just under half (49%, down from 52%) at Princes Risborough.

Aylesbury Vale Academy achieved the same result as last year at 38%, but a two per cent drop at the Mandeville to 36% now puts it out alone as the worst performing mainstream state school in the Vale.

Provisional results are subject to change. The government warns: “Care should be taken when making any comparisons between the 2015 provisional data and the final data from previous years; this is because the provisional data does not reflect accepted amendment requests made by schools in the September checking exercise.”