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 Post subject: top school in kent
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 8:34 pm 
I keep on seeing adverts for a school in Kent which say that it is "top school in Kent", "top of the Times Government League Tables in Kent", or top of the league tables for Kent.

I am puzzled as it does not seem to have the highest marks in Kent at GCSE or A' level on the DfES performance tables on the DfES website.

The school is a small independent, non-selective girls' school called Combe Bank. Does anyone know what these claims mean?

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2007 8:50 am 

Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 12:15 pm
Posts: 483
Location: North Kent (surprise!)
Hi inneedofenlightenment

Regarding this school Combe Bank, have a look at the thread "Kent Grammar Schools" on page 3, the post by Mrs P, which might help to enlighten you :roll:

It appears all statistics can be manipulated however when you visit the schools you will know what is right for your child regardless of the schools "claim to fame"


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2007 3:00 pm 

Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2007 7:21 pm
Posts: 226
Location: Kent & Medway
Any number of Kent schools can claim to be top school according to one or more league tables. Even the same table can produce different top schools, e.g. at A Level, do you count pass rate, A Grades, A and B Grades, ABC Grades, total points score, point score of top three exams, do you take AS levels into account. Then there is value added 11-14, 14 - 16, 11-16, with or without social values being taken into account. One non selective school in East Kent introduced an innovation in pupil management and claimed its GCSE results boomed as a result. What happened was it simultaneously switched to vocational GCSEs where one exam counted for four passes. This year when maths and English had to be included it crashed back to the bottom. In other words, ae we comparing schools with lots of "easy" subjects, with others with "harder" subjects? Do schools with a bright intake always get the best results? As always, league tables may be a broad guide, but can cover a multitude of sins.

PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2007 3:12 pm 
Thank you for your replies - I agree with what you are both saying, and have looked at Mrs P's comment in another thread.

However it still puzzles me as to what sort of claims a school is actually allowed to make in writing. Clearly the Times must have had some sort of method of their own of sorting and ranking the DfES performance data which placed Combe Bank at the top for Kent at GCSE for Summer 2006 - ahead of TOGS, Judd, Tonbridge, Sevenoaks etc.

However to then be able to quote in writing in public that you are "top of the government league tables for Kent" seems to be stretching the point. The Government does not do "league tables" as such does it? As a member of the public I would refer to the Performance Tables on the DfES website and see which schools did well in the measures that mattered to me.

But to be told that a school is "top of the Government League Tables" for Kent seems misleading when there are many other schools which perform much better in many of the measures in the DfES performance tables.

Did anyone see the Times report upon which this claim must be loosely based? Don't other schools get cross about this kind of thing?

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2007 3:29 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 14000
Also I am told some schools in Kent boost their results by making pupils pay for GCSE entries and then giving them back the money of they pass. This means only the passes count!!

Rather underhand I think

 Post subject: claims to fame
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 12:34 pm 
Do schools ever get into trouble for going overboard in their advertising boasts?

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