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Schools flounder on core subjects

PUPILS in Solihull remain among the highest-performing in the country, but the majority are falling short of a Government benchmark - testing performance in “traditional” subjects.

PUPILS in Solihull remain among the highest-performing in the country, but the majority are falling short of a Government benchmark - testing performance in “traditional” subjects.

Across our borough, over 61 per cent of students achieved at least five GCSEs at A*-C when they took their exams last year.

This is ahead of the national average (58.2 per cent) and puts Solihull as the top local authority in the West Midlands region.

But though the borough boasts some of the best state secondary schools in the country, far fewer teenagers are achieving the “English Baccalaureate”.

Introduced for the 2010 results, pupils are deemed to have achieved the baccalaureate if they get an A*-C pass in English, maths, a science, a language and either history or geography.

Even the best-performing schools in the borough have far fewer pupils meeting these requirements.

Arden, in Knowle, has held on to its position as the highest-ranked state school in Solihull - 91 per cent of pupils have received five good GCSEs. But only 50 per cent have met the more rigorous conditions required to achieve the English Baccalaureate.

At second place Tudor Grange, the disparity is more dramatic - 87 per cent received five good GCSEs, only 35 per cent qualified for the baccalaureate. At Park Hall, in Castle Bromwich, and the CTC Kingshurst Academy, only three per cent of pupils achieved the baccalaureate and not one managed it at Smith’s Wood Sports College.

But some critics have said it’s dangerous to put so much emphasis on a core of traditional subjects.

See a full table of how every borough school performed in next week’s paper.

 

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