Feb 14 2013 by Ian Proctor, Harrow Observer
IMPRESSIVE pupils’ progress or outstanding GCSE results from local schools have led to a flurry of letters of praise from an MP in the Department of Education.
Schools minister David Laws wrote to a select few secondary schools in Harrow and Brent to congratulate them on their ‘high standards of educational achievement’ regarding the recently-released summer 2012 Key Stage 4 results for exams sat when children are 15 or 16.
JFS in The Mall, Kenton; Nower Hill High School in George V Avenue, Pinner, and the girls-only The Sacred Heart Language College in High Street, Wealdstone, were among the top 100 schools in England for the percentage of pupils who gained at least five GCSEs at grades A* to C including English and maths.
Howard Freed, headteacher of Nower Hill High School said: “We are delighted to have received a letter from the minister of state for schools informing us that Nower Hill is in the top 100 non-selective schools in England for standards at GCSE and for the academic progress our students make from the time they join us in year seven.
“This is further evidence of the outstanding education provided by Nower Hill. My thanks to our fantastic students and our superb team of staff.”
JFS, Nower Hill and Sacred Heart, along with Whitmore High School in Porlock Avenue, West Harrow, and Bentley Wood High School for Girls in Bridges Road, Stanmore, were further praised for the amount of progress pupils have made when their actual GCSE grades are compared to what their assessment at the end of year six, when they leave primary school, would suggest.
This is known as ‘value added’ and takes into account each teenager’s eight best GCSE results. The five schools all appear in the top 100 for Value Added scores in England.
Mr Laws sent out a third letter congratulating schools on the progress disadvantaged pupils, defined as those under the care of a local authority or receiving free school meals, made between their projected English and maths GCSE grades at the end of Key Stage 2, and their actual results.
Mr Laws told them: “Your school is exceptionally effective in educating pupils on free school meals, and I commend you for everything that you are doing in this area.”
The letters went to Rooks Heath College in Eastcote Lane, South Harrow; Canons High School in Shaldon Road, Edgware; Alperton Community in Stanley Avenue, Alperton; Wembley High Technology College in East Lane, North Wembley; Claremont High School in Claremont Avenue, Kenton, and Whitmore High School.