THE LATEST set of exam results and performance data published by the Department for Education make more grim reading for Ortu Gable Hall school.
Last year, the Corringham school was third from bottom in the key performance indicator called Progress 8.
According to the (provisional) results, that were released on Thursday, Ortu Gable Hall is now the worst performing school for Progress 8 as well as a number of other indicators.
Since 2016, schools have been judged on what is called Progress 8, which marks a pupil’s progress from the end of Key Stage 2 (Year 6) to the end of Key Stage 4 (Year 11).
There were grave concerns when it was third from bottom in 2017 but now it looks a great deal worse.
There are now calls from some quarters for the Regional Schools Commissioner to step in and take control of the school.
Mr Ceri Evans, Headteacher of Gable Hall Ortu Academy said: “The Progress 8 results released this week are obviously not where want them to be.
“There is a lot that we are getting right and some things we need to improve on and we have a clear direction and plan.
The Progress 8 system does not lend itself favourably to our curriculum model. As many of of our parents are aware, we offer an exceptionally wide variety of subjects rather than focus on just a select few. We do this because we believe our job as a school, is to equip our students with subject knowledge which will best serve them in life after Gable Hall. We believe by doing so, we are empowering our pupils to invest in their passions early on, creating a more enjoyable and productive learning experience.
That said, these results do show that we need to put a renewed effort into core subjects, which I’m pleased to say has been in motion since last year.
Although we accept the main message of the results published, we are appealing our English results as we’ve found some irregularities in the marking and are awaiting a decision from the adjudicator. We will share these results as we receive them.
“I want to thank the pupils and the teachers for their ongoing hard work and effort. We know we have a big job ahead, but I am confident we are all pulling together in the same direction and we all appreciate our parents for their continued support in us.”
Stanford East and Corringham Town councillor, Shane Ralph (Thurrock Independent) also expressed his concerns.
Cllr Ralph said: “It would be naive not to be concerned with the new figures that have been published, but for some it won’t be a shock. Gable Hall was seen as our local flagship school but over the last few years seems to have been slipping down the tables.
Unfortunately, I have been contacted by parents with concerns in the quality of teaching in some subjects with overcrowding in classrooms.
On one occasion children were packed into a maths lesson and some were left standing for the lesson as there wasn’t enough chairs.
“It’s great that we hear that every school child will get a place in a school but not if this means them standing in packed classrooms.
“I do understand that these figures do not always show the true picture of what is being done in the school but definitely an indication that action needs to be taken to bring it back up to standard.
“I am aware that a new head is now in place and hope this will aid the much needed improvement within the school”.
A spokesperson for Thurrock Coucni said: “We are committed to supporting all schools across Thurrock.
“We have recently launched our Education Support Strategy which sets out how we will work to ensure all schools have support and challenge when needed”.
We also contact the portfolio holder for education, Cllr James Halden as well as the shadow portfolio holder for education, cllr Bukky Okunade. Neither one responded to our request for a statement.”